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WISE Students Participate in SoMAS Marine Vessel Trip

WISE Students Pic 1
Pictured left to right, Chiara Scharpf, Eloise Kocay, Morgan Monte, Rebekah Ofori, Marvina Basilious, Megan Berja
The Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) invited the Bellport High School Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program students to participate in the SoMAS Marine Vessel trip. SoMas is conducting research to understand the way our marine, atmospheric, and terrestrial environments function; as well as the impact of human interactions with these systems.

Meeting at the Marine Science Research Center Building in South Hampton, students boarded the R/V Paumanok in the Shinnecock Bay, where work on projects such as the Shinnecock Bay Restoration is underway. The project uses science, outreach and partnerships to restore water quality and fisheries of the Shinnecock Bay in response to deteriorating environmental conditions. The R/V Paumanok contains several instruments to carry out marine research projects including trawl net, bottom grabs, plankton nets, water sampling bottles, and bottom dredge.

Students practiced using water sampling bottles and bottom grabs instruments, discovering how they're used to maintain the health of the Shinnecock Bay and the impact of various factors on various ecosystems. The students had an opportunity to feel the texture and smell the sulfur of the dredge they pulled up, while also learning about oxygen levels, temperature, and salinity of the various depths of the water and the implications of abnormal data levels.

While on the water, the students also were eager to observe seals and were guided to better understand how to identify true seals. They were excited to learn around shark tagging and the marine organisms they ingest. When the students disembarked the vessel, they discussed food choices they were going to make moving forward. Overall, it was a remarkable and enjoyable experience for all.

South Country to Host Special Olympics Sunday, May 7th

The District is proud to announce it will be hosting the Special Olympics Spring Games South on Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 8am to 2pm.  (Please note the change in date.  It was originally on our calendar for May 21st but will now be held on May 7th.)

Volunteers are needed to help with running of events, moving the athletes from place to place and other tasks.  If interested, please use the link below to sign up.  This is a great opportunity to showcase our school and community and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship  with other Special Olympics athletes and their families. 

 Please contact Athletic Director, Mr. Robert McIntyre at (631) 730-1597 with any questions.


Brookhaven Reading Role Model Project

Brookhaven Reading Role Model Project Photo 1
Brookhaven Reading Role Model Project Photo 2
Teachers at Brookhaven Elementary School have teamed up with "Book Fairies" to provide parents with some great fiction and non-fiction adult books. "Book Fairies" is a not-for-profit organization that collects reading material for people and districts in need throughout the New York metropolitan area. Their goal is to foster literacy and academic success.

The goal of the Reading Role Model project was to provide parents with books to keep in the hopes that they will serve as a great tool to model the importance of reading in each household. These books were available for pick up during our spring parent teacher conferences as well as other after school events.

Teachers have received some great feedback from parents regarding this project. Parents were excited to browse the books available and there was a great book buzz around the titles and authors that Book Fairies provided.

Brookhaven looks forward to continuing this with the support of the Book Fairies for future events such as Kindergarten Orientation and Dial Screening.

Learning from our History

Learning from our History Pic 1
The Burning Bush Family Foundation came to visit Brookhaven Elementary School for our first Annual Black History Month Program. Renee Joshua-Porter, the Executive Director and Producer of this Foundation, provided a wonderful assembly in recognition of Black History Month. The foundation provided a multicultural theatrical presentation entitled, "The Museum". This rich and interactive story followed a class on a field trip to a museum where 2 historical figures of African American descent came to life through song, dance, rap and prose. Throughout this journey, a teacher takes a group of disinterested students to a multimedia wax museum where the historical characters come to life to retell their stories. Performing Artists, Jamel Hudson (Sammy Davis Jr.) and Regine Williams (Eartha Kitt) displayed and portrayed these historic African Americans through a live dance and song performance.

Special thanks to Mrs. Nolde, second grade teacher, for assisting in providing our students with the opportunity to learn and enjoy the talents of American Africans who have contributed to our history!

Kreamer Street's Scientists for a Day

Kreamer Street's Scientists for a Day Photo
third grade students Ryan Fostvedt and Anderson Barbecho
The third grade students of Kreamer Street Elementary School participated in "Be a Scientist Day." The students had the amazing opportunity to participate in a hands-on, science enrichment program with a Long Island Science Center educator. The lesson focused on discovering the States of Matter and differentiating between solid, liquids and gases. The children made polymer "phlubber" to take home, made ice cream to taste, and started a crystal garden. A big "thank you" to the South Country Education Foundation for providing such an amazing opportunity for our students.

Center of Excellence Women's Self Defense Workshop

Center of Excellence Women's Self Defense Workshop Photo
Bellport High School's Center of Excellence Club presented its 2nd Annual Women's Self-Defense workshop in recognition of Women's History Month. Bellport HS Social Studies teacher, Mr. J. Scioli, was the guest instructor. Mr. Scioli is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt with 20 years of martial arts experience. The female student body was invited to learn techniques in situational awareness and disabling attackers. The experience was invaluable to the empowerment of our young women and the workshop will be hosted every year during Women's History Month.

Bellport Middle School Celebrates National Foreign Language Week

Each year, educators across the country observe National Foreign Language Week during the first week of March.  Over the years, the World Languages Department of Bellport Middle School has made National Foreign Language Week a highlight of our school life.  This year, the week-long celebration at the Middle School was particularly outstanding.  Each day had a different theme: Monday was “Hispanic Cultures Day”, Tuesday - “Italian Day”, Wednesday - “French Day”, Thursday - “Portuguese Day”, and Friday was “Multicultural Day”.  During homeroom, students introduced the morning announcements in Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese.  During their World Language class periods, students assembled each day in the auditorium for presentations and fun activities. 

Monday saw the debut of a BMS original documentary about global citizenship.  In the film, various BMS staff members shared their personal experiences about traveling abroad, and how those experiences helped shape their world perspective.  Mr. Di Puma, the creator of the film, said that he hopes the video will help increase student reflection on being global citizens, and that it will promote kindness and empathy throughout the Middle School.  After the film, students were invited to compete in a poster contest on the theme of global citizenship and what it personally means to be better global citizens.  

We are proud to report that our film has “gone viral” and has been shown to students in other schools outside of our district. 
The link to the video can be found here:

Varsity Baseball Preps for the 2017 Season

Bellport varsity baseball players prepare themselves at All-Pro Sports Academy for the 2017 season.
Bellport varsity baseball players prepare themselves at All-Pro Sports Academy for the 2017 season.

This past Monday, the World Baseball Classic was underway, with Israel playing South Korea. Not only that, but school-wise, the tryouts for spring sports — lacrosse, tennis, track and baseball — began.

Bellport Varsity Baseball for the 2017 season, looks to once again do damage, as they have dedicated time and preparation since the beginning of January to accomplish the same goals they’ve accomplished in the last few years. In the 2015 season, Bellport managed to net a 10-8 record sweeping rivals like West Babylon and Huntington, enough for them to reach playoffs. Unfortunately, they would fall to Sachem East 2-0. Last year in the 2016 season, Bellport finished with a 10-10 record. After beginning in a slump with a record of 2-5, Bellport managed to win eight of their last 13 games to reach playoffs, but once again things would not go their way, as they fell to Connetquot 8-5. 

This year they’re looking forward to reaching the playoffs and even more, bringing home that banner by winning League IV. They will try to accomplish that with seniors Michael Sangiamo, Michael Francomano and Ian Hampson, who have all had varsity experience with last year. They will also have Adam Colon (six-year varsity player, committed to Citadel), Matthew Mulligan (committed to SUNY Purchase) and Joseph Greco (committed to Sacred Heart University). They have the addition of Ryan Kane, Rafael Vargas, William Romano, Trevor Virno, Kareem Holloway and the likes of Ryan Baumann and Anthony Jacabacci, who will both be entering their third year as varsity baseball players. Lastly, the roster will include sophomores Justin Maler and Andrew Veit. “Hopefully, we’ll maintain the success over the past couple of years, which is making playoffs and hopefully come out with a banner,” said Greco, who will be entering his fourth year of Bellport varsity baseball. “We just have to keep grinding and we’ll be in a good position to accomplish those goals.” 

“I’m looking forward to getting back to right where we were — we have unfinished business,” said Jacabacci. Bellport will dispute in League IV with schools like Centereach, Deer Park, Huntington, North Babylon and West Islip. Teams like Centereach (4-16 in 2016), Deer Park (6-14) and Huntington (3-16) will look forward to bouncing back this year and reaching playoffs. On the other hand, teams like North Babylon (13-7 in 2016) and West Islip (17-3) will look forward to reaching playoffs and doing more damage. West Islip won the Class AA Long Island Championship this past year. For the players, they all have the same mentality, to win League IV and bring the banner home. “We want to win a championship for the first time in 51 years,” said Baumann. “We are determined to put another banner up on the wall; the team chemistry definitely stands out. This is a group of guys that are all really close on and off the field and really want to go out and compete with each other,” said Mulligan, who enters his second year as a varsity player. The first game for Bellport will be at home on March 27 against North Babylon.

By Andres Rivas, reprinted courtesy of Long Island Advance 3/9/2017 


Principal Puckers Up for Hog & Haircut Reading Challenge


Pigs Bert and Ernie, from the Holtsville Ecology Center, made a special trip to Verne W. Critz Elementary School to have Principal Brian Ginty give them a kiss in the “Hog and Haircut Reading Challenge”.

Mr. Ginty challenged his students, consisting of Kindergarten through 3rd grade, to read 10,000 books. He promised he would cut his shoulder length hair and kiss a pig if they met this goal.  After only 5 months, the students met the challenge by reading well over 10,000 books!

To the delight of his students, Mr. Ginty held a special assembly on Monday, March 6th,  where a teacher from each grade level whose class read the most books, cut a piece of his hair.  Afterwards, Mr. Ginty’s personal hairdresser came by to finish it off with a “high and tight” haircut!   True to his word, he then puckered up to Bert and Ernie, planting a kiss on each of them, amidst the cheers and laughter of all!  

Although the spotlight centered on Mr. Ginty, we can't forget the real stars in this story - the Verne Critz students, who worked hard to meet the challenge.  As much fun as it was, the end goal was to get students reading and indeed it did!   

Kreamer Street Celebrates Black History Month

Kreamer Street third grade students spent the month of February celebrating Black History Month. Students used the Virtual Reference Collection in library to research some famous notable African American men and women and their accomplishments and legacies. Every morning, during the month of February, one student would share that research during the school announcements with the entire building teaching younger students all about their research. Way to go third graders!

Fifth Grade Student Soon-to-be Second Time Author


Christopher Ford may only be turning 11, but he is already an accomplished author with a big heart and a long list of goals.  “I want to be a whole lot of things,” he said. “First a football player … then eventually, president.”

After publishing his first children’s book at the end of third grade, “Mr. Mustache Goes to the Circus,” the now fifth-grader at Frank P. Long Intermediate School is developing his second book in the Mr. Mustache series. 

“It took me a few years to write,” he said.  “It’s about a young man named Mr. Mustache and he likes to explore … so when the circus came to town, he wanted to see it.” Mr. Mustache eventually joins the circus, but realizes he isn’t good at it, Ford stated as he held up his colorfully illustrated book. “Then he realized at the end that he just had to be himself, and that’s all that mattered.”

Ford's parents, Elisa and Jim Ford, were with their son from the beginning and encouraged him to bring his ideas of Mr. Mustache to life.  “He was writing on a big yellow pad and he had page after page … pictures, everything,” his mother said. “So that’s when I told my husband to start filing all of it online.” The father-and-son duo began researching publishers and were quickly picked up by Archway Publishing. Although Christopher drew the entire concept art himself, which was essentially a stick figure sporting an antenna, he decided to outsource the illustrator online.

The family is hoping to have his second book out by the end of this school year, so fans can read about Mr. Mustache’s growing family. “It’s about Mr. Mustache and how he is going to get a puppy … it’s going to be a schnauzer,” he disclosed. “He’s going to have a mustache, too.”
The books are available online only and in sparse stores across the U.S., but that doesn’t stop the soon-to-be middle school student from sharing it with his friends to read. 

On Feb. 28, Christopher will participate in the Parent University workshop at Kreamer Street Elementary School. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the young author will be signing copies of his book for families in attendance. Half of the proceeds for each book will go towards fighting illiteracy, a topic he finds concerning. “He donated books to the library and to his teachers,” said his mother.

The karate black belt and track-running, book-loving, football-playing Cub Scout and student tutor knows that being sincere is the first rule and will always hold the door open for a group of strangers. “You can teach manners and helping others,” she added, “But you can’t teach being genuine and you can’t teach integrity… you’re just born that way.”  “I think he’s a role model for other students,” said Regina Hunt, South Country School District Board of Education trustee. “He just wants to help other kids.”

Christopher thought long and hard when he came up with the concept for the Mr. Mustache franchise, by even including a “Where’s Waldo?” type of game within its pages. “He said, ‘I don’t want kids to be done when they’re finished reading it … I want them to want to read it again and again and again,’” explained his father.  “We have mustaches hidden on each page,” Christopher added. “We challenge you to find all of them.” 

“At Frank P. Long Intermediate School, he serves as an active member, contributing to the fabric of success within the school community,” said principal Stefanie Rucinski. “He is kind and caring to others and accepts everyone regardless of their differences. Chris is one of many who exemplifies excellence in the South Country Central School District.”

The young author’s success comes from the help of his parents and his own business-savvy mind. At 5 years old, he created his own branding trademark, CF Productions, which also holds the name of his personal website.  When asked for any insight, the 10-year-old mini-businessman said that anyone can write a book, and compared creating a literary work to a game of Othello — all one needs is a strategic plan. With a dozen book ideas, a published work and a sequel currently in production, Christopher is nothing but happy.

“Make sure you put your mind to it and put your ideas on paper first so you can work off of it,” he said. “It makes me feel like so proud of myself because it came from such a big dream to write a book.”

 (reprinted courtesy of Long Island Advance)


Wednesday, April 26, 2017