The Rockville Centre Education Foundation will honor the Rockville Centre Youth Council and Meaghan Healey with the Ruth Fins Award during its annual gala on April 1 at the Hempstead Golf and Country Club.
The Rockville Centre Youth Council is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization which educates students and their parents on the dangers of underage drinking and illegal drug use. Established in 2009, this grassroots effort has grown in size and stature as it strives to provide teens with a safe and nurturing hometown.
The council is led by Rockville Centre students under the guidance of board of director members Beth Hammerman, Andrea Connolly, Lana Glass, Jeff DiLuccio, Elizabeth Boylan, Michael Caffrey, Jeanne Mulry and Lori Drucker. The organization sponsors substance-free social events, community outreach programs, and prevention events.
“The Rockville Centre Youth Council is so excited that the Education Foundation picked us to be the gala honoree,” said Beth Hammerman, founder and past chairperson of the council. “You can't imagine how that feels to be recognized so publicly for the good work we do. Like the foundation, we too are enriching the education of our village's most valuable resources — its children.”
Healey has been a physical education teacher in the Rockville Centre school district since 1995. She coaches the girls’ varsity lacrosse team and is an integral contributor to the high school’s annual Red and Blue Games.
“Meghan Healey has spent years working with and molding our students, both on and off the field,” Ditchik said. “She has instilled in her athletes the values of competition, sportsmanship and leadership. The Rockville Centre Education Foundation is grateful for her dedication to our students and her leadership on and off the field.”
Each year, the Education Foundation sponsors many grants at the elementary, middle, and high school level proposed by Rockville Centre teachers and school administrators to expand the horizons of the classroom experience for the community’s most valuable resource: its children.
The annual gala is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Education Foundation. All of the money raised by the foundation during the year is given back to the school district in the form of grants that help fund programs, including visits from authors, new programs and new technology.
Proceeds from the galas provide the revenue for the grants that the foundation funds each year. This year, the foundation’s featured grant was a zSpace virtual-reality technology tool that was introduced at South Side High School in September. The tool provides students with the opportunity to engage in inquiry, take risks, and solve problems in the area of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics).
“Each time we introduce the lab to a new group of users, they are excited and overwhelmed by the possibilities that await,” said South Side High School principal John Murphy.