October Community & School News

Important School Dates
Monday, October 12 – Columbus Day (schools closed)
October 7 – TACHS Paper Registration Deadline
October 18 – TACHS Phone/Online Registration Deadline

Halloween Candy Buy Back 
Trick-or-treating is fun, but cavities are definitely not. That’s why you should encourage your kids to give some of their candy away this year– for a good cause, of course. Several Staten Island dentists are “buying back” candy from generous youngsters by way of cash, coupons, and other creative currencies. The collected candy will be distributed to military support groups like Operation Gratitude. The following local dentists are participating in this year’s Candy Buy Back:

Kids Dental • 4864 Arthur Kill Road • 718-356-543
Phyllis G. Merlino • 268 Todt Hill Road • 718-761-2090
Dr. Michael D’Anna • 115 Seguine Ave • 718-948-4384

Red Ribbon Week
With some of the highest drug abuse rates in the country, Staten Islanders have a very good reason to support Red Ribbon Week. According to redribbon.org, children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. The Red Ribbon campaign hopes to change that statistic. The organization, whose goal is to educate youth on drug prevention and spread awareness of drug-related crimes, holds will hold their annual Red Ribbon Week October 23-31. This year’s theme is “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” Click here to link to more information and to learn how you can take the Red Ribbon Pledge to be part of a drug free America.

Reading Volunteers Needed
Are you looking for a fulfilling volunteer opportunity? Staten Island Mental Health Society is once again recruiting School Reading Volunteers. The program, which is entering its 56th year, assigns elementary school kids to volunteers to help them learn how to read. Free training will be held at SIMHS headquarters, 669 Castleton Avenue, Building A in West Brighton, on Tuesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 8 from 9:30 to 11:30am.

Volunteers will be trained in a variety of interactive techniques, including reading together, telling stories, playing educational games, solving puzzles, discussing books of special interest, and writing prose and poetry, to help children learn to read and enjoy books. Interested in volunteering? Call Maryann Striffolino or Joan Gerstel at 718-442-2225.

A “Phantom” Fundraiser 
The world’s longest-starring “Phantom of the Opera,” Franc D’Ambrosio, will be performing at a Dinner-Show Fundraiser for the Elizabeth W. Pouch Center for Special People, on Wednesday, October 21 at the Hilton Garden Inn. The fundraiser will benefit children with developmental, intellectual, and neurological challenges who receive services from the Pouch Center, a division of the Staten Island Mental Health Society (SIMHS). The singer will perform his one-man show, “Songs from the Great White Way,” which includes selections from” “Phantom.”

An array of gifts, including theme baskets, artwork, home decor, gift certificates, and lottery tickets will be on display for the evening’s Basket Auction and raffle tickets will also be sold and drawn at the event. Tickets to the Pouch Center Dinner-Show fundraiser are $70 per person. For information and reservations, contact SIMHS Director of Volunteer Services Maryann Striffolino at 442-2225.

Congratulations to St. Joseph Hill Academy, winners of Borough President Oddo’s recent anti-litter PSA contest! Their video, “All Ages, All Stages, Know Clean is Contagious” features park-goers from all age groups disposing of their trash the right way– in the garbage can. The contest is part of the BP’s ongoing crusade against Staten Island’s litter problem. You can link to St. Joseph Hill Academy’s winning video by clicking here.

SI Arts Grants Available
Do you have an idea for a creative art project? You can apply for a grant from Staten Island Arts to fund your work. There are several grants available to local artists, including the regrant Arts Bring Change Regrant which is intended for young artists in grades K-12. Several application seminars will be held at various locations in Staten Island and attendance is mandatory for first-time applicants. Click here for a list of seminar dates and to link to more information about this wonderful opportunity for Staten Island artists.

CSI Track Gets an Upgrade
Assemblyman Michael Cusick recently announced a $1 million grant for the College of Staten Island to make state of the art upgrades to their track and field facilities. These upgrades will enable the College to host intercollegiate events and field NCAA sanctioned men’s and women’s track and field teams. The upgrades include the replacement and resurfacing of the entire track and the addition of event facilities including shot put, discus, hammer throw, long jump, triple jump and high jump to be constructed within the grass oval on the inside of the track. There will also be an expansion of the bleacher seating to accommodate an additional 500 spectators.

Time to “Fall Back” 
The days are growing shorter and shorter, and we all need a little more sunlight to power through those sleepy early morning routines. Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour on Sunday, November 1, when Daylight Saving Time ends. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep! If you’re lucky enough to have kids you let you stay in bed, that is.

Santa Fail Pictures Wanted!
Have you ever taken your children to see Santa and the resulting pictures were less “ho ho ho” and more “no no no”? We want to see your epic Santa visit failures! Send us your kids’ most unhappy Santa pictures and we might publish them in our upcoming holiday issue of S.I. Parent. Please email all pictures to [email protected] with the subject line “Unhappy Santa Pic.”

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.

Support SI Green Charter School
Who doesn’t love Panera Bread? Stop by their Marsh Avenue location on October 13 between 4 and 8pm and a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will go to the Staten Island Green Charter School’s Junior Nets Basketball team. The team hopes to raise enough money to participate in the On Court Experience program with the Brooklyn Nets. And while you’re there, you can sign your child up for the school’s K-5 STEM program too. Patrons must present the official Panera Bread Fundraiser flyer to help the school, which can be downloaded here.

Staten Island Half Marathon
On your mark, get set, GO! The Staten Island Half Marathon is set for October 11 this year, just three weeks before the New York City Marathon. The race is part of the NYRR Five-Borough Series, which features a different marathon for each borough throughout the course of the year. The race will conclude at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

Are you looking to participate but lack the experience of marathon runners? You can sign up for the Staten Island 5K, which will be occurring at the same time as the half-marathon. Kids are welcome too! Kids 2-12 years old can race the bases of Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Kids races will take place from 10:45 to noon.

Choosing the right career path is no simple task. If your child is entering or already in college but struggling to choose a major or area of interest, there is a very helpful website that can assist him or her in making the best decision. Careerthesaurus.com offers a wealth of knowledge in the area of job searching and career selection. Users can take a career test, learn information about different careers they are suited for, and even find local jobs and internships.

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!