Sunrise Drive Winners of Emoji Contest

(From L to R – Samantha Graziano, Alexa Yacono, Terrell Mitchell, Molly Garafola, Livy DiStefano, Scarlett Bidart, Nicholas F
  • In January, Sunrise Drive students in Jeannette Ainsle’s art classes were given a creative assignment. In preparation for Dental Health Awareness month in February, the students created emojis that had dental–health themes. “These creations were entered into a school-wide contest,” Principal Dr. James Foy explained and the winners would be announced by Senator Monica Martinez during a visit from Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry. This contest was part of a school-initiative promoted by Senator Monica Martinez to bring awareness to dental health.

    At the February assembly the Sunrise Drive students from Kindergarten to Fourth grade were introduced to Dentist Dr. Philip Coniglio and assistants Elaine and Marnie by Senator Martinez who made a special trip back from Albany for the occasion. After the dental professionals demonstrated proper dental-care practices, Senator Martinez announced the winners of the emoji contest. Each winner was awarded a proclamation.

    (Above photo: From L to R, front row – Samantha Graziano, Alexa Yacono, Terrell Mitchell, Molly Garafola, Livy DiStefano, Scarlett Bidart, Nicholas Fielding, Santino Sarappa, Harley O’Keefe Jenner, Nicky Teller, Avery Tracy, Lainey Gralto; back row - Principal Dr. James Foy, Senator Monica Martinez, Dentist Dr. Philip Coniglio, Marnie, and Elaine.)


Senator Martinez with Fifth graders
  • Immediately after the Dentist’s visit, Senator Martinez met with all the Fifth Graders in the multipurpose room to participate in the Readers as Leaders Site-Based Team PARP initiative and to discuss her journey from teacher to State Senator. She fielded questions from the students who were eager to share their insights and opinions based upon both what they had learned in their government-studies classes as well as heard on the news.  Foster care, child protection services, gang violence, and animal rights were among the topics and Senator Martinez was quite impressed with level of curiosity and understanding the students demonstrated.

  • “This was another great day for Sunrise Drive,” Principal Dr. James Foy said. “Students in our younger grades learned from professionals in the field about dental hygiene. The puppets and warm demeanor displayed by Dr. Coniglio will also go a long way in taking away any stigma that the dentist is scary.”

    Dr. Foy added, “Senator Martinez was wonderful!  Our fifth graders asked her specific questions about topics that are important to them.  The senator was able to give real answers that helped students to understand government procedures and what she and her like-minded colleagues are working on.   My favorite part was her asking her assistant to take specific notes on some amazing ideas that our own Sunrise Drive students had on making our community and state a better place.”


Listening to future constitutents