Spooktacular Safe Halloween Tips! 132

Follow these simple safety tips to help you take the “tricks” out of your Halloween!

Pumpkin-Carving Precautions

  • Seems obvious but our 1st rule is don’t let children use knives. They can help by assisting to affix the stencil or by drawing their own designs on the pumpkin with a black marker.
  • Remove pumpkin insides safely. You can let your little ones help and get a little messy by scooping out pumpkin flesh with their hands, a wooden spatula or an ice cream scoop.
  • Keep the carving area clean. Pumpkin is pretty slippery stuff, we suggest layering newspaper or an old tablecloth under your carving area and clean up anything that falls on the floor right away so no one slips or trips.
  • Once you are ready to light your Jack-o-lantern- please skip the candles.  A burning candle in a pumpkin can start a fire if left unattended. Instead, use a battery operated light, flame-less candle or a glow stick to safely illuminate your jack-o-lantern.

 Costume Rules for Your Little Ghouls

  • Its a good idea to add reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back of the trick or treat bag and costume if possible. Light-colored costumes are easier to see at night.
  • Also add your phone number and last name to the tag on your children’s costume.
  • Check the label of your costume to be sure it is “flame-retardant.”  If you choose to make your own costume, try to use nylon or polyester materials, which are flame-retardant.
  • Make sure the costume fits well and isn’t too tight or at risk of falling off or too tight. To prevent falls, avoid long pants or gowns and high-heeled shoes.
  • Make sure and wigs, mustaches or beards don’t cover little eyes, noses, or mouths. Masks can also make it hard to breathe, make certain to check fit and make sure child can breathe easily.

Tear-Free Trick-or-Treating

  • First thing is first, start at home.  Make sure visitors will be safe when trick-or-treating at your home. Remove any potential hazards that could cause one to trip or fall on your walkway or lawn. Make sure the path to your doorway is well lit.  Also remember to keep family pets inside and away from the doorway and trick-or-treaters.
  • Young children should be accompanied. Make sure all kids know their home phone number, address and how to call 911 in case they get lost.  If possible have them carry a cellphone.
  • If your child is older and permitted to  trick-or-treat on their own, make sure you know who they will be with, what route they are taking and set a time for them to return home.
  • Give kids flashlights with new batteries or have them wear glow sticks as bracelets or necklaces.
  • Limit trick-or-treating to your neighborhood and the homes of people you know, never go into strangers homes or cars
  • Cross the street at crosswalks and never assume that vehicles will stop, walk on sidewalks where possible
  • When candy bags arrive home, check all treats to make sure they’re sealed. Throw out candy with torn packages or holes in the packages, spoiled items, and any homemade treats that haven’t been made by someone you know.
  • Hard candy, small pieces and gum could cause choking. Make sure to take inventory of what is in your child’s bag and remove anything that could be harmful.

 

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Coding and Makerspace at South Country School 76

Coding and Makerspace at the Verne W. Critz Library

 South Country Central School District libraries are no longer a place to just hear a story and select a book. The district’s librarians have been teaching crucial technology skills that will help prepare students for the 21st Century workplace. Verne W. Critz librarian Lynn Cullen explained that in addition to lessons in research, students are now learning basic coding skills and are inventing and creating in Makerspace labs.

At Verne W. Critz Elementary School, students are afforded the opportunity for hands-on activities that require critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaborative team work. Ms. Cullen, along with the support of Principal Mandy Mazziotti, have furnished the library with engaging products such as PowerClix, Brix, K’nex, Keva, Squigz and IO blocks. The library will soon introduce modular robotics called Cubelets.

During a recent trip to the library, second grade students collaborated to design an incline plane with Keva wood planks, which allowed a ball to travel without falling off-course. Not only did the students use teamwork to design their course, they utilized science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics principles to acquire their results.

Verne W. Critz Elementary School students worked in the school library with Keva wood planks and used STEAM principles

 

Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

Town Receives Tree City Growth Award 46

Brookhaven Town Receives Tree City Growth Award from Arbor Day Foundation

Town has earned Tree City Designation for Four Consecutive Years

Farmingville, NY – Brookhaven Town has for the fourth consecutive year been designated a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation, and in recognition of its ongoing successful tree programs, the Town has this year also earned the “Tree City Growth Award.” Brookhaven spends over $1.4 million per year on community forestry programs. Pictured left to right are New York State DEC Supervising Forester John D. Wernet; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilman Neil Foley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and Town Clerk Donna Lent.

Supervisor Romaine said, “I am proud to have the Town recognized as a Tree City USA. We have given away and planted thousands of trees and strictly controlled the clearing of trees across Brookhaven to help protect and preserve the environment. I thank the Arbor Day Foundation for honoring the Town and all the residents who have followed our lead to make Brookhaven a greener place to live.”

Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro said, “The preservation of healthy trees is a priority of the Brookhaven Highway Department. In instances when trees were planted too close to the Town Right-Of-Way (ROW) and roots were growing into the roadway, we remove the trees and replace them with street-friendly trees, planted the appropriate distance from the road.”

Tree City USA is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, benefits of a Tree City USA program include:

  • Reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control
  • Cut energy consumption by up to 25%
  • Boost property values across your community
  • Build stronger ties to your neighborhood and community

Growth Award

The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country. More information about the Arbor Day Foundation can be found at www.arborday.org.

Growth Awards are given to communities that have earned the Tree City designation for at least two consecutive years and:

  • Engage in education and public relations programs on the importance of planting trees in their community, and
  • Create partnerships with utilities, Green Industry Partners or other organizations
 Photo Courtesy of Town of Brookhaven

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