Written by Observer Staff, email@example.com Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:00
Members of the Adaptive Physical Education (APES) class at Alfred G. Berner Middle School just reached a milestone. They completed 13.1 or half of a 26.2 mile marathon without leaving the walls of the school gym. The 10 member class, comprised of students with either physical or cognitive challenges, have been participating since September in a virtual marathon offered through Achilles International, a non-profit organization devoted to enabling people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to instill personal achievement.
Achilles International plotted a route for the 26.2 mile marathon on a map of Massapequa. After stretching, physical education teachers Tom Fiorentine and Kerry Regan turn some music on and lead the students — with the assistance of aides — in running or walking laps around the gym for 10 minutes. The number of laps is recorded in each student’s folder and then converted to miles. Every week students can view the map and see how far they have gone through the route as it winds through familiar landmarks in their community. For every five miles that are logged, Achilles International awards the students with a certificate of achievement. When the students complete the marathon at the end of the school year, the organization awards them a medal, a T-shirt and a new pair of sneakers, reinforcing the goal achieved and a sense of accomplishment in the students. Fifteen other students are currently participating in the marathon in Brigit Canle’s class at Massapequa High School and three more in Brian Rath’s class at Fairfield Elementary School.
“The beauty of this program is that it can be easily adapted to the needs and abilities of the class,” Fiorentine said.
“We hope this program instills a passion for fitness and for being healthy and active,” Regan added. “Massapequa is the only school on Long Island that participates in the virtual marathon. This was a pilot program for us this year, but based on its success, we hope to bring it to all the schools next year and spread the word to other school districts.”
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal pannel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards. Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
Outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites High School graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:33
The iPad, the laptop, the smartphone; everyday instruments to many people all throughout the world, but to someone just being indoctrinated into the world of cutting-edge technology these tools might seem rather daunting. Unless there is a patient hand guiding the way.
Those guides were at the Massapequa Public Library’s Bar Harbour branch recently, where they offered a session of their ongoing Electronic Device Demonstration and Tutoring series, where community teenagers donate their time to turn tech-deficient adults into masters of the digital domain; free of charge and all within the span of one hour or less.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:47
One of Major League Soccer’s top front office executives has many fond memories of growing up in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Bill Manning, the President of Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake and the club’s field, Rio Tinto Stadium, played for the LIJSL Select Team from 1979 to ‘83 as well as the Massapequa Soccer Club from 1972 to ‘83.
Manning’s Massapequa teams had virtually the same players from Under-10 to Under-19, but kept changing their name depending on who their coach was. He played for the Massapequa Flying Dutchmen (coached by Kurt Knoblauch), the Massapequa Bugs (Dick Roche), the Massapequa Cosmos (Jerry Lyons) and the Massapequa Bulls (coached by his father, also named Bill Manning). The Bulls might have lost in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals to B/W Gottschee in overtime in 1983, but his teams won the LIJSL division championship in 1974, ‘76 and ‘79 plus the Long Island Cup in 1980 and ‘83.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:58
If the games were played on paper, Massapequa would’ve had no shot. The Chiefs faced a tall order last week playing Elmont, which boasted a 12-3 record and four premier scorers. They gave a tremendous effort, but ultimately had their season cut short, 69-62, despite Alex Cosenza leading the scoring with 29 points.
“I can’t ask for anything else from these guys,” said Head Coach Matt Voigt. “I am so proud of them. I applaud their efforts,”