Compassion as a wildly important goal

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In addition to the students’ monthly focus on specific leadership principles and core values, Winthrop Avenue’s Staff Star Polisher Team has been working with the student body to develop compassion as a wildly important goal, or WIG. 

Principal Sally Curto explained that each class was assigned an open-ended opportunity or project to demonstrate compassion, which is “empathy in action.” The Winning Star students have been tracking their projects on the school bulletin board as an example of a WIG. 

Carolyn Buckley’s fourth grade class practiced Thankful Thursdays in which students have been writing letters to one person in their lives who has inspired them. Not only does this project exude a sense of kindness and compassion, the students encouraged the recipients of their letters to, in turn, write to someone who has also touched them in a positive way. 

In conjunction with their recent presentation of “Peter Pan,” Stacey Reiner’s and Anne Craine’s third grade combined classes sponsored a food drive in conjunction with family performances of the play in March. Instead of collecting an admission ticket, the students asked the audience to donate a canned good for the price of admission. Through teamwork and synergy, the class collected 100 cans of food to be donated to the Bellmore-Merrick Community Cupboard, which serves more than 40 community families who depend on its services to keep food on the table. 

Deirdre Golden’s and Gina Foppiano’s fourth grade classes worked together to conserve beaches and wildlife. Working with the Town of Hempstead’s Conservation and Waterways  Department, the students posted signs asking visitors to clean up trash, keep dogs and people from disturbing piping plover nests and to recycle trash at Point Lookout Beach. The students received a citation from Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura A. Gillen and visited the piping plover and oyster catcher nests. They also learned to use scientific equipment to assist them in making and recording observations on the beach’s wildlife. 

Avery Breakstone’s and Deana Genovesi’s third grade classes talked about making others feel good and creating more beauty in the world. On Earth Day, the students made seed bursts, a ball of dissolvable clay, seeds and soil. Each student presented the seed bursts to a special person. After the seed burst was tossed in the dirt, flowers eventually bloomed after dissolving in the rain, making the world a more beautiful place.   

Deanna Genovesi’s and Kristin O’Connor’s third grade classes also collaborated on making birthday boxes for Hope for Youth. The boxes contained handcrafted cards, tablecloths, a decorative banner, cake mix and icing for children to have a birthday celebration, who could not otherwise afford to hope a celebration.