Tags Posts tagged with "School"


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East Setauket “school on the hill,” the Setauket Union Free School was opened in 1911 and closed in 1951. Photo taken from the school field also shows the one-story first- and second-grade classrooms. Photo from Beverly Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

My daily experiences in the community around me in the 1940s and ‘50s was an extension of my experiences at school.

The first seven-and-a-half years I attended the Setauket Union Free School on the hill in East Setauket. We had lessons and studying, but most of that is a blur of unremembered activity in the classroom. The real school day consisted of relationships with many of the same people I would see outside the classroom setting. Brief, but wonderful, free times each day on the school playground, on the grassy areas around the school building and on the school field were times to talk and play with classmates and other kids.

We were outside winter and summer, even occasionally when it was raining and definitely when it was snowing. While we played, we joked and talked about teachers, about each other and many things that really didn’t matter, but they were shared experiences.

We knew a lot about each other without ever really spelling it out, and we had no idea how close we were to each other. We cared, we shared, we laughed and we occasionally cried, and we did it face to face every day.

Most of the kids around my age lived within a couple of miles of the school, and many lived within walking distance. I took the bus most days, especially when the weather was bad, driven by Jesse Eikov or one of his other bus drivers like Bill Owen or Gene Hutchinson.

Sometimes a few of us would walk the mile to school, but, since there was so much to do along the way, we were in danger of being late. In the first couple of years in school, explorations into the community and neighborhood around my home and between home and the school were done with my family.

By the time I was in third or fourth grade, it was mostly with schoolmates and friends around my age. We explored woods, fields, ponds, streams, wetlands, abandoned buildings and neighbors’ yards with abandon. We easily walked and biked a mile or two from home without any concern from our parents. Many of our schoolmates and friends had parents that worked in the local area.

Our schoolmates’ parents ran the East Setauket stores, and many of our teachers lived close by, often too close when we were not behaving the way we knew we should.

We never called each other on the phone; we just met on the street after school and on weekends. We were always at the post office in Setauket when the mail was delivered from the train around 6 p.m.

Everyone in the community picked up their mail between about 6 and 6:30 p.m. We hung around near the post office where the old men sat on the benches outside and smoked their pipes, not just waiting for the mail but catching up on the news of the day and the latest goings-on.     

There was never any reason for teachers to take us on field trips in the local area, even places like the firehouse.

We went there with our parents or classmates or friends. This does not seem to be the case today, at least not to the same extent. Children are not on their own after school as we were. My grandchildren, like many children today, have soccer, baseball, T-ball, dance, gymnastics, karate, music lessons and other activities that fill every day after school.

We might have had an organized sport or music lessons once a week and then Sunday school and church on Sunday, but that was it. Now, too often, it’s seven days a week for organized or group activities. We learned the joys of just playing. We made up games, played with balls, bats and sticks.

We rode our bikes around the area and skinned our knees racing around the macadam tennis court by the Neighborhood House. In the summer we found old, leaky rowboats and used them as pirate ships on the millpond. We walked the stream where it went through the woods behind houses along Main Street, caught frogs and played with turtles. We built forts wherever we could and had secret hiding places in the woods and along the stream.

We learned to protect and appreciate the areas that were our own places to play. We climbed the trees and looked into the birds’ nests and tried to put back young birds that had fallen to the ground, usually unsuccessfully. We picked up box turtles on the road and placed them in the woods.

We knew all of our neighbors and understood where we were welcomed and where we were not. Looking back on that time and place, I know how much it meant to me and how much it still means. Classmates who have moved away come back for reunions and say that there was no better place to grow up than right here.

Beverly Tyler is the Three Village Historical Society historian.

Brookhaven’s Youth Bureau is collecting school supplies. File photo

The start of school is right around the corner, and the Brookhaven Town Youth Bureau is making sure no student goes back empty-handed.

Through Aug. 24, the bureau is collecting back-to-school supplies at locations throughout the town, including Town Hall in Farmingville, the Highway Department in Coram, the Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai and all Astoria Bank branch locations.

Pens, calculators, backpacks, notebooks, lunch boxes, folders, glue and binders are among the items needed and that will be distributed to needy families. Last year, the bureau collected enough supplies to help more than 1,500 children, according to a press release from the town.

For more information or to find additional collection bin locations, visit www.brookhaven.org or call 631-451-8014.

File photo

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) and the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless are seeking the public’s help to provide more than 4,000 school supplies and backpacks to kids in need.

Drop off school supplies at Stern’s office at 1842 East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington, through August 10, anytime between Mondays and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Supplies sought include backpacks, crayons, pencils, binders, erasers, sharpeners, calculators, glue sticks, pens, colored pencils, highlighters, pocket folders, compasses, index cards, protractors, composition books and more.

For more information on how you can help, visit the coalition’s website here.

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Kings Park High School said goodbye to its 2015 graduating class on Thursday night as students flanked the football field in the company of flocks of excited family members.

The men were donned in red caps and gowns while their women counterparts sported white and they sat in alternating order, properly decorating the school field in Kingsmen colors before their final sendoff. Class valedictorian Zachary Marcone and salutatorian Justin Barish were two of several students to step up and deliver encouraging remarks before the students shook hands and grasped their high school diplomas.

“You must strike a balance in life,” said Marcone, who had his speech flown in via air drone to symbolize the possibilities the future holds. “Everything you do in life must be balanced.”

Principal Lino E. Bracco said 91 percent of Kings Park High School grads were off to college next year and wished the graduating class well before the two-hour ceremony concluded.

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By Rachel Siford

Smithtown High School West had their commencement ceremony on Wednesday, June 24 at 5 p.m. and this year was special because they were celebrating 100 years of Smithtown graduates.

There were 433 seniors graduating this year. Superintendent of Schools Dr. James J. Grossane delivered a speech, quoting from “All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” by Robert Fulghum, reminding students the importance of “holding hands and sticking together.”

Principle John Coady also said a few words, followed by Rebecca Cheng, the honorary speaker, who encouraged her fellow classmates to be the best they can be and to make a difference in the world. Co-class Presidents Cameron Daleo and Ian Lesnick concluded the speeches with a walk down memory lane, reminiscing on the good and bad times of getting through high school.

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Friends and families gathered at the Bulls football stadium to cheer on loved ones during the 100th commencement ceremony for Smithtown High School East on Wednesday, June 24.

In a ceremony that lasted a little over an hour, Smithtown East principal Edwin Thompson called on the words of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson — the president in the year of the school’s first graduation — to remind students that obstacles are there to be overcome. After addresses from the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction and two student speakers, nearly 500 students received their high school diplomas.