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They’re Charity Champions

MSG Varsity, Optimum donate funds to school’s charitable activities 

A group of aspiring students from Floral Park Memorial High School (FPMHS) recently received accolades not only from Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy but also cash from the MSG Varsity/Optimum Power to Learn initiative. 

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the students were heralded during the Junior/Senior Challenge at the school for their participation in Charity Champions, a Cablevision-sponsored competition that promotes volunteerism and encourages area high schools to raise funds for a charity of their choice. 

Under the direction of student advisor Christina Blanc, who teaches seventh grade social studies, AP World History and AP European History at FPMHS, the students focused their efforts on “buildOn,” a not-for-profit organization that provides rural communities in developing nations across the globe with access to education, with a focus on gender equality. The school was awarded $1,000 to be donated to buildOn and also received $500 in “seed” money to support and implement the students’ fundraising events for buildOn.

Last summer, 16 students and four faculty members, including Blanc, spent a week in Wale, Nicaragua, where they lived with and worked beside the villagers to help construct a school. It was a humbling experience for both students and faculty, as they spent several hours each day mixing cement, tying rebar and digging the foundation with hand tools, and spent their nights with their host families in homes with mud floors. The school’s buildOn club is planning to embark on a similar trip this summer.

“The students here today are clearly focused on building a school in Nicaragua so that the young people there can also receive an education and look forward to a better future,” Tweedy said. “I commend them for their commitment and enthusiasm. I’d also like to thank MSG Varsity and Optimum’s Power to Learn for its Charity Champions program.”

Founded in 1998, Power to Learn, Cablevision’s nationally recognized education initiative, empowers K-12 learning in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado by making technology in the classroom useful and by facilitating the home-school connection, according to the company’s website. High schools can apply for participation in the Charity Champions competition, which is designed to help participants demonstrate school spirit, creativity and community service by planning, organizing and orchestrating an event or series of events to raise funds for their designated charity.

News

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say Sewanhaka High School will receive a camera on Covert Avenue, which spans the eastern stretch of the property. Tulip Avenue runs in front of the high school and was also considered. Cameras could begin operation in September.

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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