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Feeling Grateful In Oyster Bay

Members of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School district are feeling full of gratitude these days. The inspiration to think, feel and act with more gratitude stems from last month’s Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA) meeting in which Jeffrey J. Froh, PsyD presented his research findings in the field of gratitude.

SEPTA President and special education teacher Kevin McCarthy says, “Dr. Froh’s presentation on his newest book, Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character, was a reaffirmation of how important being grateful as individuals can be. Dr. Froh was able to show, through his research, that the power of being grateful, and more importantly, teaching your children how to be grateful, can lead to a more positive, productive and fulfilling life. It was a wonderful topic that was well received by over 125 attendees. Our Special Education Parent Teacher Association was proud to present the program.”

Several attendees said the talk inspired them to make changes in their own lives. Parent Danielle Gangamella Taylor of Oyster Bay said, “it’s changed my life in so many ways. I made a point to make a gratitude visit after the talk. I think as parents we are always so hard on ourselves and I now think it’s important to take the time to appreciate our children and all the things we are doing well.”

School social worker Dr. Carole Brown said she shared the information from the talk with many of her students and had her leadership groups write a gratitude letter.  On a more personal note, she shared that after getting caught in a downpour and becoming completely drenched running from her car to her office she thought to herself, “I am so grateful I didn’t have to take the bus.”

Froh is an associate professor of psychology at Hofstra University and has been given a grant from The John Templeton Foundation to study gratitude in children and adolescents. His findings are astounding. He says, “Grateful teens are happier and more likely to give social and emotional support to others, are more satisfied with their lives, are physically healthier and tend to have higher GPAs.” Additionally, he says, “Gratitude and social integration create an upward spiral.” Because grateful teens are more likely to give social and emotional support to others, they tend to foster better relationships, therefore receiving more support and becoming more socially integrated.

Based on his research, Froh states, “Gratitude is accessible to anyone at anytime.”

Helping teens to become more grateful can be as simple as asking them to keep a gratitude journal. Students who kept gratitude journals saw an increase in happiness even months after stopping the writing.  

Lorraine Miller of Port Washington is the author of the journal From Gratitude to Bliss. She shared, “Gratitude is an essential ingredient for life success and the work that Jeff and his team are doing is vital to the health and happiness of our children.”

With young children, Froh recommends cultivating gratitude by encouraging them to share what was the best part of their day, foster an appreciation for nature and modeling, modeling, modeling. He says, “Empathy is the building block of gratitude,” therefore modeling empathy in the way that we treat others is imperative in raising grateful kids.

News

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 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
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