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Junior Volunteers Of The Year

Three outstanding students from Levittown and Island Trees middle schools were recently recognized by the Levittown Community Council (LCC) for their outstanding volunteer work.

 

Clare Del Gross, an 8th grader from Jonas E. Salk Middle School, was selected as the first place winner in the council’s annual contest.

DelGrosso , of Wantagh, is involved in the creation of games and activities at the annual Halloween Party for children with special needs, has made and sold wreaths during the holidays to raise money for a neighbor in need in the community; has created and placed Christmas wreaths for a pet cemetery in Wantagh; has collected donations to benefit an orphanage in Africa and has aided in food collection and service for soup kitchens in Roosevelt and Hempstead. She is also a peer tutor, a member of the Young Vincentians of St. Frances de Chantel and a Girl Scout. 

 

Also recognized were Christina Ragusa of Island Trees Memorial Middle School and Jennifer Daly of Wisdom Lane Middle School. 

Ragusa is actively involved with ITMMS Student Leader Corps where she has taken a leadership role in a multitude of events, projects and fundraisers that the organization has spearheaded as well as projects she has initiated. She was exceptionally involved in collecting, organizing, labeling and delivering donated supplies for and to Hurricane Sandy victims. 

 

Daly has devoted much of her free time to educating her peers and adults about autism, its effects on individuals, how to live positively with autism and serving as an ambassador and role model to others. She is a peer tutor and does home tutoring at no charge. She 

developed a school-wide program of activities to educate the Wisdom Lane constituency about autism; planned activities and sold puzzle pieces and bracelets to raise money for Autism Speaks, where she has been asked to serve on the youth council. 

 

Winners receive certificates from the council and cash awards from Astoria Federal Savings, Levittown VFW Post #9592 and the Elks Club. This year, Legislator Dennis Dunne Sr. presented the students with a certificate from the county legislature. School administrators, faculty, friends and family joined the students to celebrate at the council’s May meeting.

 

Nominations are sought from the district’s three middle schools based on contributions they make to the community which are above and beyond the usual. Criteria stipulate that they did not personally profit financially from their participation and that the specific work for which he or she is being recognized was not assigned as class work. 

 

School district staff selects one finalist. Winners are chosen by the board of directors of the Levittown Community Council. This year’s chairperson for the Junior Volunteer of the Year Award was 2nd Vice-President Tom Kohlman.


News

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com