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Queens Chronicle

Sandy finds her way into the classroom

Some teachers using storm in lessons

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:06 am, Thu Feb 7, 2013.

With neighborhoods like Howard Beach serving as a popular home for young families, children and teenagers bore a brunt of the personal trauma from Hurricane Sandy.

Though a number of teachers say the storm has not made its way into lessons, the topic has appeared in a few instructors’ classrooms

Jamie Maiello, a fifth-grade teacher at PS 62 in Richmond Hill, said she is bringing Hurricane Sandy into a larger discussion about the climate.

“I am teaching about the intensity of hurricanes in general due to global warming,” she explained. “I was going to mention Katrina, Irene and Sandy.”

Janine Pizzariella, a pre-K teacher at PS 207, said she has not broached the subject in lessons with her children as of yet, but did notice that the storm has influenced their play time activities.

“At this point, they’re working with dramatic play,” she said. “So they’re dealing with issues from home.”

Pizzariella said she knew many of her colleagues at the Howard Beach school have incorporated the storm into their lessons.

“I know when we first came back, they [brought it up].” she said. “I know that they did lessons on weather, flooding, hurricanes, but that’s about it.”

Earlier this month, the school hosted Stars of Hope, an organization that allows children in areas affected by natural disasters to paint stars with hopeful messages to be displayed in the community and future sites of catastrophes.

Pizzariella added that the storm did come up in her colleagues’ classrooms during the two month period when PS 207 was closed due to damage from the storm.

Stefania Lessen, a student at Forest Hills High School who lives in Howard Beach, said the storm has not yet made its way into her classwork, but was definitely a topic of conversation among her friends and even her teachers outside of the classroom.

“We certainly talk about it all the time,” she said.

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