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Bellmore Star Arts Gallery Unveils Newest Artworks

Bellmore Star Arts Gallery Unveils Newest Artworks photo

The exemplary artwork of K-6 students was unveiled during the opening of the 2018 Bellmore Stars Art Gallery at the Winthrop Avenue administrative offices. On April 18, 40 pieces of artwork were exhibited in matching gold frames, donated by alumnus James Perna, and admired by faculty, families and peers. Under the guidance of teachers Michelle Block and Stephen Gorey, the students expressed themselves through the mediums of watercolor, marker, collage, tempera paint and more.

Mrs. Block said the purpose of the art show is “to infuse a love of the arts while showcasing students’ best works.” Exhibitors were selected based on effort, dedication and leadership in the arts.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek said the Bellmore Star Arts Gallery Exhibit is always an exciting event. “It is a celebration of leadership in the arts and the students’ hard work and artistic talents,” she said.

District Receives Prestigious Lighthouse Status

District Receives Prestigious Lighthouse Status photo
Bellmore Public Schools has been recognized as a Lighthouse School District by FranklinCovey’s Leader in Me – one of only two school districts nationwide to receive the distinction. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo noted the prestigious recognition is a result of the District’s development, training and consistent practice of its leadership principles and core values, which are incorporated into its now nationally recognized Bellmore Stars Character Development Program. 

Bellmore is the first school district in Nassau County, on Long Island and in New York State to receive this districtwide honor. Globally, there are 360 individual Lighthouse schools (313 schools in the United States and 47 schools worldwide). However, only two districts have the distinction of having all of their schools achieve Lighthouse status, with the other located in California. 

“Our entire community of learners, which includes our Board of Education, administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students, are immersed in and have modeled the principles embedded in our Bellmore Stars leadership initiative with the goal that every student ‘Leads and Learns,’” Dr. Famularo said.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek noted the District believes that a truly comprehensive education involves character formation and the development of good citizenship, as well as academic learning. She further explained that the Bellmore Stars Character Development Program is centered on universal leadership principles and shared core values, which represent the ideal traits the district considers essential in developing knowledge and life skills for responsible behavior. They are integrated into every aspect of the school community and its culture. 

“By integrating leadership principles and language in our schools, we have built a collaborative culture which empowers students to take on meaningful leadership roles and responsibilities on a daily basis,” Dr. Dacek stated.  

“This is a great honor for the district and a wonderful recognition for the entire Bellmore community, especially our Bellmore Stars students,” Dr. Famularo added. “Thank you for your continued support as we celebrate this accomplishment.”

Sixth-Grade Students Buzz with Spelling Talent

Sixth-Grade Students Buzz with Spelling Talent photo
Sixth-Grade Students Buzz with Spelling Talent photo 2
Kyle Kirshenbaum was the first-place winner in Shore Road School’s annual sixth-grade spelling bee, with Ariana Khan finishing second in the nail-biting competition.

Fourteen student spellers battled it out on the auditorium stage for the title of top speller, with teachers Carolyn Acevedo and Kelly Popielaski as moderators and teacher Laurie DiMaina, Regina Harten and Michelle Stein as judges. The competition was challenging when after 10 rounds and the misspelling of the word “acrylic” and “physician,” Kyle gave the correct spelling of the championship word “copyright.” 
Prior to the spelling bee, contests were held in individual classrooms, and the top two spellers from each class were invited to participate in the spelling bee on March 28. The district also congratulates participants Alex Ader, Andrea Bardhan, Max Broder, Dylan Kratenstein, Danny Molloy, Olivia Ragusa, Liliana Rogina, Jack Sarosy, James Smith, Elania Sylvester, Sophia Venero and Nick Yao. 

Shore Road Presents ‘Madagascar Jr.’

Shore Road Presents ‘Madagascar Jr.’ photo

Under the direction of Randi Andersen, Mallory Cogen and Laura Laude, the Shore Road Musical Theatre Production Club’s talented cast and crew drew a packed house during performances of the musical drama “Madagascar Jr.” After a preview matinee for Winthrop Avenue fourth-grade students, the club entertained audiences with their rendition of Kevin Del Aguila’s adventure about residents of the Central Park Zoo, who while escaping from their comfy surroundings, took a trip of a lifetime to Madagascar and learned valuable life lessons about appreciating home and the friendships they have come to value.

On stage, Chloe Boyle played the lead role of Marty (zebra) with Jack Messinger as Alex (lion), Hannah Levine as Gloria (hippo), Noelle McIntosh as Melman (giraffe) and Giovanni Scimeca as Mason (monkey). Comedic lines and actions were portrayed by a group of penguins and lemurs, as well as a cast of other talented actors as they sang popular music from the DreamWorks Animation motion picture including “I Like to Move It,” “Relax, Be Cool, Chill Out” and “Steak.”

The show’s success was also due to the artistic talents of set committee chairperson Liz Brillantino, costume committee chairpersons Alison Prainito and Lisa Warren and lighting director Glen Davis. 

Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month

Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo
Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo 2
Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo 3
Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo 4
In recognition of the National Association for Music Education’s 33rd observance of Music in Our Schools Month, Winthrop Avenue fourth-graders  entertained audiences with two daytime choral concert performances on March 16 under the baton of music teacher Maria Pisciotta and with choreography by Mallory Cogen. 

Principal Sally Curto thanked the community for their support of the district’s music program. “This concert is an opportunity to show the community how important music is to us at Winthrop Avenue,” she said. 

Student-musicians Brendan Chiu, Daniel Lin and Isabel Mazur warmed up the audiences with solo performances on piano. In addition to the presentation of interesting facts about Broadway’s most memorable musicals, students sang the Lion King’s “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” Anastasia’s “At the Beginning With You,” Aladdin’s “A Whole New World,” Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. The concert concluded with the singing of the “Winthrop Winning Stars Song.”

Harlem Wizards Player Touts Respect and Teamwork

Harlem Wizards Player Touts Respect and Teamwork photo
Harlem Wizards Player Touts Respect and Teamwork photo 2
A visit with Harlem Wizards player Jordan Southerland, better known as ‘Ice,” not only tested the potential basketball showmanship skills of students throughout the District, but demonstrated how teamwork and respect are essential components to becoming better individuals.

During the presentations, select students were invited to try their hands at Ice’s complicated moves and tricks that they can perfect at home or during physical education classes. He also harped on the importance of having respect for school learning and teachers who assist students in achieving their goals. Teamwork is also equally important in helping others to unlock their potential and to “become a ball of greatness,” Ice said.

VIDEO: Math & Movement


Reinhard students are employing a kinesthetic and multisensory approach to learning math facts through the Math & Movement program. 

Creating Toys of the Future

Creating Toys of the Future photo

Through research and much imagination and innovation, Shore Road sixth-grade students either improved upon toys currently on the market or created new toys during the class’s Toy of the Future Challenge.

Teacher Phinola Baeza explained that the idea came to her from the class’s attendance at a videoconference with The Toy Museum of New York, “Discover Your Inner Inventor,” which discussed toys of the past and the reasons behind their popularity and sustainability. During the resulting challenge, students were instructed to research toys, investigate the process of toy testing and then either build upon or enhance a toy currently being sold. They also had the option of creating a new toy of the future. 

Megan Einstein’s and Kathryn Gabberty’s Lifetime World Dolls included a chip to assists with the owner’s socialization skills as the owner ages. Alexa Gaspar, Sophie Goodman and Ally Yucht also created updated virtual reality glasses for on-the-go activities, why Alec Ader and Ava Goldsmith improved upon a paper airplane kit for their toy Paperflys. Isabel Blasi and Olivia Dina created Smarties, a stuffed animal with an embedded tablet for educational learning opportunities, while Ashley Felsberg and Kelsey Nichols created the Whizzle Ball. Like a boomerang, the Whizzle Ball returns to the player by way of a magnetic glove.

Ally Yucht explained that success of the toy depends on “keeping it advanced but not totally unrealistic.” 

In addition to the design, the students completed a booklet about the creation and design process and gave a presentation to peers about the toys’ price point, problems they met along the way and their plans for marketing the product.

Scientific Method is Explored and Applied

Scientific Method is Explored and Applied photo

The excitement in Shore Road School’s gymnasium was palpable as fifth-grade students shared their projects with peers and family during the annual science fair held on Feb. 27. Not only did the students apply the scientific method, they utilized English language arts, mathematics and art skills to design creative experiments on various types of interest.

Principal Patrice Matthews noted that preparation for the science fair also incorporated the district’s core values of teamwork and synergy as several of the students collaborated on their projects. “The science fair also ties into the ideals of inquiry-based learning and provides personal leadership opportunities for all of the participants,” she said.  “These are important skills for lifelong learning.”

In accordance with the scientific method, participants identified a problem, formulated a hypothesis and developed a method to facilitate their experiment. After the experiments were conducted, the students collected data to document their results, analyzed their findings and drew academically sound conclusions. 

Jumping Rope for a Good Cause

Jumping Rope for a Good cause photo
Reinhard students grasped the handles of colorful jump ropes during physical education classes throughout February. In attempting to break their own personal records for successful jump-roping, they also raised more than $16,044 for the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart Campaign. 

Principal Patricia Castine said she is extremely proud of the students, who displayed great leadership skills during the campaign. The students raised $4,000 more than last year, she noted. 

Jump Rope for Heart is a national education and fundraising event sponsored by the American Heart Association and Society of Health and Physical Educators, whose goal is to not only empower students to improve their own health, but to help other children with heart health issues.  

College Olympics Breeds Leadership and Healthy Competition

College Olympics Breeds Leadership and Healthy Competition photo

The roar of competition resonated throughout Shore Road’s hallways as sixth-grade students participated in the annual Sixth-Grade College Olympics. Dressed in college team colors and attire, the students battled it out on the gymnasium floor as they competed in various athletic challenges throughout the day.

Principal Patrice Matthews explained that the annual activity is one that allows students to truly use their leadership skills. Each team elects two team captains, who are responsible for choosing team members and making sure that each team is balanced and includes individuals of all levels. In addition, all preparation for the competition is done outside of classroom time.  
“It’s an activity that necessitates a great amount of leadership and teamwork skills,” Ms. Matthews indicated. 

Teams included the Penn State Nittany Lions, UCLA Bruins, Michigan Wolverines, Maryland Terrapins, Oregon Ducks, North Carolina Tar Heels and Syracuse Orangemen. Students played basketball, jumped rope, hit the floor for push-ups and sit-ups and came together for various team activities.

Teacher Brian Scott described the competition as one that “promotes camaraderie among the students, as well as sportsmanship and healthy competition,” values that fall in line with the district’s theme “Mind, Body and Heart.” 

Spreading Kindness Through Valentine’s Day Tune

Spreading Kindness Through Valentine’s Day Tune photo

The Reinhard Student Advisory Council spread love and song to residents of the Parkview Nursing Center in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Dressed in traditional colors of the season, the students performed several tunes, including “V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E,” “Love Somebody,” and “You are My Sunshine.” SAC members then handed out valentines to their new friends to celebrate the holiday.

As an extension of the district’s core values, music teacher Randi Andersen said she impressed upon the students the importance of giving, not just collections from the school, but of giving time to others. “We wanted the students to spread sunshine and to do a good deed for others,” she said. “Our Bellmore students are so young, but I believe this is a great time for them to learn this concept.”

Winthrop Avenue Hosts Health and Safety Week

Winthrop Avenue Hosts Health and Safety Week photo
Winthrop Avenue Hosts Health and Safety Week photo 2
A District premise is that proper exercise, nutrition and safety are paramount to a student’s ability to learn and are equally important to academics. This was evident in Winthrop Avenue’s Health and Safety Week when students took a closer look at ways to make their bodies healthy and strong.

The week of Feb. 12-16 commenced with a visit from dentist Dr. Matthew Siegel, who provided tips for keeping teeth strong and cavity-free. The school hosted a workshop on healthy eating habits and The Magic of Five a Day: Good Nutrition and Healthy Eating assembly where students learned about the power of food in conjunction to their health and their ability to learn. 

School social worker Christine Davison also held workshops on stress reduction, while students additionally learned about ways to be safe on the internet and off the school campus from Police Officer Monez. The week ended with a pedometer class challenge in which students were provided pedometers to wear. Their steps were added up at the end of the day and the class that accumulated the most steps was the winner.  
Wednesday, April 25, 2018