‘We have to be hopeful’

New committee intends to save Malverne’s sixth-grade Frost Valley field trip


“The kids look forward to it, and they’re disappointed that now it’s gone,” Lakeview resident Terri Gorman said of the Malverne School District’s sixth-grade trip to Frost Valley, in the Catskill Mountain Preserve — an annual field trip that was eliminated from the district’s $48.6 million 2012-13 budget.

Gorman, who has two children enrolled in the district, is one of 12 members of the newly formed Save Frost Valley Committee, a group of Malverne school district residents whose mission is to raise enough money through community fundraising initiatives to fund the 2013 Howard T. Herber Middle School sixth grade’s Frost Valley trip. The committee was formed in late May, shortly after the district’s budget was approved.

“I was disappointed,” Gorman said of the cancellation of the trip, noting that her son is entering sixth grade and her daughter is moving on to eighth grade. “My son is going to miss out. My daughter loved it. She went hiking — kids had to work kitchen duty for lunches and dinner. It’s about team-building exercises. It let her step out of her comfort zone.”

According to the committee, the trip has been a tradition for 42 years. Students spend three days exploring nature, studying science and working on team-building skills. The trip, committee members said, enhances the district’s curriculum and character education program, and provides students with a stronger sense of self and community.

In finalizing the 2012-13 budget, school officials contended with increasing mandated costs, such as health insurance premiums and pension contributions. The cuts they had to make included the $35,000 trip to Frost Valley — a decision that some district residents called on school officials to reconsider.

A group of parents and alumni joined forces in late May and approached the middle school PTA, and Principal Steven Gilhuley, about working together to raise funds for the trip. The committee has not only grown in size, but grown more familiar in the community. Its Facebook page has more than 200 “likes” and it held its first official fundraiser at Wendy’s in Lynbrook on Aug. 15, raising $464.

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