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Student Senate Donates Food Items to People in Need

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Thanks to the generosity of the school community, members of the Rye Neck Middle School Student Senate donated nonperishable food items to the Community Action Program Center in Mamaroneck.  

Spearheaded by the Student Senate and co-advisers Matthew Magnani and Christopher Tinnirello, the students collected items, such as pasta, canned beans, sauces and soups, from December through part of January. Then, club members worked together to sort and categorize the donations. 

“More than nine boxes of nonperishable donations were collected,” said Magnani, who along with Tinnirello delivered the food donations on Jan. 14. 

Eighth Graders Celebrate Italian Culture With Pizza

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Rye Neck Middle School eighth graders in Davide Bianco’s Italian language classes recently celebrated their accomplishments by hosting an Italian pizza tasting.

Having explored the Italian language and culture, the students researched recipes of typical Italian main courses and desserts. In addition, they were challenged to work in groups at home to create five-minute videos in which they hosted a cooking show. Each group was challenged to provide clear guidelines in how to cook an authentic dish while showcasing their recipes and skills in Italian.

“These videos were shared with the rest of the class along with delicious samples,” Bianco said. 

Students Learn About Anatomy by Conducting Dissections

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Rye Neck High School students who are enrolled in science teacher Matt DeBellis’ Anatomy class have been learning about the skeletal system and different tissue types. During a recent lab activity, they were tasked with dissecting a chicken wing to further deepen their knowledge. 

“The bones and overall structure of the chicken wing are homologous with the human arm, meaning the bone structure and muscle function of the wing is markedly similar to human anatomy,” DeBellis said. “By dissecting the chicken wing, the students uncovered and identified connective tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, cartilage and fat along with muscle tissue.” 

During the lab, the students removed the skin with dissecting scissors and identified each muscle and bone. They recorded observations about the appearance, texture and integrity of the different structures and tissues. They also compared and contrasted the structure of the wing to a human arm and pulled on different muscles to observe the extensor and flexor articulation effect on the overall movement of the arm.

“Some of them even cut the bone in half using a bone saw, which was gifted from an orthopedic surgeon, to gain access to the bone marrow in the cavity of the long bones, which they extracted using a dissecting needle,” DeBellis said. 

DeBellis said he hoped his students gained a visceral experience of what real tissue looks and feels like. 

“I hope they gained insight into how the tissues and systems that we have been learning about come together in a complex yet graceful way to achieve a simple function,” he said. 

Visitor Helps Freshmen Make Connections to Arabic Culture and Language

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Rye Neck High School freshmen welcomed Mohamed Alsiadi, a professor and musician, as a special guest speaker in their Global 9 classes to further make connections to their studies on Jan. 9. During his visit, Alsiadi shared insight about the Arabic culture, language, art and music. 

“Alsiadi is very knowledgeable about Islam and Islamic culture, which we have been studying recently,” social studies teacher Marcella Scalise said. “The students have been learning about the historical beginnings of Islam and the influence of Islamic empires, including during their Golden Age.”  

During his visit, he discussed the origins of the Arabic language and taught the students how to say and write or draw specific Arabic words. He also discussed the arabesque form of Islamic art, played the oud and explained its significance. 

“I hope the students saw the connection between the historical topics relating to Islam and how it is today,” Scalise said. “I want them to have respect of all cultures, and it was helpful to have someone from the culture come in and speak to them.” 

Alsiadi moved from Aleppo, Syria, to New York City in 1996, and later became a professor of Arabic language, literature and culture. He is the lead professor and director for the Arabic studies program at Fordham University and the chair of the US-Mideast program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University. 


Recycling Is Top Priority for Rye Neck Students

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Members of the Rye Neck High School Sequoia Club – whose mission is to develop ideas and strategies to help their school be more environmentally friendly – have been educating their peers about the importance of recycling. Through their efforts, the students hope to make a difference in their community. 

Club members recently created and placed tops on recycling bins throughout the building to encourage students to discard items in the correct recycling bin. The students got the idea for the project after noticing how many bottles and cans were being wasted when food or liquid was thrown into a recycling bin. 

“The students decided to pursue the recycling project because they want to make a difference with recycling in their school,” said Chelsea Gillespie, a math teacher who advises the club. “The intent of these recycling containers is to encourage students to only put bottles, cans and paper in the corresponding bins. The recycling containers have two perfect shapes that fit bottles and cans and paper. We hope that with this change, students would be influenced to recycle more in school and outside of school.” 

There are a variety of recycling containers throughout the building. Near the main entrance, there is a large recycling bin for white paper, along with bins for all other paper, bottles and cans. Two recycling bins for bottles are located in the hallways, as well as large recycling bins in the cafeteria and small recycling bins in almost every classroom. 

After the holiday recess, club members will implement the second part of their recycling project – the Sequoia card program – which will reward students who recycle or do something beneficial for the environment.