February 2017 Community & School News

Important School Dates
Mid-winter Recess – February 20-24
School Resumes after Break – February 27

Groundhog Day at the S.I. Zoo
How much more snow is in store for this winter? Staten Island Chuck, the Staten Island Zoo’s famous resident groundhog, will once again emerge from hibernation on Groundhog Day to make his seasonal prediction. According to tradition, if Chuck emerges from his burrow and fails to see his shadow then spring will arrive early. However, if he comes out and is frightened by his shadow, causing him to return to hibernation, then winter will persist for six additional weeks.

With Chuck’s impressive 80% accuracy rate, we hope he doesn’t see that shadow! Want to meet him? The Groundhog Day event at the zoo is free and open to the public, with doors opening at 7am on Groundhog Day (Thursday, February 2) and Chuck’s prediction at 7:30. This year’s ceremony will feature a special appearance from Patrick & The Rock-a-Silly Band.

National Wear Red Day
We know you’re planning to wear red on Valentine’s Day, but February 14 isn’t the only day to rock your red clothes. Friday, February 3 is National Wear Red Day, a day designated by the American Heart Association every year to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Heart disease affects more women than men and is sometimes called the “silent killer” because its symptoms often go unnoticed. Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, yet the disease is 80% preventable. Show your support for the cause by wearing red on February 3 and sharing your pictures on social medial using the hashtag #GoRed. You can also make a donation to the cause. Click here to learn more about National Wear Red Day.

The Fresh Air Fund
Every kid deserves the chance to breathe a little fresh air in the summer. That’s why the Fresh Air Fund was started over 140 years ago. The Fresh Air Fund gives New York City children in low-income communities the opportunity to enjoy a summer in the countryside entirely for free. Children who participate in the program live with a host family along the East Coast and Southern Canada or attending sleep-away camps in upstate New York. Registration is now open for the summer of 2017. Through the Friendly Towns Program, children on first-time visits, seven through 12 years old, enjoy a one-week experience with volunteer host families. Children re-invited to the same host families may visit through age 18. At sleep-away camps in Fishkill, New York, girls, ages eight through 12, and boys, ages 8 through 15, explore outdoor adventures.

Fresh Air child Shearjashub, age 16 from Staten Island, has been visiting his volunteer host family since he was 10 years old. He says, “My favorite activity when I went to New Hampshire was learning how to swim. I also really enjoyed building a treehouse with my host Dad, Barry. Every year, we go back and work on it together, because snow gets on the roof and makes the wood expand, so you have to replace it every year. I like spending time with Barry on our project. And my host family even came to my middle school graduation on Staten Island, which meant so much to me.” Click here for more information on the Fresh Air Fund.

CSI’s Teacher Nominated for LifeChanger Award
Congratulations to College of Staten Island High School Teacher Rosario Miano on his recent nomination for the annual Nation Life GroupChanger of the Year award. The honor recognizes teachers, administrators, and any school staff from K-12 making a positive impact on the lives of students while positively serving their local community. Mr. Miano is known for his charitable participation, having worked with organizations such as “Stomp the Monster” for breast cancer and “Staten Strong” which focused on rebuilding Staten Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Most recently, he took part in the New York City Marathon to provide support for JAR of Hope’s ongoing mission to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a foundation for which he serves as an ambassador.

Each year, The LifeChanger Awards receive hundreds of nominations from all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Miano, nominated by a student who wishes to remain anonymous, feels that having him for an English teacher senior year was a privilege. According to the nominator, Miano exudes wisdom and creativity and keeps each of his students engaged and having fun at all times. The winners of the 2016-2017 LifeChanger of the Year will be announced in the spring. Good luck to Mr. Miano!

New IDNYC Card Benefits 
Want to receive free memberships to local museums and discounts on entertainment and sporting events? Of course you do! New Yorkers who sign up for the IDNYC card are eligible for a slew of new benefits for 2017. The card is a free government identification card that is available to any and all residents of New York City, regardless of documentation, address, or history. Cardholders gain access to city buildings, services, and programs, and may use their IDNYC card as a library card as well.

Here in Staten Island, the participating cultural centers are the St. George Theatre and the Jacques Marchais Center for Tibetan Art. Head over the bridge to enjoy benefits at the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo, and more. Cardholders also enjoy discounts to Broadway shows, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the YMCA, NYC Parks Department Recreation Centers, Modells and more. Click here for the complete list of benefits. You can apply for the IDNYC card at 350 Marks Place (first floor), however, you must schedule your appointment in advance. Click here to learn how to apply.

SIUH Trauma Center Accolades
Staten Island University Hospital’s (SIUH) Trauma Center has recently become one of two trauma centers in New York City to receive dual verification as a Level I Adult and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). SIUH joins the list of impressive hospitals achieving verification from the ACS, which promotes the development of trauma centers that have the resources to provide care to all injured patients from pre-hospital, to hospital and through the rehabilitation process. With the recent addition of Richmond County’s only certified helipad, the SIUH Trauma Center is also capable of receiving patients by air, especially those who suffer medical emergencies that occur offshore or in New York Harbor.

“Our pediatric trauma center at SIUH provides the highest quality care for children sustaining injuries on Staten Island and in Brooklyn,” said Mitchell Price, the hospital’s director of pediatric trauma. “SIUH offers a full range of pediatric specialties to ensure that the tiniest patients receive comprehensive, trauma-related care and follow-up services inclusive of concussion treatment programs and injury prevention.”

Shovels Full of Help for Seniors
Where-To-Turn, a local not-for-profit relief organization, is once again teaming up student volunteers with local seniors to help those who need a hand shoveling out their homes after a snowstorm. Volunteers are appointed to the closest location available, where they remain assigned throughout the winter. Both seniors and students can sign up online. Click here to link to their website.

Winter Fun & More
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall — you can always count on Staten Island Parent to deliver tons of family fun! Head over to our Winter Page online for kid-friendly crafts, recipes, snow day fun, free days at local museums, Valentine’s Day fun, Super Bowl party ideas, February holiday facts, winter health and safety info and more! Click here to link to the page.

Staten Island Slimdown 
How is the “new year, new you” coming along? The Staten Island Slimdown kicked off last month, a free health and wellness program sponsored by Borough President Oddo. The Slimdown, now in its 7th year, encourages Staten Islanders to embrace healthy lifestyle practices such as exercise and healthy eating.

Participants in the program gain free access to exercise classes, coaching, meal plans and other health information. The participant with the most inspirational transformation will win a cash prize at the end of the year. “Surprise” fitness classes take place every Thursday night at a different location throughout the Island. Click here to register for the Slimdown or learn more.

Cops & Kids Sports
The Police Athletic League Cops and Kids Sports Programs lets officers bond with kids through a variety of sports, including basketball, flag football, baseball, volleyball and soccer. The PAL Cops & Kids Basketball for boys and girls ages 14-19 will take place in two locations in Staten Island starting this month: Thursdays at 6pm at I.S. 2 (beginning February 2) and Tuesdays at 6pm at McKee High School (beginning February 7). For more information, contact P.O. Marin at 646-373-0367. Click here to link to more information about the Police Athletic League.

That’s What Friends Are For
Fun family-friendly events, exclusive online giveaways, big savings from local merchants, and always up-to-date seasonal happenings are just a few great reasons to become a Family of Friends member! To start receiving the SI Parent weekly newsletter, just click here and fill out some basic info. It’s fast and easy. You can also sign up directly from our Facebook page by clicking on the “Sign Up” app button. We promise we won’t spam you; we’ll only send you the good stuff!