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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Roosevelt Island Squirrel Gerard Munching On Ice Cream In December - What The Deal With The Warm Weather, We Had Snow This Time Last Year

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

It's warm enough that the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center Kiosk Squirrel Gerard

 Image From Ellen Jacoby

 Image From Judy Berdy

 was munching on ice cream wrappers.

I saw people in shorts today - in December.

Friday, December 11, 2015

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony At Blackwell House Saturday December 12 - Music, Dreidels, Hot Latkes & More - 2015 Version Of Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song Too

The Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island invite you to the Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in front of Blackwell House this Saturday:

Please join us for the annual
Roosevelt Island
Family Public Menorah Lighting
Saturday Evening, December 12th
The 7th Chanukah Light
6:30 PM
In front of Blackwell House
Music!! Dreidels!! Hot Drinks!! Hot Latkes!! Doughnuts!! A Gift for all!! Chanukah Gelt!
For a free Menorah Set
Please contact Nechama@RIJewish.org

Here's the 2015 version of Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song



and an earlier version too.

Enjoy more Chanukah songs from the Shlomones



and the Dreidel song with a Texas twist.



Happy Chanukah.

Roosevelt Island Cabrini Christmas Market Saturday December 12, Proceeds Go To Residents In Need Of Food For Holidays - Also, Good Shepherd Christmas Carols On Sunday and Christmas Trees For Sale All Weekend

The Cabrini Christmas Market will take place Saturday December 12 at the Good Shepherd Chapel Lower Level from 10 AM - 3 PM. According to this notice posted on the street kiosks, all proceeds go to Roosevelt Island residents in need of food for the holidays.


On Sunday December 13, it's the Annual Christmas Candlelight Service And Carols at the Church Of The Good Shepherd starting 8 PM.


Also, Christmas Trees are available to buy from the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA at Motorgate Plaza


this weekend and next.

Don't forget to pick up some Roosevelt Island Holiday merchandise at the RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk.

Enjoy the 116th Street Band's performance of Feliz Navidad



at the December 4 Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend With Additional Service Says MTA

According to the MTA Weekender, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service


to and from Manhattan this weekend.

The MTA adds:
F Additional service operates between 179 St and 2 Av

Weekends, 9 AM to 7 PM, Saturday, Dec 12 and 19 11 AM to 6 PM, Sunday, Dec 13 and 20

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Explorers Holiday Celebration Saturday December 12 At Blackwell Park Lawn - Create Holiday Bundles To Send Across The World


Roosevelt Island Explorers Leila Vujosevic reports:
Many of us will not spend Holidays with our loved ones as they may live in faraway places all around the world.

To connect with them and to reinforce our own sense of togetherness, we are inviting you for a fun and meaningful community event:

When: Saturday, December 12, 2015

noon - 3pm

Where: Blackwell Park Lawn

(always a great inspiration for our gatherings)

We shall:

1. Create variety of holiday bundles and "send them off" to our loved ones NEAR and FAR (attach them on strings spread across the lawn).

2. Share stories about our families abroad.

3. Create a gigantic GLOBE (as big as our coffe/soup cup lids can accommodate) - we need your help to identify all countries our community members are coming from.

4. Send the well wishes to the WORLD - what would make the Earth a better place.

5. And anything else your imagination takes you to…

More than anything, we shall gather to spread the joy of the Holiday Season!

We are providing all materials, cookies, and drinks, but would welcome anything else you may bring to make this event more joyful.

We hope you will join us.

Best,

The RiEx Team
Roosevelt Island Explorers Facebook Page is here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lawsuit Accuses Former Roosevelt Island St Francis Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church Priest Of Stealing Over $1 Million For Boy Toy From 2 Churches Reports NY Daily News And NY Post

A lawsuit accuses former Roosevelt Island St Francis Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church priest of stealing over $1 million for his boy toy reports the New York Daily News and NY Post today.

According to the NY Post:
... Outraged parishioners claim that the Rev. Peter Miqueli has stolen at least $1 million since 2003 while leading churches on Roosevelt Island and in The Bronx, where he’s currently pastor of St. Frances de Chantal in Throggs Neck...
The NY Daily News adds:
... A scandalous lawsuit accuses a Bronx priest of looting more than $1 million from a pair of city parishes, then spending the cash on a long-running S&M romance with a muscle-bound boyfriend.

The Rev. Peter Miqueli reportedly paid $1,000 per rough sex session with his hunky lover, who demanded the priest address him as “Master” — and drink his urine, the lawsuit said....
and:
... Court papers say Miqueli also brought Crist into parish affairs, having him run a thrift shop where they are suspected of swiping money.

When Miqueli left Roosevelt Island in October 2012, he allegedly laid claim to the parish Jeep and the pastor’s apartment by putting both in his own name....
Click here for the full NY Daily News article and here for full NY Post article.

UPDATE 12/12 - The Archdiocese of New York responds:
Dear parishioners of the archdiocese:

You may have seen or heard some disturbing reports concerning a lawsuit filed against the pastor of one of our parishes, Father Miqueli of St. Frances de Chantal in the Bronx, as well as Cardinal Dolan and the Archdiocese of New York. I am sorry to have to discuss this issue, particularly during this time of the year, but I wanted you to have some more information about this than has been reported in the media.

First, I cannot and will not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit itself. As this is a legal matter, I will let the lawyers handle that in court....
and:
... To date we have found nothing to substantiate the allegations that have been raised, and, in fact, with regard to the parish finances, we know that the allegation that Father Miqueli stole $1 million from each parish, as was alleged by the plantiffs’ attorney, is completely false. We did find that Father Miqueli had deficient management and administrative practices, and have put forward several directives to remedy those deficiencies....
Click here for the full statement by the Archdiocese of NY.

United Nations Human Rights Day Celebrated At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Today - Flower Laying Ceremony And Honoring The Memory Of Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt

The United Nations reports on a Human Rights Day Celebration at Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park today:

10 December
Flower laying ceremony at the Four Freedoms Park

A symbolic event to mark Human Rights Day and honour the memories of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, two major advocates for the United Nations

Roosevelt Island, Four Freedoms Park, 12:30 p.m.

This year Human Rights Day highlights 'Freedoms,' recalling the four freedoms that underlie the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and two major human rights covenants. In his “four freedoms speech” in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered a vision. His wife, Eleanor, was instrumental in helping that vision finds its way into human rights treaties.

Speakers:

Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, Chairman of the Four Freedoms Park
Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Penny Abeywardena, New York City Commissioner for International Affairs

Moderator: Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information
The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:
UPDATE 12/11 - The transcript of Human Rights Day remarks at Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park by UN Deputy Secretary General and:

Cornell Tech Presents Roadmap For Partnership With Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 School At Public Meeting Tonight - Will Announce "Groundbreaking" Computer Science Professional Development Training For School Teachers

The Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA reports a Cornell Tech and PS/IS 217 Startup Tech Jam event will be held at the school this evening from 6:30 - 8PM to:

Learn about the exciting new partnership between Cornell Tech and PS/IS 217.

Presentation by Cornell representative about their roadmap for our school

and:
... In addition to hearing about some of the work going on in our school over the next few years, families will have the opportunity to work with Cornell Tech mentors and create computer games....
Cornell Tech Director of K-12 Education Diane Levitt described the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 relationship with Cornell Tech during an April 2015 NYC Scratch Educators Meetup. Ms Levitt reported to the Scratch Educators Meetup Group on the April 17 Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Hackathon with PS/IS 217 students.

It's a very interesting discussion. Watch this video.



Ms Levitt noted during the April Scratch Educators Meetup talk (at the 17 minute 30 second mark) that she has had a difficult relationship with the PS/IS 217 Principal because of an expectation by the school that Cornell Tech would come with a financial investment to the school which Ms. Levitt said:
... was a fantasy...
adding:
... Every time I walk into the room and don't come in with dollars, its like I failed before I even sat down. Since I never come in with dollars, I'm pretty much always failing....
However, Ms Levitt added that the Principal was very happy with the April Hackathon and asked:
... Now we need a whole build out - what do we do on Monday?
Today, Cornell Tech announced what's next is a new partnership with Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217. According to this December 10 Cornell Tech press release:
Cornell Tech, New York City public school P.S./I.S. 217 and Councilmember Ben Kallos today unveiled a groundbreaking three-year program that will enable teachers at Roosevelt Island’s P.S./I.S. 217 to incorporate computer science (CS) activity across the curriculum. Every teacher in the K-8 school will receive professional development training, after which they will devise and implement CS lesson plans covering every student in every grade. The program is part of an ongoing partnership between Cornell Tech and the New York City Department of Education to make computer science instruction available to public school students.

Beginning in January, every teacher at the school will meet with a CS education consultant to learn specific ways to introduce students to coding and the broader digital universe. The consultant will work specifically with 4th-8th grade teachers to design actual lesson plans. Similarly, Cornell Tech Senior Director of K-12 Education Diane Levitt will work with K-3 teachers to incorporate computational thinking with the school’s youngest students. The program will also partner with the Museum of the Moving Image to design two lessons for Grades 4-8 focused on game design and digital media. This teacher education is in addition to a six-week introduction to CS that every P.S./I.S. 217 program teacher has already received.

“Cornell Tech is thrilled to expand its partnership with P.S./I.S. 217 as part of our broader commitment to enriching tech education for New York City public school children,” said Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher. “Helping teachers learn creative ways to incorporate computing into their classrooms benefits not only our students but our city.”

“This is a great opportunity for P.S./I.S. 217 to integrate computer science into all its classrooms and expand students’ horizons,” New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said. “As New York City brings computer-science education to all students by 2025, we will continue to partner with Cornell Tech and other higher education and community partners in this critical work.”

“We want teachers to have the computing content knowledge to be able to to help students become digital creators. We think this starts with building teachers’ expertise and comfort and then moving with them into developing curriculum and teaching strategies,” said Diane Levitt, Senior Director of K-12 Education at Cornell Tech. “Cornell Tech’s innovative vision and public/private partnerships give us a unique platform from which to transform K-12 computer science teaching and learning in New York City, and across the nation.”

The program, part of an ongoing three year effort to embed CS in every class at the school, will also give P.S./I.S. 217 parents the unique opportunity to partake in their children’s education. As part of the launch, Cornell Tech and P.S./I.S. 217 will co-host an event this evening to lay out for parents the program’s vision and plan. Parents and their children will then participate in a coding workshop where they will design a holiday-themed game, giving parents a first-hand sense of how accessible computer science can be when creatively incorporated into a curriculum.

“Helping our teachers integrate computer science into their curriculum is critical to preparing our students for the careers of tomorrow,” said New York City Councilmember Ben Kallos. “The close relationship between Cornell Tech and P.S./I.S. 217 not only benefits the Roosevelt Island community but also serves as a model for how public and private institutions can work together.”

“To succeed in today’s world, all our kids need access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education – that’s what STEAM stands for,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Starting with computational thinking and coding in elementary school is a great idea. While we have a long way to go to update our schools in terms of hardware, software, and training for staff, partnerships like this one play an important role in filling the gaps. I’m excited to see Cornell Tech investing in the P.S./I.S. 217 school community, and I look forward to a successful Family Coding Night.”

This program is the latest effort by Cornell Tech to extend its mission – developing pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age – beyond its own campus to a deep engagement with New York City’s public schools. Cornell Tech operates from the premise that every public school student should have the content, skills and strategies to building something digital and personally meaningful.

Since winning the city’s applied sciences campus competition less than four years ago, Cornell Tech’s work has already impacted over 2200 students and 170 teachers. Last summer, Cornell Tech hosted two summer programs – NYC Generation Tech and Coding Off the Grid – for New York City middle and high school students, building skills in computer science, entrepreneurship, design and more. The school also created and hosts the To Code and Beyond conference, a series of twice yearly invitation-only events convening educators, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and funders to share best practices and address challenges in K12 tech education. To Code and Beyond is co-sponsored by the NYC Dept. of Education, Google, and CSNYC.
The Wall Street Journal reported today on Cornell Tech and Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 teacher training initiative.
Here's what happened at the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 April and October



Hackathons earlier this year.

UPDATE 12/11 - Here's video of the December 10 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech PS/IS 217 Start Up Jam.

Part 1 - PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman briefly describes partnership with Cornell Tech and introduces NYC Council Member Ben Kallo who talks about importance of Tech education and praises Roosevelt Island PTA for advocating on behalf of PS/IS 217.



Part 2 - Presentation by Cornell Tech Director of K-12 Education Diane Levitt.



Part 3 - PS/IS 217 parents question Cornell Tech Director of K-12 Education Diane Levitt on Cornell Tech plans for PS/IS 217.


After the presentations, parents and kids went to the PS/IS 217 computer labs to learn coding together.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Adults And Kids Walk And Sing Songs At St Martins Day Paper Lantern Procession

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator (RIPN) Eva Bosbach shares these photos and reports on the November 11 St. Martins Paper Lantern Procession:

As some of you know, we have a group of German speaking parents here on RI who organized a Roosevelt Island procession with children carrying paper lanterns last year on St. Martin's Day. This year we extended the invitation to all RI Parents' Network families!

We started with the reading of the St. Martin story in German and English.


When it got darker, we began the procession from Good Shepherd Plaza


to the Pier


with children holding their lit-up paper lanterns


and interested children and adults singing some traditional St. Martin songs.

Thanks to all who came and a special thank you to Tina, Barbara, Saskia, Lisa, Lisa's husband and Rike for preparing the story and pictures, printing out and copying coloring sheets

with the theme, preparing sheets with song lyrics for all, leading the walk, taking pictures and organizing the lantern making workshop for children.

Looking forward to see everyone at the next activity :),
The St Martins Day Lanterns were made the previous day

Images From RIPN

at the RIPN Crafts For Kids Workshop.

According to the U.S. German Mission:
"Lantern, lantern, sun, moon, and stars. . . " This refrain echoes through the autumn streets of Germany every year on November 11. Happy children with colorful, handmade lanterns promenade through the streets, cheerfully singing songs they learned by heart. The candles in the lanterns flicker playfully, bringing a sparkle to the children’s eyes. Brimming with excitement, each child hopes to catch a glimpse of the man dressed in a medieval soldier’s uniform and his proud steed as they lead the procession of children....

... Legend has it that at the gates of Amiens Martin met a poor, scantily clothed beggar, who asked him for help from the freezing cold. But Martin had nothing with him other than his military cloak, so he decided to share it with the man. With one stroke, he split his warm cloak in two and gave one half to the man, who was deeply grateful. After performing this act of generosity, Martin left the military service and had himself baptized a Christian so he could help people in need and value love greater than force.
Learn about St Martins Day here.

Mike Bloomberg Takes Roosevelt Island Tram To Cornell Tech's Bloomberg Center Topping Off - Y Combinator's Sam Altman Talks Tech At First Cornell Tech Bloomberg Speaker Series Too

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg took the Tram to Roosevelt Island for the November 30 topping off of Cornell Tech's Bloomberg Center.

Image From Twitter
Bloomberg reports
on the inaugural Cornell Tech @Bloomberg Speaker series with Y Combinator's Sam Altman:
“Tech entrepreneurship is close to my heart,” said Michael R. Bloomberg as we welcomed more than 150 members of the NYC technology community for the inaugural Cornell Tech @ Bloomberg speaker series.

After sharing stories about the company’s early beginnings and how tech entrepreneurship played a major role in its success, Bloomberg introduced the new speaker series and first participant Y Combinator President Sam Altman....


Here's the November 17 Cornell Tech construction update with a walk through of the campus site



and Mayor Bloomberg's remarks at the June 17, 2015 Cornell Tech groundbreaking ceremony.



Roosevelt Island is going to be a very exciting place when the Cornell Tech campus opens for the Fall 2017 semester.

Insane Asylum Mug, Wooden Red Bus & Tram, Puzzles, Ornaments & More Roosevelt Island Holiday Gifts Available At RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk Every Wednesday Evening Until Christmas

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy reports:

Image Of Ms Berdy with Wooden Red Bus

Stop by the RIHS VISITOR CENTER KIOSK

 Image of RIHS Visitors Kiosk By Richard Bachman From Friend Of The UES Historic District

This evening and every Wednesday until Christmas. (Dec. 9, 16, 23)

Great Gifts include: Jewelry, Books, Puzzles, Mugs, WIRE Calendars, RI Totes, and Much More!

Image Of Ms. Berdy & RIOC President Charlene Indelicato With Asylum For Insane Mug

The kiosk will be open from 5-9 p.m. for your holiday shopping. Refreshment will be served.

Our brand new tram puzzles, wooden bus and tram models have arrived!

Here's more Roosevelt Island merchandise available at the RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk

Island Kids Roosevelt Island Toddler Time Weekly Program Starts Thursday December 10 - Free Playgroup For Children 14 Months To 2 1/2 Years Old And Their Parents

Image From Island Kids

Roosevelt Island's Island Kids announce:
Island Kids is happy to introduce Toddler Time, a once a week free of charge playgroup for children aged 14 months through 2.5 years. The program is designed as an extension of the Island Kids Baby Group and provides an opportunity for parents and toddlers to socialize while engaging in age appropriate playtime.

Island Kids is located at 536 Main Street (Roosevelt Landings) in the courtyard behind 510/540 Main Street under the ramp.

Please email Island Kids with any questions.

Hope to see you this Thursday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Solution To Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Overcrowding Like You've Never Seen Before - Funiculi, Funicula

On those all too often occasions when the Roosevelt Island Tram is jam-packed with people, do you ever wish there were more than just two Tram cabins going back and forth over the East River?


Here's what that might look like courtesy of a short video by Black Sheep Films directed by Fernando Livschitz.



Click on the Full Screen Icon for better viewing.

According to Wikipedia:
"Funiculì, Funiculà" is a famous Neapolitan song composed in 1880 by Luigi Denza to lyrics by Peppino Turco. It was written to commemorate the opening of the first funicular cable car on Mount Vesuvius....
and:
A funicular (/fjʉˈnɪkjʉlər/), also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other. Funiculars of one sort or another have existed for hundreds of years and continue to be used for moving both passengers and goods....
Also, take a look at the weirdest Roosevelt Island Tram Trip ever.

RIRA Island Services Committee Report On Tram Station Elevators, Boy Scouts, Sportspark Facilities Inspection, Southtown Trash Yard Rats, Enhanced Senior Center Services, New Public Library & Post Office Customer Service


Below is Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC)


report to the RIRA December Common Council:
RIRA – ISLAND SERVICES COMMITTEE (“ISC”)

REPORT TO COMMON COUNCIL – 12/2/15

ISC met 11/23/15 with 10 members present from a membership of 13.

Tram Elevators – The old elevator continues to be unreliable with service frequently interrupted by breakdowns lasting from one day to two weeks.

The logjam in bankruptcy court was removed when the judge awarded the design contracts for the new elevators to two new design firms. There is no estimate of when the design will be finished and a RFP prepared.

Boy Scouts – ISC voted to terminate the program to reactivate a Boy Scout troop on RI. After a 1‐1⁄2 year effort, all that’s been accomplished is getting a place to meet. We
have detected little to no Community interest in a Boy Scout troop. To be certified by the Greater NY Boy Scout Council, we would need, besides a meeting place, a sponsoring organization, 5 committed adults (including a Scoutmaster) and a minimum of 10 boys.

Sportspark – ISC has prepared an updated inspection of Sportspark’s facilities and programs. This inspection report will be sent to RIOC with a request for a joint meeting to discuss the report and develop new action plans

Southtown Commercial Trash Yard – Related has assigned a porter from 425 Main St. to daily clean up the yard. This has improved the yard’s condition, but not completely fixed the problem of rats getting to the trash food. The yard still needs better bins with covers that can be tightly closed and more frequent pick‐ups by the disposal company.

Enhanced Services at Senior Center ‐ ISC is compiling a list of all services and programs available from the Dept. of Aging and other NYC agencies that could be provided to seniors. We will then request a meeting with the staff and leadership of the Senior Center to initiate needed new services for RI elder residents.

New Public Library ‐ Design of the new library is moving at a faster pace than expected. The library will have 5.2K sq. ft., about double the present space. There will be 26 computer stations vs. 4‐5 now. The estimated opening date has been moved ahead from 2018 to fall, 2017. The Public Library expects to hold a town meeting in mid‐January for the RI Community.

Post Office Customer Service – Some residents and ISC members concerned about poor customer service at the Post Office report that service has substantially improved, perhaps, due to ISC contacts with the Post Office Manager.

Respectfully Submitted, Aaron Hamburger, ISC Chair

Monday, December 7, 2015

Wow, Absolutely Insane Sunset Over New York City East River Waterfront Seen From Roosevelt Island Beneath The Queensboro Bridge

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse.

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA Reports On Upcoming School Tour For Prospective Parents, Gifted & Talented Forum, Parents Workshops, Cornell Tech Partnership Presentation, Amalgamated Bank Donation, Amazon Shopping, After School Programs, Christmas Tree Sale, Pizza Making & More


Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA representative Erin Olavesen reports on this week's programs and services at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217.
School Tour for Prospective Families - 8:45am, Tuesday, December 8
Have friends or neighbors with pre-schoolers considering 217? Invite them to the tour!

The kindergarten application period is from December 7 to January 15. Find more information about the process and apply online on the NYC Department of Education website.

Prospective families are invited to learn more about PS/IS 217 at our upcoming tours. Join us on December 8th at 8.45am or December 14th at 6.00pm. Please RSVP to eolavesen@gmail.com.

We're looking forward to meeting you and sharing all that's happening at our school.

Tuesday Parents Workshops

Please join us on Tuesday, October 20 for one of three parent workshops:
  • "Science Connections: Connecting Parents to Fun Science Resources",
  • "Math Games",
  • "Models in Science."
All workshops will be held from 7:50–8:25am. Students may be sent to breakfast while you attend. Flyers have been sent home with more information prior to each workshop. Workshops are open to all 217 families.

We look forward to parenting with you during this Parent Engagement Activity!

Community Board 8 G&T Education Forum at PS/IS 217 - December 14, 6pm


Education Forum on the Gifted and Talented Program at PS 217, Monday, Dec. 14: school tour at 6:00 pm and program at 6:30 pm.

Learn about the G&T test, the G&T curriculum, school choice and options for students.

Bring your questions about the G&T test and how the curriculum differs from the regular curriculum of PS 217, and other topics.

Speakers:
  • Daniel Hildreth, Enrollment Director, New York City Department of Education
  • Mandana Beckman, Principal, PS/IS 217
  • G&T curriculum educators at PS/IS 217
  • Parents of students enrolled in the G&T program
Program sponsored by Roosevelt Island Residents Association, Roosevelt Island Committee and Youth and Education Committee of Manhattan Community Board 8, PS/IS 217 and the PTA of PS/IS 217.

For more information, please contact Jeffrey R. Escobar, Chair of the Roosevelt Island Committee of Community Board 8 and President of RIRA at jeffrey.escobar@gmail.com. Visit http://bit.ly/1Pa12oQ.

217PTA Roosevelt Island Annual Christmas Tree Sale


Shop with Amazon and Make Money for 217!


Getting ready to do some holiday shopping? Whenever you shop at the online retailer Amazon go to their website by using our link (HERE) - click on our link BEFORE you add items to you cart! It's hard to tell if you're in the right spot because Amazon does not give any signs that you've used the affiliate link. If you enter Amazon through the link before adding items to your cart and check out within 24 hours, the PTA will receive at least 4% of your total purchase. Bookmark it! Share the link with friends and family! Help 217's PTA expand our reach with more funding.

FREE Family Event: Computer Coding With Cornell Tech - December 10


Amalgamated Bank Supports 217


Amalgamated Bank made a $1000 contribution to our general fund. This isn't the first time Amalgamated has stepped up to support our school. In October, Amalgamated sponsored a booth at the Halloween Carnival and had their Roosevelt Island team along to help our kids build with Construction Kids. Thank you Amalgamated Bank, as well as, Albert Salas, Roosevelt Island Branch Manager, and his team for supporting our students!

PTA General Meeting & 217 Safety Meeting - Wednesday, December 16

Save the date for our next PTA General Membership Meeting - it will be held on Wednesday, December 16, 8:35am in the auditorium.

We need your participation! Topics of discussion will include:
  • Updates from 217 Administration
  • Updates from PTA board members on Fundraisers including the Annual Fund Donation Drive, Christmas Tree Sale, Pajama Drive
  • Upcoming events including Spirit Day, January Dance, and Annual Auction
  • Treasurer's Report - do we have enough money to keep our programs?
PTA meeting will begin with 217 SAFETY MEETING presented by our School Safety Team and Assistant Principal Jenn Allen. Join us to learn about:
  • An overview of the General Response Protocols (GRPs)
  • Tips for Internet Safety/Cyber Bullying Awareness for Parents
  • Update on 217 safety campaigns (i.e. completing the evac bags)
After School Survey Follow Up

Thank you for taking the PTA After School Programming Survey. We appreciate the feedback, and understand just how important having more choices for after school activities at 217 is to your family. Due to limited after school PTA volunteers, the only offering next semester will be Bricks4Kidz. The PTA is continuing to evaluate and pursue programming options for Fall 2016.

Please continue to be a part of this discussion by attending our upcoming PTA meeting at 8:45am on Wednesday, December 16th.

Bricks4Kidz After School Program Season 2 Registration

We open registration for Bricks4Kidz Spring Semester 2016!
  • register for 12 classes - January-March - your fee would be $360, and you will have an opportunity to sign up for 11 more classes (April-June) later.
  • register for 23 classes - January-June - get a 10% discount for signing up till the end of the school year, pay $620 instead of $690.
Please fill out registration form available HERE and submit it along with your payment into PTA mailbox by Friday, December 18 if you would like to register for Bricks4Kidz classes in January.

217 Middle Schoolers Partake in a Pizza Making Cultural Event


Many thanks to Ciro Casella, owner of the San Matteo Pizzeria, and his special chef, Daniele Sellami, who taught 217 Middle Schoolers and their parents how to cook Italian pizza following the traditional recipe. We thank RIRA's Adib Mansour and Lynne Strong-Shinozaki for sponsoring this wonderful cultural event at our school!

Have a great week!

Amalgamated Bank Donates $1 Thousand To Roosevelt Island Residents Association For CPR Training - Makes Additional Donations To Roosevelt Island Organizations Too


Roosevelt Island Amalgamated Bank Branch Manager Albert Salas announced a $1 Thousand donation to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) for CPR Training on behalf of Amalgamated Bank during the December 2 RIRA Common Council Meeting. Mr. Salas presented the $1 thousand check to RIRA President Jeff Escobar at that meeting

Image Of Amalgamated Bank Albert Salas Presenting Check To RIRA's Jeff Escobar

and said Amalgamated Bank is looking forward:
... to being more involved in community events....
RIRA President Jeff Escobar thanked Mr. Salas for the Amalgamated Bank donation and for its commitment to the community. Mr. Escobar added that Amalgamated Bank:
... has become our partner in the community.


Amalgamated Bank's Executive Vice President of Community Banking Samantha Berg reports on their donations to Roosevelt Island organizations including:
Roosevelt Island Resident Association (RIRA) - $1,000 for CPR classes

Roosevelt Island Historical Society - $2000 for their Lecture series, book donation and comped group tours

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) - $1000 for funding repairs to their 15 passenger wheelchair buss

The Roosevelt Island School PS/IS 217 – $1,000 plus support for their Halloween carnival

Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) - $1,500 for arts education

Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance - $1,500 for the scholarship and work study program

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC)
  • Halloween Parade - § Sponsorship of kids giveaways and face painter
  • Tree lighting Ceremony - § Sponsorship of Santa’s Corner
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy - $15,000 for their Imagination Playground

We have also supported ICLA da Silva Foundation and were recently at their gala.

Hopefully in 2015 we will be doing the Cherry Blossom Festival, Egg Hunt as well as Roosevelt Island Day. We are looking into a summer activity with RIRA as well.
Ms. Berg spoke at the December 5 Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting.



Here's more on Amalgamated Bank



and an Amalgamated Bank Roosevelt Island mortgage seminar.

UPDATE 10:30 PM - Amalgamated Bank is seeking a Branch Service Manager for Roosevelt Island. More information available at previous post.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Chanukah From Roosevelt Island - First Night Celebrated With CANorah Menorah Candle Lighting At Tram Plaza And A Latke Recipe From The Maccabeats

Earlier this evening, Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island Rabbi Zalman Duchman celebrated the first night of Chanukah by lighting a CANorah Menorah at the Tram Plaza.


A CANorah is a Chanukah Menorah made out of food cans. After the eight night of Chanukah, the food  cans will be donated to the needy together with the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA).

Roosevelt Island photographer Irina Hage of Irina Island, shares these photos 

Roosevelt Island First Evening of Chanukah

from tonight's Chanukah CANorah Menorah Lighting Ceremony.

Celebrate Chanukah with the music of The Maccabeats





and Matisyahu.



Also, the annual Public Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place 6:30 PM Saturday, December 12 at Blackwell House.

More information on the Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island available at their web site.