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Middle School Students ‘Let It Go’

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Rye Neck Middle School students in teaching assistant Ashley Sullivan’s homeroom participated in a “Let It Go” activity on Dec. 9 and 10. They engaged in meaningful discussions about the things that weigh them down and those they are willing to let go of before starting the new year. 

Equipped with colorful markers and paper in the shape of a balloon, the students wrote down their answers, which ranged from letting go of drama with friends, unreachable expectations of themselves and anxiety over things out of their control. 

“Once the students had their idea of what they wanted to let go of, they wrote it down on the paper balloon, decorated it and visualized themselves letting it go,” Sullivan said. “It was impressive to see the students be so introspective and give careful consideration about what they want to change in their lives.” 


Hour of Code Teaches Students Creativity, Problem-Solving

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Third through fifth grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School practiced their problem-solving skills during the Hour of Code, an international event that is a popular feature of Computer Science Education Week, from Dec. 9-13.  

“The children were excited because it gives them the opportunity to focus on different skills,” said Susan Combs, a fifth grade teacher and curriculum leader. “Hour of Code is a nice way to have the school come together. The students have a great time solving computer tasks, and they could all relate to having the same common experience.” 

Throughout the week, students explore a variety of self-guided coding activities, including Minecraft and other exercises that involve a “Star Wars”-based module. The computer programming experience encourages them to challenge themselves, work independently and take ownership of their learning. It also helps nurture their creativity and problem-solving skills. 

For more information on the Hour of Code, visit


Students Create Winter Scenes to Raise Money on Paint Night

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Rye Neck Middle School students created their own winter scene masterpieces during the art department’s Paint Night event on Dec. 6.

Using a white canvas, acrylic paint and brushes, 44 students in grades 6-8 followed step-by-step instructions from art teacher Dara Goodman to complete their seasonal paintings, which included a moon and birch trees. Meanwhile, fellow art teachers Trisha Appel, Jennifer Dallow and Karen Fontecchio provided the students with personalized attention and helped them stay on task. 

In addition, Rye Neck High School junior class officers Aaron Caplan, Natalie Goldberg, Gabe Miller, Anna Murphy and Katie Victory and their adviser Linette Milo volunteered to guide the middle school students throughout the evening. Junior Anna Maulucci also volunteered to assist throughout the evening. They helped with the supplies, setup, cleanup and overall organization of the event. 

At the end of the night, event organizers raffled off six prizes, which included a small canvas and paints for students to continue to paint at home.

The art department’s Paint Night raised money for the high school junior class. The fundraiser is held to benefit students as they raise money for their respective classes.


Generous Students Donate Candy to Troops

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Rye Neck Middle School students collected eight full boxes of candy during the annual Halloween Candy Drive, which will benefit men and women serving in the United States military. 

Members of the Student Senate, under the directions of teachers and club co-advisers Matthew Magnani and Christopher Tinnirello, led the efforts. The donations were accepted by Sedona Taphouse, a local restaurant, which will send the candy overseas to military troops.

“The students did a great job with this collection,” Tinnirello said. 

Rye Neck Students Display Artwork at Library Exhibit

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A group of 70 talented art students in grades K-8 will have their artworks on display at the Mamaroneck Public Library’s Warner Gallery exhibit from Dec. 12, 2019, through Jan. 24, 2020. The diverse collection of student works will feature drawings, paintings, sculptures, collage and printmaking projects. 

Art teachers Trisha Appel, Jennifer Dallow, Karen Fontecchio and Dara Goodman, who organized the collection of works, said it was rewarding to provide their students with the opportunity to shine as their artworks are professionally displayed in a gallery setting. 

“It brings together the community as a whole and allows families, children and adults alike to see the amazing, creative work that our students do at Rye Neck,” Goodman said. “Our students show such growth and depth and breadth in their work. I am so proud and excited to be part of such an amazing art program that fosters a deep understanding and appreciation for artists, art movements and art techniques through the artmaking process.” 

Some of the students’ work was inspired by artists, such as Georges Braque, Dale Chihuly, Megan Coyle, Abbas Kiarostami, Peter Max and Michael Scott.

“It is important for student work to be showcased within the community since it creates a sense of pride that extends beyond the walls of the school,” Appel said. “The students were very excited to hear that their work was chosen. It also lets our students see how much we value the work they create by sharing it with the rest of the community.”