Number of Participants: 300
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $2,535
Event Amount Raised: $4,000
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: May 18, 2022
Ronkonkoma Middle School
Peconic Street, Ronkonkoma
Ronkonkoma Middle School in the Connetquot Central School District stepped up its Be Kind, Be Smart, Be RMS initiative to make smart decisions, show kindness and inspire others through participation in a schoolwide Dezy Strong volleyball tournament and accompanying activities. The school raised $4,000 for the Dezy Strong Foundation, honoring the late Connetquot resident Matt DiStefano.
Students first attended an assembly that resonated the message that “we don’t have to, but we get to do things.” This message was carried out as students filled out “we get to” leaves, which were placed on a Dezy Strong tree. T-shirts and bracelets were also sold to students and faculty who wanted to participate in the initiative.
The entire student body and members of the administration and faculty also participated in a Dezy Strong volleyball tournament. Teams were divided into team orange or team blue and were rotated every four minutes. Scores were also tallied during each physical education class. The activity was so popular that students volunteered to play during their free time. A Dezy Strong player of the day was named and announced each day and students spun the technology wheel to win a prize. As the students played in the gymnasium, a slide presentation created by technology teacher Jackie Huston was streamed and documented the event.
“Everyone did such a good job of participating,” physical education teacher Justin Hertz said. “This was a tournament for a good cause, and it turned out better than I could ever have expected.”
A: Ronkonkoma Middle School students wrote a response on leaves to the phrase “We get to” on the Dezy Strong tree.
B: Ronkonkoma Middle School faculty and students played in a volleyball tournament to support the Dezy Strong Foundation.
C: Ronkonkoma Middle School physical education teacher Justin Hertz, right, organized the students into volleyball teams with, center, health and physical education teacher Chris D’Andria.
D: Ronkonkoma Middle School faculty and staff raised $4,000 for the Dezy Strong Foundation through the sale of T-shirts and bracelets.
Photos courtesy of the Connetquot Central School District