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Becoming One with Nature

Becoming One with Nature

Without having to book an international plane ticket, sixth and seventh grade students from Ronkonkoma Middle School recently interacted and learned about a handful of exotic animals, courtesy of Nature Nick of Nature Nick’s Animal Adventures.

For his presentation, Nature Nick brought along a number of animals to showcase including “Bananas” the toucan, “Bubbles” the African Barbary falcon, “Meatloaf” the Flemish giant rabbit, “King Arthur” the Western crowned pigeon, along with “Fabio” the Chilean flamingo. 

In addition to offering rich descriptions detailing the animals’ native land, diet and life cycles, Nature Nick also allowed a handful of volunteers to hold the animals for a few moments, which they clearly enjoyed. 

Supporting the Ride for Life

Supporting the Ride for Life photo

Hundreds of administrators, staff and students from Ronkonkoma Middle School recently lined Peconic Street in Ronkonkoma to show overwhelming support for Chris Pendergast and the ALS Ride for Life participants as they honorably paraded throughout the community.

Under the direction of school guidance counselor Tara Sullivan, who organized the event, the group made their way along the front of the school building as spectators cheered. Students were kind enough to create banners and posters which featured words of encouragement. Bohemia resident Paul Weisman, who also battles ALS on a daily basis, was among the individuals who also walked alongside Mr. Pendergast. 

ALS Ride for life was founded in 1997 by Chris Pendergast and his supporters. Each May, during ALS Awareness Month, those diagnosed with ALS ride their power wheelchairs across Long Island all the way to Manhattan in order to raise awareness of the disease, which currently has no cure. 

Powerful Poetry

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Despite only being a sixth grade student at Ronkonkoma Middle School, Cristian Martinez has already garnered an impressive number of accolades due to his profound work in the world of poetry.

Most recently, Cristian was awarded the title of Grand Champion at the Walt Whitman Student Poetry Contest of 2019 for his poem a “A Glimpse of Tomorrow” out of a total of 2,500 other entries. Due to his successes, his poem will be published in the anthology, “Whitman’s Apprentice Anthology.”

He will also be published in the “Poets to Come Anthology” for his original work “Unanswered Questions,” along with two poems in the “Leaves for Me Anthology” for his other works “The Glory” and “My Mentor Robert,” and the Suffolk County Poetry Review for his poem, “Winter.”

In addition to his multiple publications, he won first place for his poem, “Clouds Have Secrets” in the Princess Ronkonkoma 2019 Poetry Contest.

Cristian was also a featured poet at his first poetry reading which was held at the Barnes & Noble in Lake Grove in April. He shared that this experience was amazing because he was able to read several poems on different themes that he is concerned about.


Celebrating St. Joseph’s Day

On March 19, Italian language students enrolled in Loredana Costa’s classes at Ronkonkoma Middle School recognized aspects of traditional Italian culture during a St. Joseph’s Day-themed celebration.

 “We had the chance to celebrate this very special Italian holiday, similar to how the Irish celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th,” said Ms. Costa. “We had fun in class and I talked to the students about how special this holiday is, not only in Italy, but around the world as well. As they enjoyed their special holiday pastries of Sfingi and cannolis, they also watched a video of the San Giuseppe procession in my hometown of Alcamo, Sicily.”

Individuals named Joseph or Josephine are traditionally presented with special pastries in honor of the holiday, which are generally available in the month of March.  Those lucky individuals usually share their ‘St. Joseph’s Pastries’ filled with cannoli cream, or custard, with loving family and friends.