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Passionate Teachers-In-Training Embrace North Bellmore’s Giving Spirit

Pictured: John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School student teacher Ryan Catalano organized a sports equipment drive with the fifth grade classes to collect items for children across the world.

Photos courtesy of the North Bellmore School District

A pair of aspiring teachers are inspiring students to help others at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District. Student teacher Ryan Catalano and student observer Sarah Enderle both spearheaded community service projects that were quickly embraced by the Dinkelmeyer community.

Mr. Catalano and Ms. Enderle both took on passion projects as part of their participation in the graduate elementary education program at Molloy University. At Dinkelmeyer, where students embrace the district’s mission statement of “contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion,” they found willing participants.

Fifth graders donated new and used sports equipment to a drive run by Mr. Catalano, a sports enthusiast. Over two weeks, they filled two large boxes with bats, balls, sticks, protective gear and more for multiple sports.

“So many students got on board and were super excited to participate,” said Mr. Catalano, a student teacher in Melissa Halaris’ class for seven weeks. “It was a great opportunity for them to learn about the needs of other children around the world.”

Passionate Teachers-In-Training Embrace North Bellmore’s Giving Spirit

Sarah Enderle, a student observer in a kindergarten class, ran a collection drive for The Book Fairies. Lucas Scamardella was one of the students who donated books.

The items will be given to Game Changers New York and shipped to low-income and high-needs communities across the globe.

“It felt good to donate because it’s going to help other kids around the world that don’t have the money to buy this equipment,” said David Holmes, who donated several items include a basketball, baseball bats, helmets and shin guards.

“Just letting other kids play different sports, it makes me feel like I’m giving something to someone,” added Jake Duverneau, who contributed a football and handball.

Ms. Enderle’s project was to collect new and gently used books for The Book Fairies, a nonprofit organization based in Freeport that redistributes reading materials to under-resourced communities on Long Island. She is a student observer in Stephanie Meehan’s kindergarten class, and children from Dinkelmeyer’s three kindergarten classes were invited to donate.

“I’ve always really liked reading and I think every kid should have access to books,” Ms. Enderle said.

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