Community & School News May 2017

Important School Dates
May 2-4 – New York State Math Exams
May 29 – Memorial Day (schools closed)

Carousel Opening Day
It just doesn’t feel like spring until the Carousel for All Children in Staten Island opens in Willowbrook Park. This year’s Opening Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 6, noon to 4pm. Opening Day festivities will include sand art and a petting zoo from Quiver Farm (12-2pm), as well as a “Steam Wagon” where kids can jump in to create and relate. Carousel rides are $2 each and free for Greenbelt Conservancy members. May carousel hours are Friday through Sunday, 11am-5:45pm.

Staten Island Fleet Week
Staten Island Fleet Week is returning for another week of showing our troops how much we appreciate them! Military ships will be docking at The Sullivans Pier (formerly Stapleton Homeport) for Staten Island Fleet Week on Wednesday, May 24 and departing on Tuesday, May 30. During this week, visitors are welcome to tour the ships and meet visiting crew members. Gaining more and more popularity over time, S.I. Fleet Week now welcomes thousands of visitors each year. In addition to public tours, schools can arrange class trips where students can experience the ships first hand. As a non-profit organization with a volunteer-only staff, Staten Island Fleet Week relies solely on donations to fund its programs and events. They are also in need of corporate sponsors. Click here to learn how you can donate, sponsor, or volunteer to help out, or to learn more about Staten Island Fleet Week.

Comic Con Comes to Staten Island
Comic Con is coming to New Dorp High School once again! The school will be hosting its own version of the popular Comic Con event for the second time this year. The event will be held on Saturday, May 20, noon to 5pm at the school (465 New Dorp Lane). This year’s Comic Con will include vendors, comic book displays, Imperial Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion, comic book and pop culture artwork, Dungeons & Dragons, local artists, student artwork, various panels and presenters, a costume contest, and cosplay. The event is organized by student committees and all proceeds will go toward student and school needs.

“Last year was our first attempt to plan and host Staten Island’s first Comic Con. It was a great success!” said New Dorp High School Principal Deirdre DeAngelis. “But, like everything else we do at New Dorp, we are building on that success and coming back with an even more extravagant event! We are looking forward to showcase the many talents of our students and staff. Don’t miss New Dorp High School’s 2nd Annual Comic Con. You will totally love it.”

Moravian Church Clothing Drive
The Staten Island Moravian Churches are hosting their annual clothing drive, now in it’s 14th year. They will be collecting clean, laundered and gently used warm and cool weather clothing for all ages and genders. If you’d like to contribute, be sure to sort your clothes by gender and size before you bag them up. If possible, put clothes for only one size and gender in a labeled bag. Among the most needed items are infant and children’s clothing and school supplies, as well as Halloween costumes. Collection barrels will be available at these locations:

• Castleton Hill Moravian, 1657 Victory Blvd., 718-442-5215
• Great Kills Moravian, 74 Hillside Terrace, 718-317-7788
• New Dorp Moravian, 2205 Richmond Road, 718-351-0090
• Vanderbilt Ave. Moravian, 271 Vanderbilt Ave., 718-447-2966

Kids for Kids at Project Sunshine 
Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that provides free educational, recreational, and social programs to children facing medical challenges and their families. The Kids for Kids youth service program at Project Sunshine gives children and teens the opportunity to volunteer and give back in a meaningful way. Kids for Kids volunteers help out by fundraising, creating art projects to send to hospitalized children, and organizing book, toy, BandAid, and other collection drives. Project Sunshine partners with schools, youth groups, community service clubs, National Honor Societies, sports teams, and more. Priority is given to groups of five or more volunteers. Click here for more information or a volunteer form.

40th Annual TD 5 Boro Bike Tour
Keep rolling, NYC! The TD Five Boro Bike Tour has been a major New York City event for both cyclists and onlookers since it started in 1977. On Sunday, May 7, 32,000 cyclists of all ages and skill levels will spin their wheels freely throughout all five boroughs where the streets have been cleared of cars. The 40-mile tour kicks off at 7:30am in lower Manhattan and will finish at Fort Wadsworth here in Staten Island. The tour is the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S., with proceeds funding Bike NYC’s free bike education programs. If your plans that day don’t include a bicycle, you might want to steer clear of traveling to other boroughs. Parts of the Verrazano Bridge will be closed for the duration of the tour, along with many streets and other bridges located within New York City.

Screen-Free Week
Do your kids waste away too many hours mindlessly clicking and scrolling through their phones or blankly staring at a TV screen? Screen-Free Week is an initiative encouraging families to enjoy life beyond the screen. From May 1 to May 7, kids are urged to unplug all of their devices and go outside, play a sport, read a book, or simply spend quality time with family and friends. Screen free week is also Children’s Book Week — so it’s definitely the best time for kids to replace technology with a good old-fashioned book! Click here for more information about Screen-Free Week.

I Love My Park Day
Do you love your local state park? Here’s how to show it. Volunteer to participate in the sixth annual I Love My Park Day, which will be held on Saturday, May 6 at state parks and historic sites across New York. Organized by Parks & Trails New York, the day is designated each year to celebrate, improve, and enhance state parks and historic sites, to boost volunteerism, and to raise visibility of the entire state parks systems and its needs. This year is slated to be the biggest one yet. In Staten Island, volunteers can sign up to join the staff in a variety of park-wide cleanup activities at Clay Pit Ponds State Park Reserve, Gateway National Recreation Area or Mount Loretto Unique Area. Click here to find out how to register for one of these events.

“New York’s park system is second to none and is a premier showcase of the natural beauty in every part of this great state,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. “As we approach the sixth annual I Love My Park Day, I encourage New Yorkers to join us, enjoy all our parks have to offer, and help us to protect and preserve our system for generations to come.”

Sunrise Day Camp 
Sunrise Day Camp is a summer camp dedicated entirely to children with cancer and their siblings, free of charge. The camp is co-sponsored by the JCC and Catholic Charities of Staten Island and held on the grounds of Mount Loretto. This year’s SunriseWALKS will be held on Sunday, June 4 at Mount Loretto (6581 Hylan Boulevard). Last year the Staten Island Parent team proudly walked for this wonderful cause. And you can too — the walk is open to anyone who would like to help make a difference in the life of a child with cancer. You can register or donate at sunrise-walks.org/si.

The New York Baby Show 
Expecting a new arrival to your family? Don’t miss this year’s New York Baby Show. Filled with giveaways, raffles, product demonstrations, expert speakers, top baby and maternity brands, and everything must-have for baby — it’s a can’t miss for all moms and dads-to-be. Now in it’s seventh year, the show will once again be held at Pier 94 in Manhattan (711 12th Avenue at 52nd street), on May 20 and May 21, 10am to 4pm. Staten Island Parent readers get a special 50% discount on tickets using the code SIParent50 when you register at newyorkbabyshow.com.!

The Big Park
Grandview playground is getting a major upgrade — starting with a whole new name. The name actually isn’t new to nearby residents. Locals have been calling it “The Big Park” for years, so the Parks Department decided to make it official. The announcement was made recently at a groundbreaking ceremony kicking off the $4.5 million in renovations. Other upgrades to the Mariners Harbor park include larger ball courts, cooling spray towers, and new playground equipment.

Lower Level Ferry Boarding 
If there’s one thing Staten Islanders could use, it’s a quicker commute to work. Mayor De Blasio & Borough President Oddo recently announced that lower level boarding will be restored to the Staten Island Ferry. Beginning in September, passengers will start boarding on the lower levels at both terminals. Additional security will be added at the lower level entrances. This change will lower level boarding will improve passenger flow and alleviate some of the challenges commuters face.

“This is a small, but important victory for Staten Island ferry riders,” said BP Oddo, who championed for the change. “The ferry is not an amenity, it’s a necessity. Any way we can improve that service is key, especially with the four million tourists that will be riding the ferry next year. I explained the everyday challenges of Staten Islanders to the Mayor, and he was receptive to it. When it comes to the Ferry, the Mayor is a strong ally.” The mayor agreed, adding “Staten Island has always had one of the longest commutes in the city. More and more there is a crowding issue getting onto the Ferry. It’s our job to make it better.”

Neighborhood Policing
The NYPD is stepping up their efforts to keep Staten Island neighborhoods safer— namely those most affected by the devastating drug epidemic. BP Oddo & Mayor De Blasio visited the 123rd Precinct in Tottenville last month to announce the expansion of the NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing program to the precinct. Neighborhood policing is already underway in the borough’s 120th and 122nd precincts.

“This is part of how we keep people safer. We believe neighborhood policing will bring our community and police closer. Officers bond with community leaders and everyday people. It gets them information that helps them stop crime,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“Staten Islanders want to know their police officers,” noted BP Oddo. “This is an opportunity for them to get to know each other. Police will make even better decisions by knowing the lay of the land and their neighbors. As we know, the epicenter of our opioid crisis is on the South Shore, so making the 123 a Neighborhood Policing Command makes all the sense in the world.”

Students Lend a Helping “Ham”
Staten Island Students prom P.S. 48 and P.S. 11 learned a lesson in giving this past Easter, when they helped donate a whopping 1,000 Easter hams to those in need at a local supermarket just before the holiday. Stop & Shop donated the hams to the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation to be distributed to Staten Island families. The students were joined by Deputy Borough President Ed Burke and Teddy Atlas, Chairman of the Atlas Foundation.

“Holidays are great, but they’re not so great for families in need. Because of our BP and Stop & Shop, those families won’t be left out this Easter,” said Atlas, Chairman of the Atlas Foundation.

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