What do pumpkins, Legos and Good character - have in common?

  • Question: What do Pumpkins, Legos®, and Good Character have in common?

    Answer: SAIL support!

    The newly formed Sayville Advocacy for Initiatives in Learning (SAIL) has been established by community members as a foundation to supplement student enrichment in Sayville. Through fundraising, private donations, endowments, and corporate sponsorships, SAIL plans to give Sayville students enhanced academic programs and expanded after school activities not financed by annual school budgets.

    At the beginning of this academic year, SAIL Grants were given to three applicants from Sayville Middle School.


    -         In a pilot program last year, technology teachers Jeff Goodman and Sam Kruse had Middle School students participating in the exciting “Pumpkin Fling Catapult contest,” offered through Cornell Cooperative Extension-Suffolk County Farm and Education Center. Contest participants of all ages and groups designed, constructed, and competed by propelling pumpkins into a field with a working catapult. Contestants were judged on distance, accuracy, and most innovative/creative design. During their first competition last year, the SMS team’s pumpkin was the only one to hit the bulls-eye at 177.4 feet. Thanks to their SAIL grant, the SMS Pumpkin Flingers will be able to make or break new records in the future.


    -         To enhance the current seventh-grade technology program, teacher Jim McLoughlin needed to upgrade and acquire additional equipment for his pre-engineering LEGO® MINDSTORMS® segment of the curriculum. The SAIL grant has provided funding for the purchase of better equipment, enabling the students to design, build and program fully functional and more complex models, as well as stimulating an interest in the Lego First League. This league, opened to all students, participate in the Lego Challenge Masters Robotic programs that begin in November with the goal of competing in a regional competition sometime in mid January.



    -         With the financial support of SAIL, Middle School Assistant Principal Tom Murray has launched two new Character Education programs at the Middle School. Twice a year, the school will hold a “Breakfast with the Stars” to recognize students who have demonstrated positive qualities of character, independent of school-related academic, athletics, or artistic achievements. The other initiative is called the Friendship Patch Program aimed at fostering positive social interaction. During lunch time, students will be encouraged to get acquainted with other students who are outside their normal circle of friends. Friendship Patches will be exchanged as emblems of these new associations.



    Thanks to SAIL, the community is “stepping up to support our schools in a new way. In a fiscal climate of cutbacks and tax concerns that plagues virtually all Long Island school districts, the need to educate, to enlighten our young people, has never been more critical in a fast-paced, ‘smaller’ world” as stated on the SAIL website.  For more about SAIL, check out the website http://www.sailgiving.org


    SAIL Copresidents Robert T. Quarte´   and Kathleen M. Keeney awarded Middle School recipients with SAIL Grants to support successful enrichment programs.