YOUTH ON THE GO
The Saugerties Junior High School Builder’s Club,
advised by High School English teacher Hope Antonelli, held its seventh annual Big Give at Saugerties High School track on Nov. 5.
The Big Give, which was started seven years ago by Antonelli’s Builder’s Club, part of the Kiwanis family, has raised thousands of dollars for local families and charities in need. This year, The Big Give was in honor of a fallen police officer, Ulster County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Kerry Winters. A husband and the father of two children, he lost his life while on duty.
Fellow law enforcement personnel came out to show their support, along with over 50 members of the community.
Builder’s Club Members collected donations and then ran or walked three miles in Winters’ honor. The club raised over $800 for the Winters family.
••• The MidHudson Rebels 12u softball team completed two community service drives for the benefit of veterans and service members.
One event was a drive they held to raise funds for the Capital District Patriot Flight organization. The team’s drive ran through October and was done to send senior citizens who are veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments erected in their honor.
The team’s efforts raised more than $1,700, enough money to pay for sending five veterans to Washington, D.C.
The second project was a cleanup at the Armory in Kingston on Oct. 29. The players did weeding, yard work, etc. They chose this project to round out the events honoring past and current service members. Some of the players’ parents and grandparents are either currently or formerly stationed out of the Kingston-based reserve.
••• Ulster BOCES Aviation program and Highland High School graduate Valentina Hurtado recently took first place in the Hudson Valley Hornets’ Spot Landing contest on Oct. 8 at Old Orchard Airport in Plattekill.
During the contest, Hurtado was tasked with setting the airplane down on or closest to the designated spot. She
came within 47 feet of her targeted area. Rules for the contest included only one attempt per pilot while following normal pattern procedures. Hurtado said a press release that her time spent in the aviation program at the Career & Technical Center was part of her success. “I remembered a lot of it from my training,” Hurtado says.
Ulster BOCES Aviation students forged a relationship with the members of the Hudson Valley Hornets when they began working together to restore an early model 7AC Aeronca Champ aircraft more than a year ago. This experience of working with the aircraft experts and enthusiasts enriched both their aircraft exposure and knowledge.
••• The first-grade class at Dutchess Day School spent a day exploring the wetlands and streams at Millbrook School ,a nearby boarding school, in October.
In keeping with their mission, which focuses on environmental stewardship and community service, the honors biology class at Millbrook extended an invitation to the first-graders at Dutchess because they wanted to help teach the younger students about respect for the environment and an understanding of the delicacy of the web of life.
Millbrook biology teacher, Jessie Martin, says that one goal in bringing the younger students to campus was for them “to enjoy the marsh and, by doing so, desire to protect it.” The honors students, mostly 11th-graders, were tasked with creating a lesson plan that would connect very young students with the material. They had to have objectives, convey content, ensure a positive experience outdoors — all while taking account of the children’s age and knowledge base.
The first-graders were divided into two groups at first, taking turns doing learning activities. In one, they were given animal cards and, while creat-
ing an actual web on the wall, the students had to figure out where each card belonged on the food web. They were asked to think about what would happen if an organism disappeared entirely from the web, either at the top (a predator) or the bottom (prey).
The other group looked at macro invertebrates that the biology students had pre-collected, so the children would see examples of the kinds of organisms that would be in the water when they went out to explore.
Finally, all the students, young and old, went out into a tributary stream within the wetlands on the Millbrook property. The biology students gave their charges a treasure hunt so they could look for things such as an organism with a tail, something alive, something dead, a colorful creature, etc. The students found mainly crustaceans (crayfish) and insects, such as the larvae of dragonflies, mayflies, Dobson flies, damselflies and other creatures that indicate a healthy environment with plenty of oxygen.
Members of the Saugerties Junior High School Builder’s Club.
Millbrook School honors biology student Charlie Zhu and Dutchess Day School first-grader Jet Thorne ready their collection tools as they prepare for the ecology project involving the two schools.