“This is what my favorite event of the year is,” Valley Stream Council of PTAs President Michelle D’Elia said in welcoming hundreds of parents, teachers, students, administrators and Board of Education members to the 53rd annual Lights On For Education program on April 10.
The evening showcase at Memorial Junior High School featured student work from Valley Stream’s four districts and 14 public schools. The community gathered in the gymnasium for opening remarks, then heard several inspirational quotes about education from elementary students. After that, guests were invited to travel the school and see the various displays and performances, relating to the theme, “You Light Up Our World.”
In one the cafeterias, visitors got to learn about the high school district’s career programs, including cosmetology and culinary arts. In one room, community members could get their hair and nails done, and enjoy a fresh pulled pork slider.
Dalia Benoit, a senior from Central High School, was styling hair with her classmates. “It really promotes our cosmetology classes because people don’t know about it,” she said.
Benoit had high praise for her teacher, Barbara Liotti, who is getting the students prepared for a post-high school career.
The back half of the gymnasium was filled with student work from District 13’s four elementary schools. Projects included artwork, dioramas, posters and writing assignments, strewn across dozens of tables and hung from all four walls.
Parents were able to see what their children have been working on for the past nine months. “I love it,” Yvonne Lusterino said of Lights On. “It’s really beautiful what they do. I really enjoy the creativity.”
Lusterino spent the evening traveling around the school with her son, Andrew, a fourth-grader at Willow Road School. She even got to see some of the poetry he wrote.
District 30’s displays revolved around the theme “21st Century Learning Journey.” Guests got to enjoy a wide variety of presentations, including a demonstration on CPR and technology-based projects.