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Our mission is to inspire all students to be confident, passionate learners with the courage and skills to lead their lives with integrity, while contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion.

North Bellmore Teams Dominate in Stock Market Game

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The North Bellmore School District boasted the top three teams from Long Island in the 2021 Stock Market Game, sponsored by the SIFMA Foundation. Students participated from September through April in the simulation in which they invest fictitious money in real stocks.

Fifth and sixth graders in the ALPHA gifted and talented program, as well as sixth graders from Martin Avenue Elementary School, competed in this year’s game. North Bellmore had 16 of the 158 teams, including the first-, second- and third-place finishers. Teams were ranked based on their percentage of return above or below the growth of the S&P 500. Each team started out with $100,000.

Gayle Angert, sixth grade teacher at Martin Avenue and the district’s ALPHA teacher, said North Bellmore students have been participating in the Stock Market Game for the past seven years as an introduction to financial management. Since this year’s ALPHA program is held virtually after school, students from those teams met via videoconference.

The first-place team, from the ALPHA program, consisted of fifth graders Lily Boehm, Sofia Galarza, Emma Jaskowiak and Dahlia Petroro from Saw Mill Road Elementary School and Scarlett Wilson from Park Avenue Elementary School. They finished with a total of $176,455 and a 55% rate of return above the S&P 500 growth.

Ms. Angert noted how close the top two teams were, with only $800 separating them. The second-place team, also from the ALPHA program, consisted of sixth graders Kamil Chaudhary and Brian Niedfeld from John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School and Elias Katz and Erik O’Sullivan from Martin Avenue. Their rate of return above the S&P 500 was also close behind, at 54%.

Third place went to a team of sixth graders from Martin Avenue – Ryan Ascher, Elias Katz, Matteo LaSpina and Nicholas Pascalli. They finished with $153,404 and a 29% rate of return above the S&P 500.

Among the 2,022 teams from all of New York State who competed, the three teams ranked 17th , 18th and 27th, respectively.

“Our savvy traders swept the top three sports out of more than 150 middle school teams,” Ms. Angert said. “Every team had different strategies. We are so proud of all of the participants.”

From the first-place team, Lily, Sofia, Emma, Dahlia and Scarlett said the experience was a lot of fun and they learned about the importance of teamwork. They had to come together to make important decisions including what stocks to buy, how much to buy and how to spend their money wisely. The group chats were often spent analyzing information to see how their investments were going.

Many of the teams made their money from Game Stop. Erik noted that his team bought 1,000 shares at $11, and they would have actually made even more if they sold their stock later, which could have put them over the top. One of the rules of the Stock Market Game is that teams could invest no more than one-third of their money in a single stock, so they had to diversify.

“Every day we would check to see how the stocks were doing,” Erik said. “It was exciting.”

The young investors learned how to identify market trends and how current events affect the financial world. They also explored careers in the financial industry and how the stock market can work for them as adults for investment opportunities.

“It was a really good learning experience,” Matteo said. “It helped me with teamwork because you had to communicate with your team to decide what is a good stock and what is not a good stock.”

Exploration at the Center of Learning for Kindergartners

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Center time is a staple of the daily routine in kindergarten classes at Park Avenue Elementary School, supporting play-based learning. This year, teachers Anne Griffin and Melissa Reime have modified the hands-on activities for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, to minimize sharing of resources.

Ms. Reime explained that prior to the pandemic, each table would get a “morning tub” with items that students could share with their friends. This year, each child gets his or her own individual bag filled with hands-on play activities that are developmentally appropriate for kindergarten students.

“It allows students to play and work on their creativity and imagination as well as their physical, cognitive and emotional strength,” Ms. Reime said. “It also allows students to explore, create and communicate with their peers.”

The teachers have a wide variety of materials to give students, allowing them to change up the activities and create new learning experiences for children. Among the resources are blocks, buttons, colorful pom poms, Legos, linking cubes, magnetic letters and numbers, pipe cleaners, puppets and small puzzles.

Stringing beads and putting pattern blocks together allows children to work on their fine motor skills, and they form letters and numbers with Play-Doh. Literacy development takes place through independent reading and short writing prompts.

Ms. Griffin said that the purpose of center activities is for children to work independently on a variety of academic and development skills. They participate in a few different centers every day, each lasting 10 to 15 minutes.

Park Avenue Students Get Cozy With Books

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“Whatcha Reading?” was the theme of a districtwide spirit day on March 12 in the North Bellmore School District. Students were encouraged to submit photos of themselves reading in comfortable and cozy places at home, while also getting a little extra time to read during the school day.

At Park Avenue Elementary School, many classes took advantage of the nice weather and went outside for independent reading time, where students could spread out on the lawn and blacktop with their books.

Fifth grader Anna Schellberg said that she loves to read outside when the weather is nice, both at school and at home. She submitted a picture of herself reading in her backyard hammock swing. Her favorite books to read are realistic fiction.

“I enjoy how reading takes me to a different place,” she said. “You become the character that you are reading about. I always look forward to reading.”

Second grader Jeremy Rolston is a big fan of nonfiction books and lately has been reading a lot about snails. In fact, he took the knowledge he learned from his snail books for a nonfiction writing assignment in school. For Park Avenue’s bulletin board display in the lobby, Jeremy submitted a photo with one of his snail books in his favorite reading spot at home – his room.

Remote students were invited to share their photos through Seesaw. Parents could also post photos of their children reading on Twitter and tag their school accounts.