Congrats Grads. Thank you Teachers.

Photo of graduate by Terrence Thomas on Unsplash.

We see Harborfields High School putting photos of its entire graduating class along Pulaski Road, We’ve appreciated the William Floyd School District honoring its grads on Facebook. We are grateful Syosset High School will spend two full days to safely offering a graduation ceremony.

We know this is just a little bit of the effort being made to make up for so many who are missing out on all the fun of being a senior; who have instead had to navigate the second most exceptionally challenging roll out of an education transformation in their lifetimes; and who are now facing extraordinary uncertainty regarding how their next chapter will play out.

We want to hug them all.

We are also thinking of the teachers who have done so much to make that education transition happen. This is not how they wanted their creativity finally unleashed again! We think of too many tears shed, while missing out on getting to get misty eyed over the kids they’ve shepherded to this moment. We are thinking of a beloved teacher retiring this year who, instead of getting to celebrate it, got to wave to a few of her students and parents as she helped out at a no-touch pick up of locker contents.

EdSurge offers What Teachers Wish The Public Knew About Their Jobs During COVID-19

From Long Island Weekly: Above and Beyond: Long Island Teachers Step Up During Coronavirus

Newsday reports of how Long Island Celebrates Class of 2020 with Lawn Signs, Parades, Senior ‘Adoptions’ and More.

News 12 LI Covers Schools Lighting Up to Honor the Class of 2020

Insider’s got 20 Facts about the Class of 2020 That will Blow Your Mind

E-News offers Every Celebrity Celebrating the Class of 2020

John Krasinski’s Some Good News hosted these amazing quarantine commencement conversations.

Here is Business Insiders list of The Best Commencement Speeches of All Time.

The Muse offers Five Commencement Speeches to Inspire You

To those Graduating: All our best for whatever comes next. We wish you all the greatest of success.

Firefly Lights June 2020

Our community-oriented gallery created by local artists continues to be a light in our lives. Our main Firefly Artists gallery at 162 Main St, Northport is open Tuesday through Thursday 11am-6pm (closed for Thanksgiving), Fri and Sat 11am-8pm and Sunday 11-5pm. Send Katie an email if you’d like to meet up down there!

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Fair Media Council Offers Guidance, Asks How Else it Can Help

FMC Logo

We are grateful for all who are dedicated to advancing the integrity of journalism, and helping us all be smarter, wiser consumers. Our sponsors at the Fair Media Council specialize in this.

Here is some good advice they offered on navigating the news today.

We also appreciate these archives of “The Latest” Jaci Clement’s commentary on media and culture.

If you have a few minutes, they’d love to hear from you. Here’s a quick, painless, seven-question survey to find out how FMC can help you and your organization be as successful as possible in the new normal.

BTW…Check on your local paper, will you? They need us and we need them. If you have the means, now is the time to advertise…not only are times like these hailed as the best time to reach out to the masses, these folks could REALLY use our ad dollars.

Our thoughts on that were fueled by this article by Steven Waldman and Charles Sennott in The Atlantic (which has taken its own big hits lately) “The Coronavirus is Killing Local News”, and Mark Bowden’s piece in the same publication “Small Towns Won’t Know They’re Infected Until Too Late”

Having experienced news deserts first hand, we have long been grateful for LI’s wealth of local media (and the local nature of some of the world’s most esteemed publications). They’re not immune to this either, though. Please support them. It’s important.

Speaking of Appreciation for Art and Great Teachers…

Dudley Music at Coltrane Day 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible

Part of that article with Roger Tilles talks about the power of dedicated teachers. This reminded us of a discussion we had with two incredible local artists, Diego Garcia and Dudley Salmon, who are among those featured in the Huntington Arts Council ” DEC the Walls Exhibition”

Check it out. It’s amazing.

We met Dudley through the local endeavor to advance the legacy of John & Alice Coltrane, and then he and Diego together when he was performing at another volunteer’s gallery opening. It was a deep and meaningful conversation. We will be following up!

One interesting note: While the musician is deeply grateful for his art teachers, the inspiration Dudley really wanted to talk about was his biology teacher…

The Adventures of Craig & Trudy Chapter 3: Lesson in Community Trusteeship, The Huntington Township Chamber Foundation

Photo of Trudy & Craig

Craig and Trudy are back, remembering dedicated community leaders and good works they did that in many ways served as a foundation for the Leadership Program that was yet to come. It’s a nice story that helps illustrate what Community Trusteeship is all about.

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Man on a Mission: NYS Regent Roger Tilles

It was his passion for the arts, his appreciation for teachers, and his firm belief grounded that the arts are fundamental to a good education that first led us to be intrigued by Roger Tilles. We got to sit down with him a million years ago last December. While so much has changed since then, we believe what he had to say remains relevant, perhaps even moreso than it was…

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Follow the Phoenix: Still They Rise

Our hearts break and our minds race at what is happening in our Nation; to witness our longest simmering disease now raging in a fever that renders the viral pandemic that’s been all we could think about all but forgotten. We are mindful that this is THIS, singular in its twisted trauma. Still, we are also mindful that the plague of hate and contempt of fellow man is not limited to sanctioned targets; that this disease does not exist in isolation. In thinking about this, we are reminded of so many black leaders intent on guiding everyone to higher ground…

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Get LI Counted! The Census Matters!

The 2020 Census affects how much federal dollars our region will receive for the next decade. Long Island already pays a lot more in taxes to the Federal Government than it gets back. Undercounts make that worse!!! Plus, this impacts all sorts of planning, at all levels. PLEASE GET COUNTED AND SHARE THIS ARTICLE EXPLAINING WHY, Especially with folks who reach folks in traditionally undercounted demographics..

A simple message the Health and Welfare Council of LI hopes you will share is this:

  • You can fill out the Census TODAY in just 10 minutes by visiting my2020census.gov or calling 844-330-2020.

You may also share the Health & Welfare Council’s Long Island Counts video,

To track your community’s response rate, you can visit the following map.

This is really important. The pandemic makes the work to help make sure it happens a lot harder. Your support helps! Thank you!