October 2017 Community & School News

Important School Dates
October 3 – District 31 Town Hall Meeting with Schools Chancellor • P.S. 48, 6:30pm
October 9 – Columbus Day (Public and Catholic schools closed)
October 11 – Middle School District Fair • New Dorp High School, 5pm
October 14 & 15 – Borough High School Fair • Port Richmond High School, 11am-3pm
October 16 – TACHS Online & Telephone Registration Deadline

Free Lunch for Public Schools

Yes, you read that correctly. FREE! Public school lunch is now available to all New York City public school students in all grades entirely free of charge. The Free School Lunch for All program is federally funded, and will not affect the city’s budget. “We know that students cannot learn or thrive in school if they are hungry all day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Free school lunch will not only ensure that every kid in New York City has the fuel they need to succeed, but also further our goal of providing an excellent and equitable education for all students.”

Common Core No More?
Critics of Common Core rejoice: the widely opposed statewide learning curriculum is set to receive an overhaul after the Board of Regents officially adopted the Next Generation Learning Standards last month. The newly revised English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards are the result of over two years of collaborative work between educators and parents. It is slated for full implementation by 2020, in time for the Spring 2021 state tests for grades 3-8. Click here to learn more about the new learning curriculum.

Touch a Truck
It’s not often that a kid gets to climb inside the larger-than-life vehicles that wiz by on the road every day. This month, kids will have an opportunity to explore a real firetruck, school bus, tow truck, and other construction equipment at the Touch-A-Truck fundraiser. The low-cost event, hosted by the Staten Island Mental Health Society, will support local children with special needs. The event will be held, rain or shine, at the Vanderbilt parking lot in South Beach on October 8 from 11am to 3 pm. Visitors will be invited to touch and explore the trucks and meet the people who protect, build and serve the community. The $5 admission includes entertainment, face painting, crafts and other activities for kids.

All proceeds will benefit the diverse programs and services provided by the SIMHS for Staten Island children, teens, young adults (and their families) who are challenged with behavioral/emotional disorders, intellectual/learning disabilities, chemical addictions and other conditions — over 6,000 families on Staten Island. Go to simhs.org to purchase your tickets online or call 718-442-2225 for more info. Click here for more info.

Amazon Coming to Staten Island

Looking for a job? Amazon recently announced plans to open a fulfillment center on Staten Island’s West Shore. The facility will occupy 855,000 square feet of space and employ 2,250 people. According to Borough President Oddo, this will be the largest creator of jobs in Staten Island’s history. The facility is slated to open sometime in 2018.

2018 Middle School Directory & Other Public School Resources

Now that the 2017-1018 school year is in full swing, it’s time to prepare for what’s to come. The 2018 Middle School Directory is available for download and serves as a resource for fifth grade students who will be graduating elementary school at the end of this school year. In addition, the deadline to submit a request for Gifted and Talented testing is Monday, November 13 for students born between 2010 and 2013. For more information on Gifted and Talented Resources, middle school applications, as well as the high school admissions process and other important information from the Department of Education, bookmark our Public Schools page here.

Cancer Tamer
Here’s a scary fact: breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in our community.

When Dr. Charley Ferrer was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she was frustrated with the lack of information available. So she turned her frustration into awareness by starting the Cancer Tamer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and inspiration to women with breast cancer, leukemia, and other forms of the disease. The ultimate goal is to help women with cancer advocate for themselves and live healthier more fulfilling lives.

Dr. Charley’s desire to educate the community compelled her to produce a television talk show with co-host and segment producer, Debra Santulli-Barone, whom she met at a cancer support group. The Cancer Tamer TV Talk Show provides the community with insight on cancer awareness and prevention, cancer recurrence, dealing with emotions, creative nutrition, creative movement or exercise and more. During each show, Dr. Charley interviews a physician or holistic practitioner to address various avenues of healing and health. The hosts candidly discuss their experiences with breast cancer, leukemia and thyroid cancer, helping viewers find the courage and answers they seek to keep them going strong.

You can meet the Cancer Tamer hosts at the following local events this month, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
Rolling Thunder Oktoberfest on October 14
Fundraiser at Credo Beauty Salon in NYC on October 17
Breast Cancer: From Diagnosis to Surgery book signing at Barnes & Noble on October 21

You can also visit their website, www.CancerTamer.org, for more information about upcoming events, workshops or to schedule a speaking engagement at your organization, women’s group, or church. The Cancer Tamer Television Talk Show series currently airs on Community Television in Staten Island and Manhattan and soon will air in other boroughs. Shows can be viewed on YouTube and at www.CancerTamer.org.

Halloween Bargain Hunting for a Cause
Here’s an awesome way to save your money on this year’s costume and help a child with special needs at the same time. The Tottenville Thrift Shop, operated by the Staten Island Mental Health Society (SIMHS), is bursting at the seams with gently used Halloween costumes – from presidents to poltergeists – for children and adults. Bargain hunters will also find a bevy of Halloween decorations for the lawn or living room, tagged at the lowest discount prices. All proceeds of shop sales benefit the SIMHS’s wide range of mental health and related programs and services for kids with special needs. Last year, the Society assisted more than 5,000 Staten Island children and their families. The Tottenville Thrift Shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Call them at 718-984-7439.

Fall Fundraising Walks
Grab your sneakers and break a sweat in the name of charity. For a feel-good kind of workout, register for these events and help to raise money and awareness for an important cause. If you’re not able to attend (or honestly not a big fan of walking), you could easily make a donation instead. Every little bit helps! Here’s a list of local walks taking place this season. Go to siparent.com/fundraisers for more information on each walk and to link to registration forms.

Out of the Darkness Community Walk • Oct 1 at Clove Lakes Park
Walk for Dyslexia • Oct 1 at Wolfe’s Pond Park
JDRF One Walk • Oct 1 at the College of Staten Island
Light the Night Walk • Oct 7 at Midland Beach Promenade
Walk to End Alzheimer’s • Oct 14 at Clove Lakes Park
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer • Oct 15 at Midland Beach
Walk Now for Autism Speaks • Oct 22 at College of Staten Island
Bowling Against Breast Cancer • Oct 22 at Rab’s Country Lanes

Holiday Fairs
Is your school or organization hosting a holiday fair this season? The upcoming November and December issues of S.I. Parent will feature our annual list of local holiday fairs in Staten Island. The list will also be featured online at siparent.com. Please email the time, date, location and additional details of your holiday fair to [email protected], with the subject line “Holiday Fairs” to ensure your event is featured on our list. Don’t let your school miss out!

Fraud Alerts
In the aftermath of the Equifax breach, many people are searching for ways to secure their personal financial information. Although you don’t need to be a victim of identity theft to employ these tools, you can consider if adding a fraud alert or a credit freeze to your account is the best method for you. If you need more clarity on the difference between the two, log on to siparent.com/consumer_info for an explanation from the Federal Trade Commission, as well as some helpful links and the phone numbers for the three credit reporting organizations.

Staten Island Half Marathon
The Staten Island Half Marathon is set for Sunday, October 8 this year, just four weeks before the famous New York City Marathon. The race features fabulous views of New York Harbor and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and is suited for runners of all levels. It’s the final run of the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Five-Borough Series, which holds a different marathon for each borough throughout the course of the year: the United Airlines NYC Half, the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, the NYRR Queens 10K, the New Balance Bronx 10 Mile, and the NYRR Staten Island Half. Click here to learn more or register.

Festa Italiana at the Mount
They’re calling it the biggest Columbus Day celebration in Staten Italy – er, Island’s — history. Festa Italiana is a three-day Italian heritage festival that will include games and rides for kids, live music, delicious food and more. According to BP Oddo, the past success of Rome Through Richmond Town called for a larger venue. “We’re partnering with Mount Loretto to make this an even bigger festival that can accommodate many more people and activities,” he said. “We want more music, more culture, more education, more fun, and we intend to deliver on that front. This is a weekend for all of Staten Island to celebrate Italian-American culture and have fun.”

The festival will take place on Friday, October 6th from 5-11pm, Saturday, October 7th from 1-11pm, and Sunday, October 8th from 4-9pm. Admission will be $5 for adults. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Parking will be free.

Soccer Star Triplets
Talk about a triple threat! Congratulations are in order for impressive Manor Heights triplets Lindi, Lirim and Luan Gjonbala, who have all been selected to the Regional Pool of the Eastern New York Soccer Association. They’re three of just 77 Eastern New York Olympic Development Program players who have made the Regional Pool.

“The boys are remarkably talented,” commented their ODP coach, Jerome Vivona. “They work hard for 90 minutes and from box-to-box. They are great teammates and each of them in camp proved they belong in the Regional Pool.”

The boys have also been playing for the Cedar Stars Academy Gunners for the past four years, winning the Eastern New York Premier League (ENYPL) title in 2015 with Lirim playing as forward and his two brothers in the midfield. The team is now registered in the Staten Island Youth Soccer League (SIYSL).

“The triplets are great fun and they bring a whole lot of energy to the team and are very positive kids,” commented Cedar Stars coach George MacDonald. “Each have their own individual qualities but all are feisty. Lindi is very aggressive and pacy, Lirim is a great finisher and Luan is a great passer.”

Falling Back
In a digital world, you probably don’t need a reminder to set your clocks back. But you could use a little heads-up that your schedule is about to be thrown off for a while. It’s time to “fall back” into the shorter days and longer nights of autumn as we prepare to turn back the clocks early next month. Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Enjoy the extra hour of weekend sleep. Just kidding – you have kids!

Free Rides to Mammograms & Free Mammography Screenings
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BP Oddo has partnered with Uber to offer free transportation to and from breast cancer screening appointments during the entire month of October for any woman who needs a ride. This will make it easier for women to get to and from their necessary appointments, and provide no excuses for not getting screened. Those who want to participate in the program must call the Borough President’s office at (718) 816-2198 to receive a single use code that can be entered into the Uber app to claim their free ride to and from the appointment. Women must provide their name, contact information, and the date and location of their screening to be eligible.

Free mammography screening will also be available on October 3rd at three locations in Staten Island. Call 1-800-564-6868 to make your appointment in Charleston or New Dorp. Call 1-877-628-9090 to book your appointment in Port Richmond.

Staten Island Arts Wants Your Work! 
Staten Island Arts is offering public opportunities for local artists to share their work! You and your work could be among the artists featured in their beautiful gallery in 2018? They are interested in proposals that investigate and explore issues relevant to Staten Islanders and New York City. Especially encouraged are place-based projects that work with ideas of cultures and communities in an integrated and accessible way and that help communities become more livable, sustainable, and/or socially engaged. Proposals could focus on topics that nurture and heal communities; educate and inform us about ourselves, our history, and our world; build and improve community capacity or infrastructure; or inspire and mobilize individuals or groups. Please visit the website to read guidelines and to fill out the exhibit proposal form. Check out past exhibits/projects here. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed quarterly by the Staten Island Arts programming team. Quarterly deadlines are: November 1, February 1, May 1, and August 1. Any questions or concerns should be directed to gallery manager Tabitha Turchio at [email protected].

That’s What Friends Are For
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