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FHS Plants First Outdoor Classroom

All summer long, a collective of Farmingdale High School students have been getting down and dirty to construct a sustainable garden behind the school, which they are hope will serve as an outdoor classroom for students in the district. 


Lorie Sheinwald, a Farmingdale High School biology teacher and supervisor of the FHS Environmental Club, said that the club provides students with a new learning experience—one which they would not get in a traditional classroom setting—while also making the school yard pretty before the buses roll in this September. 


“People need nature… some of us spend way too much time inside,” Sheinwald said. “We are learning while we’re doing.”

Working with her father, who is a landscaper with Millimar Landscaping, Sheinwald was able to teach the students the basic masonry skills needed to make cement. With an additional donation of bricks from the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, the club has been working to frame their garden beds. 


According to Sheinwald, the finished garden will serve as a place for students with an interest in horticulture and culinary arts as well as the high school’s core classes like English, Math and Science.


 “I love gardening,” said Jasmine Singh, a junior at Farmingdale High School who has been working to help spread awareness of the club’s efforts. 


Singh serves as co-president of the environmental club and has spearheaded a webpage for the group to try and elicit donations through the crowdsourcing website. So far, Singh and the Environmental club have raised $180 online, as of press time. 


Several of the students participating first learned of the club’s efforts after competing in the Long Island Environthon, an annual competition pitting students from different school districts all across

Long Island against one another in a series of written exams and outdoor challenges in aquatics, forestry, soil and wildlife.  


Julia Piraino, who will be entering her senior year this fall, said she first joined the club after competing against other high schools. 


“We took our competition knowledge and put it to a more practical use,” Piraino said.  


According to Piraino, the club provides students with a venue to put their problem solving skills to use in real-time and has taught them the basic masonry skills necessary to construct a sustainable garden. 


With some added assistance from the high school’s Go Green Club and the National Honor Society, the students have constructed four garden beds already and plan to continue to work on more throughout the summer. 


Though the club does serve as a school activity, members of the Environmental Club welcome anyone in the community willing to get their hands a little dirty, to come and lend a hand with the construction of the high school’s first ever outdoor classroom. 


The Farmingdale High School Environmental club meets behind the school, across from the tennis courts near the intersection of Intervale Ave. and Grand St., every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. For more on the club’s efforts visit, or to make a donation visit 


Farmingdale village officials will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 1, to reexamine school speed zones throughout the village, in order to establish a consistent school speed zone limit. 

Holidays Increase Daily Congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 


“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


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