Local Schools Celebrate The Festive Season

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Members of Bethpage High School with Santa Claus (Photo courtesy of the Bethpage Union Free School District)

In honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday, members of Bethpage High School’s Marine Science Club and Italian Club recently hosted a fundraiser with Santa Claus at Bethpage High School. Community members from the Bethpage Union Free School District were invited to take pictures with Santa Claus which resulted in almost $400 being raised for Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Elementary students and staff from across the Bethpage Union Free School District are making a difference in the lives of others this holiday season.

Central Boulevard Student Council members received a visit from Santa Claus (top left) who collected their toy donations to give to children in need. (Photo courtesy of the Bethpage Union Free School District)

Members of Central Boulevard Elementary School’s student council organized a toy drive and pajama drive for those in need. Students in grades K-2 were asked to donate an unwrapped toy which was collected by the Bethpage Fire Department. Meanwhile, students in grades 3-5 were asked to donate new pajamas as part of the Scholastic Reading Club’s Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive. This annual drive supports the Pajama Program, a nonprofit organization that gives new pajamas and books to children in need. All donated pajamas are matched with a book which is donated by Scholastic.

At Charles Campagne Elementary School, members of the student government also organized a toy drive. The school community successfully donated almost 100 toys to the Bethpage Fire Department. These toys will be distributed to multiple local charities for children. Santa, traveling by firetruck, recently stopped by both Charles Campagne Elementary School and Central Boulevard Elementary School to collect the toy donations.

Families, staff and faculty members at Kramer Lane Elementary School also celebrated the season of giving by supporting Kramer Lane families in need. The school created a giving tree with ornaments containing anonymous information about a child to give back to. Participants bought a gift for the child on the ornament that they picked. These gifts will be gathered and given to Kramer Lane families in need to make their holiday brighter.

The district thanks all the generous students, staff and families who supported these charitable projects.

Erika Lemaire and Barbara Cataldi’s class were named the second grade winner for their hallway creation. (Photo courtesy of the Bethpage Union Free School District)

In celebration of the holiday season, Bethpage students and staff at Central Boulevard Elementary School participated in a friendly door decorating competition with the theme “Light Up the Hallways with Kindness.” Students and staff were challenged to decorate their classroom door/entry area in creative holiday or winter fashion while keeping with the theme of kindness.

Throughout the past few weeks, the entire school community was busy transforming the outside of their classrooms with signs, lights, student work and more. Together, they beautifully transformed Central Boulevard’s hallways into an exhibit of kindness and joy. On Dec. 20, four administrators from the Bethpage Union Free School District’s central administration team stopped by the building to serve as judges for the contest. This included Superintendent of Schools Dave Schneider, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Michael Spence, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Lisa Lucchesi and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Scott Harrington.

At the end of the day, Melissa Lullo’s class was crowned the schoolwide winner. Other winners included special area teachers Keri Kemmann (reading), Danielle Eschmann (reading) and Christine McGuire (resource room), and one class from each grade level was named the winner for their grade:

  • Kindergarten – Lindsay Giurici’s class
  • First Grade – Deborah Lange’s class
  • Second Grade – Erika Lemaire and Barbara Cataldi’s class
  • Third Grade – Melissa Sokolowski and Kate Wright’s class
  • Fourth Grade – Megan Rocco and Tara Kelly’s class
  • Fifth Grade – Melissa Seidita’s class

The winners received Amazon gift cards, generously donated by the school’s PTA. The friendly competition was a great success as it spread holiday cheer and kindness throughout the building.

Candy added color to students’ festive creations. (Photo courtesy of Levittown Public Schools)

It wasn’t a team of architects that created and decorated a delectable village made of gingerbread and icing – it was the Gardiners Avenue School kindergarten community.

Parents and loved ones gathered with their kindergartner on Dec. 15 and filled the cafeteria. Tables were set with every item the creative duos needed to craft their own festive abode, including gingerbread crackers, icing and plenty of candy and sweets. With milk cartons as the base, every gingerbread house was slowly built into a unique creation. Students were joyful to spend quality time with those close to them and welcome in the holiday season. Families then took the houses back home to be enjoyed after the school day.

Mrs. Sullivan’s class was proud to show off their creations. (Photo courtesy of Levittown Public Schools)

Students throughout Lee Road Elementary School in the Levittown School District welcomed in the holiday season with various celebrations inspired by holidays across the globe.

Second graders in Ms. Musante’s class used homemade passports to board a flight toward unfamiliar places. In travel scrapbooks, students pondered what kind of holiday celebrations they might find. They learned about cultural celebrations such as the Chinese New Year and compared the holiday traditions to their own. Additionally, fourth graders in Mrs. Sullivan’s class used their engineering skills to craft traps that would capture the gingerbread man. Students had a fun time using their imagination to create their holiday-themed contraptions.

Coats collected for the Wisdom Lane Middle School Builder’s Club Coats for Kids Drive (Photo courtesy of Levittown Public Schools)

The Wisdom Lane Middle School community in the Levittown School District coordinated multiple donation campaigns to help those in need during the holiday season.

The Wisdom Lane Builder’s Club, which carries out service projects for both the school and surrounding community, ran a student-led Coats for Kids Drive. Students reached out to their peers, teachers and staff to support the drive. More than six bags of coats were collected in support of New York State Assemblyman David McDonough’s coat drive. On Dec. 19, the students met with the assemblyman and showed their pride in supporting a good cause. Additionally, toys were collected in support of the John Theissen Children’s Foundation.

Lockhart Elementary School first graders checked out the penguin-themed door during their visit to the Massapequa High School Ames Campus (Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

Classroom and office doors were so wonderfully decorated at the Massapequa High School Ames Campus that it was worth sharing with others. On Dec. 20, first graders from the neighboring Lockhart Elementary School were invited to walk through the building and see the creative designs.

Each teacher was responsible for coming up with a theme for his or her classroom door, and could enlist their students to help decorate. Several departments also participated, such as pupil personnel services, which decorated its door with penguins in the snow. The themes were wide ranging. Some channeled holiday classics such as “The Grinch” and “The Nutcracker.” Many designs also put a holiday or winter spin on the different subject areas, like “Warm up with a good book” or “Tech the halls.” Christmas at the beach in the science hallway won first prize in schoolwide judging.

Students from the Career and Community Connections class at Ames led the first graders on a guided tour of the building to showcase the dozens of masterpieces. At the end, they gave their younger peers a gift, including a snowman ornament, a pencil and a bookmark. There was also a visit from Santa.

–Submitted by the Bethpage Union Free School District, Levittown Public Schools, and the Massapequa School District

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