STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Earlier this month, Staten Island Academy was presented with a $10,000 financial aid grant presented by Diane Senerchia, executive director at The Northfield Bank Foundation.
Senerchia visited the Todt Hill campus to meet with the Board of Trustees treasurer Frank Scarangello, who accepted the grant on behalf of Staten Island Academy. The Northfield Bank Foundation and Staten Island Academy have a long relationship of working together to benefit the needs of deserving students.
Last year, the Academy granted over $2.6 million in financial aid assistance to over 40% of its students.
The school said it remains committed to providing tuition assistance to ensure that its outstanding program is open to all qualified candidates, as well as creating a community that is as socio-economically diverse as it is ethnically, spiritually and racially diverse. It’s grateful to The Northfield Bank Foundation for their generous support and dedication to serve the broader Staten Island community.
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As the school year continues amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are looking to share special editions of the In Class education column, highlighting the positive, uplifting, inspiring, and fun activities that schools, teachers, and families are participating in during in-person or remote learning.
Do you have a story idea for the In Class education column? Email education reporter Annalise Knudson at email@example.com.
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APPLY FOR SCHOOL PRIZE
Applications are now open for the 2021 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence — which will award cash prizes totaling over $1 million to 18 of America’s best public high school skilled trades teachers and their programs.
Teachers can apply now through May 21, 2021 at hftforschoolsprize.org/.
The mission of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is to increase understanding, support of, and investment in skilled trades education in U.S. public high schools. The Prize for Teaching Excellence is its flagship program.
This is the fifth anniversary of the prize.
The prize recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the valuable work of teachers who inspire students to learn a trade that prepares them for life after graduation.
“We’re honored to shine a spotlight on excellent skilled trades teaching and learning in America’s public high schools and bring well-deserved attention to these amazing educators,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “In the five years since the prize was created, we have celebrated more than 70 prize-winning teachers from around the country and continue to collaborate with them to advance this important field of education.”
Three grand prize winners will receive $100,00 each with $70,000 going to the high school skilled trades program and $30,000 going directly to the teacher.
Fifteen additional prize winners will each win $50,000, with $35,000 going to the program and $15,000 going to the teacher.
Teachers whose school, district, or state policy prohibits the receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings are eligible to apply on behalf of their school’s skilled trades program, according to Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.
NEW VENTURES SPEAKS OUT ON SUICIDE PREVENTION
The New Ventures Charter School counseling team is speaking out on suicide prevention this school year. With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus, there has been an emphasis on the importance of physical health — but there is also a critical need for mental health awareness.
The school — part of the Integration Charter Schools (ICS) network in Bloomfield — pointed to recent studies that show the stress of isolation and social distancing has had significant impact on the rise of loneliness, anxiety, sadness, depression, and even suicidal ideation in kids and teens.
At New Ventures, a student caught the attention of a classmate after beginning to exhibit concerning behavior on social media. Sensing something may be wrong, the bystander student didn’t hesitate to reach out to the school’s counseling team for assistance.
Principal Ryan Melis has been directly involved in the case since the initial call from the bystander student. He said students are supported all hours of the day with every level of staff communication on a daily basis about their academic, social, and emotional standing.
“Understanding that all students learn differently and each of our Stingrays has a variety of needs beyond school, we pride ourselves knowing that we can be flexible when supporting our students’ goals in and beyond high school,” he said.
Diane DiSalvo, director of counseling at ICS, has over 30 years of experience working with youth and families as a licensed clinical social worker.
“Some signs to watch out for are expressions of wanting to harm or kill themselves either verbally or in writing,” she said, in response to the incident. ‘This might sound more passive like ‘I wish I was dead,’ ‘I don’t want to be here anymore,’ or they may even joke about it.”
Actions that may seem out of character, she added, might be another signal for help. She explained what some other warning signs may be.
“You may hear that the person is suddenly preoccupied with death or dying and is exhibiting reckless behavior that may put them in physical danger,” said DiSalvo. “There may be feelings of hopelessness or being trapped. Often they feel like a burden, expressing how everyone would be better off without them. Sometimes there is withdrawal from friends and family or a visible change in their personality. Saying goodbye or expressing suicidal thoughts on social media is something we are seeing more often in our youth.”
The social worker explained it could be difficult for those not struggling with mental health conditions to understand the events leading up to a suicide attempt. Without research, one may even attach stigmas to a person calling out for comfort. One of the key factors when dealing with someone who is suffering is empathy, DiSalvo said.
“Those considering suicide often feel overwhelmed with their problems and see no other solution other than killing themselves. It’s important for them to know that there are people out there who care and, with help and support, they will be able to feel better and solve their problems in another way,” she said.
DiSalvo said if you know someone who is exhibiting signs of serious depression or is considering suicide, it’s important to let them know you are concerned about them and immediately informing a parent, teacher, school counselor, or another trusted adult.
“Many people think that talking about suicide will cause suicide, when in fact, talking about it directly is what can actually save that person’s life,” she added.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention, and crisis resources for you and others.
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