Accompsett Kindergartners Celebrate Being Unique

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This October, the kindergarten students at Accompsett Elementary School read “Spookley the Square Pumpkin.” The book recognizes and celebrates differences and emphasizes how each person is unique. After talking about the book’s message, the students each created their own pumpkin and shared what makes each of them special.

A Day in the Life

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Smithtown Central School District has created a video series titled “Day in the Life” to highlight some of the staff members around our district who are going above and beyond. This video features Donna LaGrega, chief custodian at Great Hollow Middle School.

West Senior Is Passionate About her Cause

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Admittedly, as a high school senior, she doesn’t have much time or money. But there’s one thing she definitely has: passion. Smithtown High School West senior Shannon Alptekin took that passion and created her own nonprofit organization to help those in need.

Shannon is the founder and executive director of International Innovative Solutions Project. I2SP’s mission is to utilize innovative technology to provide humanitarian aid to underprivileged communities that lack access to the resources required to provide essential health and human services. “I am passionate about healthcare, and I aspire to become a surgeon,” Shannon said. “So I took a look at the global water crisis, especially what is happening with the pandemic, and knew it was a mission that deeply impassioned me.”

Shannon did some research and learned about the impoverished villagers of Turkana County, Kenya. I2SP’s pilot project is to alleviate water scarcity through the deployment of a self-sustaining solar microgrid that will power an atmospheric water generator. The technology extracts water vapor from the ambient atmosphere and condenses it into clean drinking water. The microgrid will be installed on the grounds of the Turkana Basin Institute Turkwel Research Facility in Turkana County as part of their hub for innovation.

Turkana Basin Institute is one of the partners that will execute the project locally. SOSAED, an organization led by former director of Brookhaven National Laboratory Dr. Samuel Aronson, is another partner based in Turkana that will assist with the project.

The organization’s fundraising goal for the project is $200,000. Donations are being accepted through GoFundMe and the website, “By improving the villagers’ access to a safe source of drinking water, this project will be absolutely transformative,” Shannon said. “In fact, this project could be replicated in different penurious communities around the globe, making a profound impact in the mitigation of the global water crisis.”

While helping to aid in the village’s drinking water, the project will have even more benefits to the community. It would improve healthcare, education, economics and productivity. Shannon began this project at the end of 2019 and is focused on spreading the word about the organization’s mission. “I am still in the early stages of fundraising,” she said. “And I realize $200,000 seems like a lot of money. But if we can just get the word out, every dollar will help make a difference in meeting our goal.”

HSW Theatre Students Get Creative

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Using their outdoor space to practice social distancing while also learning and honing their theatrical skills, students in Ms. Corbo’s theater arts class at High School West took to the softball field to practice their improv skills. Students worked on a few different techniques, acting out different family portraits using just their body language. They also did a slideshow exercise, where one student narrated a story and the others acted it out in different slides.

School Board Recognition Week

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The Smithtown Central School District would like to join all the public school districts across the state to celebrate School Board Recognition Week.  The New York State School Boards Association recognizes October 19-23 as an opportunity to promote awareness and understanding of the important work performed by school board members. Superintendent Mark Secaur states "Our dedicated board members devote countless hours to ensure that all children meet with success in our school community.  Their efforts and selfless dedication to our students and staff is apparent and greatly appreciated."