Kids

Day camps will need to reimagine how they operate if they get the green light from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to open this summer. In addition to taking temperatures and implementing different cleaning practices, children’s activities may center around things such as arts and crafts where social distancing can be applied. Stock photo

Many parents, children and camp owners have the same question on their minds — will camps open in 2020?

Day camps will need to reimagine how they operate if they get the green light from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to open this summer. In addition to taking temperatures and implementing different cleaning practices, children’s activities may center around things such as arts and crafts where social distancing can be applied. Stock photo

While Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) made the call to close schools throughout the state for the rest of the academic year a couple of weeks ago, camp owners are still waiting for the green light to open. While they wait, many remain hopeful, preparing for what will be a new normal this year as more protocols are put in place regarding the number of participants in activities, cleaning processes and much more.

Tom Palamara, president of HPP Rinx Inc., and Matt Pagliari, camp director at Hauppauge-based Hidden Pond Day Camp at The Rinx, said the American Camp Association and the YMCAs of the United States jointly have provided educational resources that can be used by all day and overnight camps, as well as by health departments and parents. The guide, which they are following, provides advice on topics such as communication of practices, health screening and prevention, cleaning and disinfection and more.

While The Rinx offers hockey, ice skating, preschool all year round, it closed down March 16. They are optimistic about this summer and are already working on plans with the hopes of opening at the end of June.

“We’ve been very fortunate that we’re still getting enrollments, and less than a handful of requests for money back,” Pagliari said. “I think the parents are really looking forward to their kids going to camp and we know the kids are looking forward to it.” 

Todd Shaw, owner of Kids Country Day Camp, said the Mount Sinai facility is also preparing to offer camp at the end of June. He said many thought the governor would have announced camp information by now.

“So, that kind of threw us all a curveball,” Shaw said.

Yet, with knowing they will need to adjust practices for 2020, the staff has been getting ready for this summer.

“We’re planning each day as if we’ll have camp,” he said.

For the Mount Sinai camp, Shaw added parents’ reactions have been mixed. While some have already signed up, taking advantage of its early bird rate, others said they’ll take a break from camp this year.

Palamara and Pagliari said some of the key points they are addressing are arrivals, dismissals, lunchtime, use of the pool at the Hauppauge location, what to do on rainy days, sanitization and size of the groups. As far as the number of attendees, and campers in each group, they said that will come either from state or Suffolk County recommendations.

With a large piece of property, they said groups, whether with 10 or 25 campers, will not be a problem for them. They also added that the lunch area is large enough to follow social distancing protocols of 6 feet or more, and there are enough covered areas for rainy days.

“We work with 97 acres,” Pagliari said. “We have tons of room. We can have a spread out of arrivals, spread out our dismissal.”

At both camps, staff members and campers will have their temperature taken with touchless thermometers and be sent home if it’s elevated. Shaw said employees will also have their blood oxygen levels measured regularly to ensure no respiratory symptoms are present.

Both camps will clean and disinfect more often, including the use of disinfectant fog machines, which Shaw said get into every nook and cranny.

“We’re constantly evolving, and things we knew when we were planning a month ago we now know, okay, we can do more,” Shaw said. “We can add the safety protocol, we can add this level of sanitizing.”

Since Kids Country Day Camp is part of Kids of Mt. Sinai, a New York state licensed childcare facility and is deemed an essential business, the camp will be able to open for children up to 10 years old no matter what. In the past, the camp has needed a waiver to have 11 or 12 years old attend camp, which means those over 10 may not be able to take part if day camps aren’t allowed to open in 2020.

Shaw said employees are also looking at restructuring camp activities as some sports may not be able to be played, and more arts and crafts where campers can practice social distancing may take place or there may be more performances such as magic shows.

“We’ll be ready,” Shaw said. “We just don’t know — ready for what — yet.”

To be ready at the end of June, Hidden Pond Day Camp will be providing an online orientation for counselors. The guidelines will be a big help for counselors in handling different routines, Pagliari said.

“The kids’ safety is paramount to us, that’s going to come first,” the director said.

Shaw echoed the sentiments as he said his staff is always learning more and training has been enhanced.

“It’s important giving peace of mind — be safe and feel safe as well,” he said.

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Dear Engeman Theater patrons,

We hope you are all healthy and safe as this period of uncertainty continues. 

It’s been six weeks since Gov. Cuomo closed all non-essential businesses. We have been watching his daily updates, as well as the national news, to try and get some indication of when live theaters will be safely allowed to open again. While we have not been able to determine when that will be, the one thing we do know is that theaters, along with other large places of assembly, will be among the last businesses to be allowed to open.

 As a result of this reality, and with keeping people’s safety and health in mind, we have decided to remain closed through at least June 30. This means, unfortunately, that we will need to postpone “Sister Act” again, which we had tentatively moved to the May 14 through June 28 time slot.

This is merely a postponement.  Our plan is to reschedule “Sister Act” for later in the year so you will have an opportunity to see it once we are safely allowed to reopen.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. To be clear, there is nothing you need to do at this time.  We will reach out to you with updated schedule information once we know when we can reopen.

We look forward to seeing you back at the theater as soon as it is safe to do so.  We will continue to update you when we receive new information. Until then, please stay well.

Richard Dolce and Kevin O’Neill

John W. Engeman Theater Producers

Mills Pond Gallery. Photo by Heidi Sutton

Mills Pond Gallery takes heart that some communities across the country are beginning to see fewer cases of COVID-19, but we remain concerned about the well-being of our artists, staff, gallery visitors and families in our communities. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to postpone many of our planned gallery exhibitions. Visit our exhibition page for schedules www.millspondgallery.org.

We have posted our Summer Art Classes Program on our website, offering over 30 creative art classes for children ages 5 and up. Class sizes will be kept small to continue social distancing and strict cleaning and disinfecting procedures will continue throughout the summer.

We recognize this is a challenging time for artists, schools, teachers and communities. At the same time, we are encouraged as we see creativity flourishing everywhere as people quickly adjust to a changing reality.  It is certainly reassuring to see so many organizations and families do so much to ensure that arts, culture and creativity remain a part of our lives.

We believe the arts are indispensable in building good character in the citizens of our communities fostering communication, offering new insights on the world and adding to the greater appreciation of both life and society. We look forward to reopening soon, engaging you with the arts so you are able to See What the Arts Can Open Your Eyes To!

We look forward to brighter days, good health and healing for all!

Allison J. Cruz

Executive Director

Mills Pond Gallery

The seed starter kit, above, is a wonderful educational tool (plants in photo not included). Photo by Sam Benner

By Melissa Arnold

There’s nothing quite like spring in full bloom — the weather’s finally breaking, flowers are popping up everywhere, and it’s easy to get the kids outside for some fresh air and sunshine, even in the middle of a pandemic.

Unfortunately, most of the area’s most beloved spring locales are closed, their events canceled indefinitely until cases of COVID-19 have declined to safer levels. Without their usual income, many small businesses are struggling to pay the bills and must find creative new ways to keep the lights on.

Among them are Benner’s Farm in Setauket, well known in the community for its seasonal festivals and educational opportunities for both children and adults. With in-person field trips and large gatherings impossible, they’re trying to reinvent the wheel.

“Normally this time of year would have class after class coming in to see the farm and our new animals,” said owner Bob Benner. “We’ve had births of lambs, goat kids, chicks and bunnies, but no one can visit them — there are no workshops or Mommy and Me events, no birthday parties …. there’s literally nothing. So we’ve had to ask ourselves, ‘What can we do?’”

At Easter time, with 20,000 candy-filled eggs ready to go, Bob awoke in the middle of the night with an idea: What if they sold 50-egg boxes for families to have their own hunts at home? By the time the holiday arrived, they’d sold 100 boxes. Encouraged, the Benners sought to continue the momentum.

Next came an online store, with t-shirts and maple products for sale at www.bennersfarm.com, and a GoFundMe campaign which raised more than $6,000 to keep staff paid and animals fed.

Now they’ve created a “My First Garden Learning Kit” geared toward children containing everything you need to grow a dozen different flowers and plants. The kits include planters, potting soil, a template to sort and examine seeds, plant markers, and an instruction booklet with pictures and information about each plant at various stages of growth.

Both Bob and his wife Jean have spent decades working as teachers in addition to running the farm. Jean said that they work hard to approach every project with an educational focus, trying to see each aspect as a child would.

“We purposely chose seeds that are all different sizes and shapes, mature at different times, and are not too tiny so that kids can handle them,” she explained. “The seeds we’ve chosen are all meant to be interesting and recognizable. Marigold seeds look like tiny paintbrushes; calendula seeds resemble tiny worms.” 

The seed starter kits went on sale at the end of April. Within two days, they’d sold 70 kits and were ordering more boxes to fill. So far, so good. 

“It’s been successful especially because people are telling their friends and family. We’ve had orders come in from other places around the country, too,” said Jean.

The Benner family moved to Setauket from Northport in the late 1970s. Their eldest son, Ben, said that his earliest memories involved being dressed in overalls and driven to see the badly overgrown property. The area was first farmed in the 1750s, and the Benners revitalized it using books on homesteading as a guide. What was originally meant to be a hobby for Bob and Jean slowly evolved into something much more.

“This is our life here, and it’s so strange to see the farm empty,” Ben said. “We miss the energy of the kids, getting to see people every day, hosting our programs. This is all we want to do.”

While the Benners have no idea what the future holds or what events they’ll be able to host next, they know that the success of the farm rests in continuing local support and encouraging a love for nature in children.

“As a society, we’ve lost a certain amount of knowledge and appreciation for nature. Kids that grew up in previous generations would be out working in farms and gardens, and that doesn’t happen much around here anymore,” Ben said. “I think it’s such an important thing to learn about the process of how plants grow, and it’s a lot of fun to go out and pick your food, knowing where it comes from and knowing you did it yourself. We want to spark that interest in as many kids as possible.

Seeds included in the garden kit:

Calendulas

Sunflowers

Zinnias

Marigolds

Green squash (zucchini)

Purple bush beans

Peas

Corn

Beets

Swiss chard

Radishes

Tomatoes

Each kit costs $25. They can be picked up from Benner’s Farm at 56 Gnarled Hollow Road, Setauket. Call ahead to arrange an in-person, contactless pickup. Prepayments using a credit or debit card are preferred, but arrangements can be made for cash payment. Online orders placed at www.bennersfarm.com are $35 each and will be sent out within 24 hours. For the latest information about the farm, to make purchases or donations, call 631-689-8172 or visit their website.

 

Jessica Liao, a junior at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, garnered the top spot in the 2020 Model Bridge Building Contest, held virtually and broadcast online for the first time this year by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. 

Students from 17 Nassau and Suffolk County high schools designed and constructed a total of 190 model bridges intended to be simplified versions of real-world bridges. In this contest, efficiency is calculated from the bridge’s weight and the weight the bridge can hold before breaking or bending more than one inch. The higher the efficiency, the better the design and construction.

Student competitors typically bring their bridges to the Lab to be tested. But for this year’s competition, to help maintain social distance during the developing coronavirus pandemic, engineers at Brookhaven ran the tests and broadcast them to the students virtually.

Liao beat out the competition by building a bridge that weighed 17.25 grams and supported 59.44 pounds. Her bridge had an efficiency of 1562.98, the number of times its own weight the bridge held before breaking or bending more than one inch.

Aidan Wallace, a junior from Walt Whitman High School placed second with a bridge that weighed 17.54 grams, held 51.01 pounds, and had an efficiency of 1319.14.

Third place went to junior Michael Coppi from Ward Melville High School. Coppi’s bridge weighed 9.02 grams, held 25.01 pounds, and had an efficiency of 1271.77.

Sophia Borovikova, a senior from Northport High School won the aesthetic award for the best-looking bridge. Her bridge took 10th place in the contest, weighing 16.17 grams and holding 33.29 pounds for an efficiency of 933.83.

The construction and testing of model bridges promotes the study and application of principles of physics and engineering and helps students develop “hands-on” skills, explained Ken White, manager of Brookhaven Lab’s Office of Educational Programs. Students get a flavor of what it is like to be engineers, designing structures to a set of specifications and then seeing the bridges they build perform their function.

“These same skills are put to the test for the Lab’s engineers on projects like the National Synchrotron Light Source II and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, both world-class research tools that operate as DOE Office of Science user facilities for scientists from all across the world, and the upcoming Electron-Ion Collider,” said White. “Preparing the next generation of engineers to work on projects like these is important to the Lab and the Department of Energy.”

Brookhaven Lab’s Office of Educational Programs coordinated the Regional Model Bridge Building Contest. Now, the two top winners — Liao and Wallace — are eligible to enter the 2020 International Bridge Building Contest in May. For this year’s contest, contestants will mail their bridges to the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where university faculty and engineers will run the breakage tests and post the results online.

Prior to COVID-19-related school closures on Long Island, Gillian Winters, a science teacher from Smithtown High School East, conducted a bridge competition in her classroom to help students prepare for the contest at Brookhaven. She also built a bridge of her own to compete among students.

“My favorite part is to see the creativity the kids can come up with because they’re all very different,” Winters said. “Some of them have a pretty straightforward way of doing things, and some of them want to put a new twist on things. I love to see how they develop, and by the end, they really have learned a little bit about how to follow the instructions and what a specification really means.”

Borovikova said she plans to pursue civil and environmental engineering or mechanical engineering after graduation. “I really enjoyed the creative process — trying to figure out all of the different parts that are going to come together to form the bridge,” she said. “Designing the bridge was actually a pretty quick process for me because I like to try to imagine concepts right off the top of my head. Then actually letting the bridge come to fruition was really interesting for me, because I saw my design come to life.”

Wallace said he spent many hours creating his bridge and making sure it would qualify. “From this contest, I have learned more about hands-on building and the engineering of bridges,” he said. “I was happy with my results, but of course would have liked to place first!”

The award ceremony for the competition is currently pending, but the Lab hopes to hold it before the end of the academic year, according to Susan Frank, the competition coordinator and educator at the Lab’s Science Learning Center. For more information, please visit www.science.energy.gov.

The Long Island Museum (LIM) has recently partnered with the Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH) at Stony Brook University for a letter writing project. 

In conjunction with the Museum’s At Home With LIM projects, a series of online family art and history activities based on the museum’s collection, historic buildings and grounds, the Student/Veteran Pen Pal Project takes young people on a journey through the art and history of penmanship in the 19th century.

Long Island students from kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate and are asked to follow the instructions from the printable activity guide that can be downloaded from the museum’s website. 

The penmanship lesson teaches students how to write a letter, preferably in Spencerian script, to one of the veterans by using the greeting “Dear Veteran” and sharing with them what school is like today, and asking them what school had been like for them.

“In the 1800s there was no such thing as email, phones, or FaceTime. The main way people were able to communicate with others who didn’t live near them was to write letters,” said Lisa Unander, Director of Education at the LIM. 

“During these difficult times, the LIM believes in the power of the arts to unite us. The Student/Veteran Pen Pal Project allows for children to connect with veterans who are in need of connection and support while they are socially isolated because of the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

Once the letter is written, it can be either scanned or photographed and then sent to [email protected], and [email protected] The LISVH will then print out the letters and distribute them, and the veteran pen pal can respond to the student by a letter sent through email as well.

“The project is a wonderful collaboration between the registrants in the Adult Day Health Care program at the Veterans Home and local community school children,” said Jean Brand, Program Director of Adult Day Health Care at the LISVH. “The heartfelt letters are a fun educational bridge that celebrate the best of who we are as a community. During this time of social distancing the project creates relationships that inspire the human spirit.” 

The Student/Veteran Pen Pal Project is currently ongoing and the activity guide will remain on the Museum’s website as the LIM remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on this project or other At Home with LIM projects visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Dr. Michael H. Brisman, right, receives an award from Kevin Sanders, Center for Science, Teaching, & Learning, acknowledging NSPC’s sponsorship of the nation’s first competition for high school students to focus on STEM/health science.

Sponsors of the second Neurological Surgery, P.C. Health Science Competition, a program of the Center for Science Teaching & Learning, have extended the “virtual” event’s registration deadline to noon on Thursday, May 14, to allow as many Long Island high school students to register as possible. 

“The effect of the spread of COVID-19 on everyone who lives on Long Island can’t be understated,” said Michael H. Brisman, M.D., an attending neurosurgeon and chief executive officer of Neurological Surgery, P.C. 

“It has no precedent. However, my partners and I decided that at this difficult time a declaration of hope was needed to inspire the young people in our community to continue to look to the future and take an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. That’s why the second NSPC Health Science Competition will be held as planned, but conducted online to assure  the safety of participants, judges, and educators.”

Moreover, “To allow as many students to participate as possible we’ve changed the event’s registration deadline to Thursday, May 14, from April 30,” said Brisman. Nearly 300 high schools teams have already applied to compete.

A $25 non-refundable registration fee per team applies to all entries. The NSPC HSC is available exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk high school teams. Last year, the competition drew teams from 38 Long Island schools and 50 prize winners shared $80,000 in score-based awards. The 2019 program’s finals were held on the campus of LIU/Post in Greenvale. 

To compete, teams will create a Google site and upload: 1) Images of their poster board/digital poster board or a <20 slide PowerPoint presentation; 2) A 10 minute video in which team members can be seen explaining their project, and 3) All executed competition documents. 

Further information about how to construct a Google site and other application requirements are available online at www.cstl.org/nspc. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, May 27. Results to be announced and live streamed on Monday, June 15.

Student teams will be judged in one of five categories: Behavioral Sciences; Biology-Medicine/Health; Biology-Microbiology/Genetics; Health Related Biochemistry/Biophysics, and Bioengineering and Computational Biology. The five first place winners in last year’s competition were Feyi Rufai of Roslyn High School, Alessi Demir of Manhasset High School, Michael Lawes of Elmont Memorial High School, Jason Sitt of Lynbrook Senior High School, and Christopher Lu of John L. Miller Great Neck North High School. Each first place winner received a $5,500 prize. The exact breakdown of prizes can be found at www.cstl.org/nspc/hsc-prizes/.

“The young people who were part of the first competition were brilliant and inspiring. Their understanding of medicine and health-related subjects was impressive. These students are exactly the people we need to address the high demand for STEM, health science, and healthcare-related jobs here on Long Island and across the nation. The first NSPC Health Science Competition (HSC) exceeded our goals in terms of the number of schools and students who competed,” said Brisman. 

“I believe the 2020 ‘virtual’ competition will further motivate both those who participate and others, who observed these innovative young people, to pursue their interest and careers in healthcare and related sciences,” he added.

For more information about the NSPC Health Science Competition, complete competition rules, and deadlines, please visit www.cstl.org/nspc or call 516-764-0045.

Fourth place winner 'Check Mate' by Bridget Buckmaster

The Heckscher Museum in Huntington has announced the top prize winners for its 2020 Long Island’s Best: Young Artists show.

Now in its 24th year, Long Island’s Best is the only juried exhibition for Long Island high school students that provides the opportunity to exhibit in a museum. Students are encouraged to think outside the box as they work in a broad range of media, styles, and subjects.

This year there were more than 388 student submissions, representing 58 participating high schools. Jurors selected 100 as finalists. The following students were awarded the top four prizes. 

Best in Show: ‘Prismatic Bubble’ by Stephanie Lopez

Stephanie Lopez, an 11th grader at Hicksville High School, captured the Celebrate Achievement Best in Show for her acrylic painting titled “Prismatic Bubble.” 

Matthew Diesing, Grade 11, John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore won second place, the Judith Sposato Memorial Prize, for his oil pastel, “A Seat at the Table.”

Micarlys Ramirez, a senior at Brentwood High School, was awarded third place, The Hadley Prize, for her acrylic on canvas piece, “Ydelim in a Green Chair.”

Northport High School junior Bridget Buckmaster garnered Fourth Place, The Stan Brodsky Scholarship Award, for her digital photograph titled “Check Mate.” 

Bridget is the first to receive a Long Island’s Best Stan Brodsky Scholarship Award. Stan Brodsky (1924-2019) was a Long Island artist, teacher and friend to the Museum. Generous donations from members, friends, and former students, endowed the scholarship, to be given every year in memory of the artist.

The Firefly Artist Gallery, Northport, has also donated a new award for a deserving Long Island’s Best student. Voting for the Virtual Visitors Choice Award will be open on Heckscher.org beginning April 24. 

The Long Island’s Best experience begins with students visiting the Museum where they see and discuss works on view. Each student then chooses a work of art as an inspiration piece. They go on to create an original artwork and write an Artist’s Statement explaining their creative process.  

Jurors for the 2020 exhibition were Karli Wurzelbacher, Curator, The Heckscher Museum of Art; and guest juror Nancy Richner, Director (retired), Hofstra University Museum of Art. “[As a juror], I hoped to gain a sense of the high school artist’s curiosity and response to this challenge set before them,” said Richner. “I can’t imagine a better feeling of affirmation and support for students. Long Island’s Best fosters students’ sense of curiosity and daringness to engage and try – and everyone wins – students, community, the art world – and of course, the Museum!”

To see all 100 images and all of this year’s award winners, visit www.Heckscher.org.

Poseidon, Greek god of the sea/ Drawing by Vanderbilt artist Megan Gallipeau
Dave Bush. Photo by Ken Spencer

 

The Reichert Planetarium at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport is closed for now, but its astronomy educators, artists, and show producers are busy creating new programs to make it easy for parents and children to enjoy its offerings — at home.

“We are producing an array of virtual planetarium programs that we will begin posting on a YouTube channel called Reichert Planetarium’s Virtual Outreach. The first episode, titled How to Use a Telescope, is now live,” said director Dave Bush.

“Other projects will include a comic strip based on Konnie – our affectionately named planetarium star projector; a coloring book; crafts and projects targeted to family groups for home use; and educational materials for teachers to download and use with their at-home students,” he said.

Some programs will be posted on the museum’s website and on social media.

The planetarium’s Konica Minolta star projector was the inspiration for a character called “Konnie” to be featured in a comic strip that presents astronomy information in an entertaining way. 

“Konnie will become a comic strip and we’re considering turning the strips into coloring books,” said Bush.

When the planetarium reopens, visitors will see several fresh, original programs. Bush and his staff have created new program scripts for staff who operate the projector and star-ball systems through the command console in the rear of the planetarium’s William and Mollie Rogers Theater. The programs explore stars visible during the different seasons, and feature trips to the planets.

“The programs cover a wide range of subjects,” Bush explained, “including tours of habitable worlds, the history of space exploration, the solar system, the life cycle of stars, how far Earth is from the stars, and how astronomers measure that distance. Console operators are developing their own 20- and 45-minute star talks, with their personal choice of music, narration, imagery, and humor.”

Bush plans to produce virtual planetarium shows using the popular conferencing app Zoom. He is creating the shows remotely, away from the planetarium, using professional recording equipment and video-editing software.

The Reichert Planetarium staff is creating downloadable worksheets for children. “Our challenge is, what do we add to make sure kids stay interested and engaged?” Bush said. “We want to make pages that make sense visually, with fun information, games and characters.”

The team is also developing new mythology shows for both recorded and live presentations. The shows will be a series of short constellation stories from ancient civilizations around the world.

“We have talented artists on staff who can create the characters, scenery and panoramas that will be displayed on the domed projection screen of the planetarium,” Bush said. “We’ve tossed around the idea of turning Konnie into a time machine. We can imagine traveling through time in an imaginary spaceship. We can be magically transported to lands in ancient places like Greece, Rome and Stonehenge, as well as to original, imaginary landscapes. Whatever we want!”

While Bush and his colleagues produce new programs, they are also “touching up” existing educational programs for school groups. “Now we have the time to focus on what we need to do to enhance programming,” he said.

For more information, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org and select Virtual Learning.

Photo from HCDS

After more than two weeks spent at home as a result of the COVID-19 school closure, students at Harbor Country Day School in St. James continued to remain fully engaged — academically and socially — through the school’s ‘distance learning’ platform. 

Leveraging the online conferencing website Zoom, alongside Google’s ‘Classroom’ app, students have managed not only to continue learning, but also to come together in a unique and special way to recognize those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of their ‘distance learning’ co-curricular art instruction, teacher Amarilis Singh tasked students with the challenge of displaying gratitude and inspiring positivity through art. Leaning on Maya Angelou’s famous quote, Try to be the rainbow in someone’s cloud, which the kindergarten class had been studying prior to the school closure, and paired with a musical selection from a recent school concert, “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman, the students’ work was created into a slideshow.

Harbor Country Day School’s music teacher, Donna Siani, initially shared the slideshow with SUNY Stony Brook University’s Director of Community Relations, Joan Dickinson, to thank front line medical workers for their extraordinary efforts during the most unusual and frightening of times.

Still, the students recognize that there exist many others on the front lines and hope their message can be heard by all. To view and share this beautiful gesture from the students at Harbor Country, please visit https://vimeo.com/402577169.