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BirchBirch School

2400 Central Parkway, Merrick, NY 11566 

Phone: 516 992-7250

Current News

Birch Sixth Graders Celebrate Moving Up

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Birch School graduated its sixth grade Class of 2024 beneath an arch of black and gold balloons on the Brookside stage on June 21.

Student Council Co-Presidents Georgianna and Madeline greeted guests and recalled memories from their time at Birch.

“We had some amazing teachers supporting us throughout the years,” said Madeline. “Their patience, intelligence and kindness has help guide and shape us into who we are today.”

“We will miss the Birch School spirit,” added Georgianna. “It is nothing something you can put into words. It is simply something you feel. This feeling travels throughout the school.”

Board Trustee Jill Levine spoke of cherished memories the students will carry from elementary school and offered advice as they continue their educational journey.

“Things are not always easy, but things are worth it,” she said. “Go do great things. We know that you can. Everyone’s great is different store to be how you define great.”

PTA Co-President Jennifer Cohen excitedly spoke about the new experiences students will have at Merrick Avenue Middle School while also acknowledging core values instilled at Birch.

“Birch School has given you a strong foundation and we know that you will continue to build on it,” she noted.

Kelley Merkle, the Merrick Faculty Association building chairperson, presented a donation to the Hospice Foundation of America on behalf of the Class of 2024.

Principal Kerri Galante said she always tries to center her moving up speech around something the students can really connect to. Before delving into her analogy about YouTube, Galante cautioned students to be mindful of their digital footprint as they enter middle school.

“Think back to your first day of elementary school,” she began. “It was a bit like joining or creating a new YouTube channel. You were excited and maybe a bit nervous, but ready to explore a whole new world. Just like starting a channel, you started with a blank slate; ready to fill it with your unique personality, creativity and hard work. Over the work you have soaked up and created your own content here at Birch. Each day was like a new video full of learning, fun and sometimes challenges. You’ve gained subscribers in the form of friends and your views have increased with every project, every test and every new experience. Your teachers have served as collaborators, guiding you and supporting you - and sometimes even joining in your adventures. And your parents as your ultimate fans and subscribers are always there to support and cheer you on.”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 6/21/2024

Birch Celebrates Friendship Day

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Students at Birch enjoyed a full day of activities during the school's annual Friendship Day on June 7.

Each grade wore different colored shirts to display even more school spirit. From a silent DJ, dancing and carnival games to indoor/outdoor sports and relay races, students in all grades were engaged and entertained.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 6/7/2024

VIDEO: STEAM Day Engages Birch School Community

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Birch School celebrated STEAM Day May 23, complete with a science fair walk-through, BreakoutEDU challenges, building competitions and more.

Co-teachers Deb Vernice and Trish Germann served STEAM Day coordinators.

"Students rotated through a variety of engaging stations, each designed to spark curiosity and encourage hands-on learning," explained Vernice. "They built impressive towers, crafted intricate mazes, explored the principles of gravity, expressed their artistic talents through painting, and for grades 4-6 there was the themed escape room experience, focusing on the Women of STEM. This immersive challenge not only tested their problem-solving abilities but also celebrated the contributions of pioneering women in science and technology. Back in their classrooms, students continued their STEAM exploration with lessons on wind energy, buoyancy, and precise measurement techniques."

“This year we had our first Birch Beaver Science Fair,” added Germann. “The fair showcased projects created by students that explored various aspects of beaver biology, behavior and ecological impact. It was a fun way to celebrate and learn more about our school mascot."

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 5/29/2024

Birch Writing Club Earns First Place Poetry Award

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Members of the Writing Club at Birch School are now published authors after they placed first in their grade-level category in the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association’s 38th annual Student Poetry Contest.

Eight fourth graders in the Writing Club drew inspiration from Whitman’s poem, “Song of the Open Road,” and penned their own pieces.

The anthology of individual poems earned first place out of nearly 5,000 submissions and were later published in a book. On May 5, the students were invited to the Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington Station to read their poems aloud and were presented with an award. Students were able to tour the grounds and exhibits at the house where Walt Whitman was born in 1819.

The Writing Club began earlier this year and is advised by teacher Crystal Lopez.

“I wanted the club to provide writing enrichment as well as self-discovery,” she explained. “And I wanted to give them tools and the creative space to write about personal experiences.”

Fourth grader Josh said he feels comfortable when at the club “both physically and mentally.”

“I really want to thank Ms. Lopez and my writing peers for all of their support in my writing this year,” he added.

Lopez said she offers student in the Writing Club, which is a mix of second and fourth graders, a chance to explore creative writing channels such as poetry and personal narratives.

“I write poetry outside of teaching, so this is a way for me to share that part of my life with them,” she added.

Fourth grader Brynn said she really enjoys the club, which started earlier this school year.

“It can be different each time we meet,” she explained. “It’s not like normal writing that we do during class time.”

Oliver, a second grader, added that he enjoys the after-school club because he is able ‘”to write poetry and comics.”

Date Added: 5/9/2024

Student Corner

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We continue to celebrate all of the great lessons and activities taking place in our schools. Here, in the Student Corner, we hear from our students in their own voices.


During the month of April, the student council crew sponsored a service project to benefit Birthday Wishes. Birthday Wishes is an agency that provides all the children living in Nassau County's Homeless Shelters, with the items needed to celebrate a birthday! Some of the items we collected were beauty items, sports equipment, and wrapping paper. Our volunteer mamas dropped off what we collected. They were very happy with what we donated. It feels so good that we were able to help other kids celebrate their birthday!

Oren M.

Student Corner Photo


The student council crew has just completed their service project for the month of March. They sponsored a collection for the Sunrise Day Camp. This camp offers children with cancer and their siblings a fun and safe summer experience. This special camp is located right here on Long Island. We collected arts and crafts supplies alongwith sports equipment. The Lakeside Lions did not disappoint! Their generosity was overwhelming. We collected over 15 boxes and bags filled with crayons, paint, glue, paper, scissors, hula hoops, jump ropes, basketballs and so much more! The Lakeside Lions definitely caught the spirit of giving for this amazing charity. We are so happy we could help kids just like ourselves! 

Jla N. 

Student Corner Photo


Recently the Lakeside Student Council invited the student government members from John F. Kennedy High School to attend one of their meetings! The student government shared some of the service projects they do. The student council crew will start incorporating some of these ideas into their own projects. The student council crew and the Kennedy Student Government have planned a joint service project. The recipient of the service will be The Hewlett House. The Hewlett House is a community resource center that assists anyone on Long Island who is suffering with cancer. Our goal is to spend a Sunday morning planting and beautifying the grounds. We plan to plant flowers and shrubs. This special project is slated to happen on May 19th. This is such a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together as a team! Lastly, the student council crew would like to thank the Kennedy Student Government members for coming by to see us. This meeting helped us to realize that service doesn't end with elementary school. It is a life long gesture! What an amazing experience!

Zach K.

Student Corner Photo


Over at Lakeside, students have been collecting for the Harvest of Love drive. In only two days, students and staff collected 12 boxes of individual snack bags, pieces of fruit, and toilet paper. The items were donated to The Inn.It felt great to know that we were able to help so many of neighbors who are struggling at this time.

By Olivia W.

Student Corner Students


The student council crew of Lakesidehas just finished their last service project for the 2023 school year. It was for Birthday Wishes. Birthday Wishes is an agencywhere theyprovidea birthday box for all the children who live in the homeless shelters of Nassau County. The Lakeside Lions collected gel pens, party favors, bubbles, fidget spinners, birthday wrapping paper, andRubik’s Cubes to name a few of the items. We were able to collect five huge boxes of supplies to donate to Birthday Wishes.All ofLakesidehopesthat every child in Nassau County has a wonderful birthday. 

Jackson F. 

Lakeside Students


The Levy Lakeside Student Council Crew just finished a very successful service project! We decided to collect donations for the Ronald McDonald House of the Metro New York area. The Ronald McDonald House is a place that provides housing for parents of very sick children who are in a hospital far from their home. We collected items like: boxed & canned food, paper goods, baby supplies, and toiletries.  

These items are used to help guests feel more comfortable while they are away from home. We set up bins in the lobby. We collected over 14 boxes/bags of the items that were listed on the flyer we sent home. We were thrilled with the outpouring of love that was received! We want to thank all the Lions who donated! It feels good to know we made a huge difference in the lives of others! 
 
By: Marin K. 

Levy Lakeside Student Council Crew


The Student Council would like to thank all of the Lakeside families who contributed over the last few weeks to our collection for the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter has dogs and cats that can be adopted. We are so happy to be able to help many animals at the shelter while they are waiting for a family to adopt them. We collected newspapers, food/treats, toys, leashes, collars, blankets, sheets, wee wee pads and more! We collected ten big bags and eight boxes worth of items! The Lakeside Lions are grateful to all of the generous families for helping our furry friends. 

Rina G. 

Student With Dog


Recently the Lakeside Student Council has been buying different things to help the school including the purchase of a new bench for our lobby, buying even more cups and cup dispensers, and buying three new trash cans for the outside fields.

In the front lobby of Lakeside, there is a brown bench and the student council has purchased a brand new red bench. This is so all students or visitors have a comfortable place to sit while waiting to be let in.

Last year the Student Council Crew tried putting cup dispensers in the 5th and 6th grade hallways and it was successful. Because of this success, they installed one next to each water fountain I the building. The cup dispensers are there so if you forget a water bottle you can always get a drink.

Recently, the Student Council Crew has purchased new trash cans for the back playground and fields. If you are at recces or even if you are here for a baseball game it is more convenient to throw out trash. These new cans have a covered lid so no trash can blow out of them.

These are only some of the things that the Student Council happily does to help our school.

By: Zachary K.

Student with water fountain  garbage can


In early December, the Lions of the Levy Lakeside Elementary School collected brand-new toys for the Toys for Tots program. Members of the Merrick Kiwanis came to pick up all the bags. In total, we collected enough bags to fill 11 HUGE bags. The toys collected were brand-new and unwrapped. The toys will be distributed to Long Island Children who may otherwise go without a holiday gift. The collection lasted for just 10 days and hundreds of toys were donated. We thank all the Lakeside Lions who brought in a toy for the collection. 

Thomas K. 

Student with bags full of toys


In late October, the students of Levy Lakeside placed Kindness Rocks in the front of the school. Last year all the Lakeside Lions in each class painted rocks with positive messages. Due to the construction that was taking place in the front of the building, we were not able to place the rocks outside at that time. Now that the construction has been completed, the Student Council Crew was able to finally place the rocks in front of the building. Now when students and parents come into our school their minds will be filled with positive words, messages, and quotes on beautiful, bright colored painted rocks. Last year The Student Council purchased hundreds of rocks and the materials for this project. During art class Ms. Raadsen oversaw the project making sure that the rocks were made the best they could be by each and every student. The rocks were thoughtfully placed around the island and front of the school. We hope you stop by to delight in a message of kindness. 

By: Jack Z. 

Levy Lakeside Students  Levy Lakeside Students


Recently, Norman J. Levy Lakeside hosted a Veteran’s Day ceremony to honor all the amazing veterans. This was an incredibly special moment because we have not hosted this event since before Covid. Our music teacher, Mr. Glemboski, played the piano and led us in the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. We also had some of our 5th grade Student Council representatives stand as our color guard. We are so thankful that the veterans made time in their day to come and speak to all the Lakeside Lions. It is truly inspiring to see what others have done and continue to do to protect our country. Thank you to all the veterans for serving our nation. These veterans' honorable acts should be something we all continue to look up to. 

By: Lena M. 

Norman J. Levy Lakeside hosted a Veterans Day


On Monday, March 21, our school supported World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. We dressed up in blue and yellow, and wore our most unique socks. It is important that we recognize this special day to ensure that everyone feels accepted for who they are. We thank all the Lakeside Lions who dressed up in recognition of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. We wanted to show that respecting everyone's differences is the key to FRIENDSHIP!

Written by: Jenna F.

Lakeside school seal

Date Added: 4/27/2022


On March 22, the Levy Lakeside Students helped collect items for its annual Harvest of Love Day. The Harvest of Love Day gave the Lakeside family an opportunity to donate to those who are going through a rough time.

We would like to thank everyone who brought in items to donate, they were much appreciated. The items were brought to a local soup kitchen, The Inn.

We collected 26 bags/boxes of fresh apples and oranges, individual packages of snacks and individually wrapped rolls of toilet paper! This collection only took place for one day.

The Lakeside Lions did an incredible job of collecting and we hope that we were able to help those in need!

Written by: Sami G.

Students hold the items they raised to donate

Date Added: 4/12/22


This past month, the boys and girls at Levy Lakeside School helped collect tissue boxes for a service project. The idea was to decorate and color them.

Then, bring to the Hewlett house which is a community resource center for anyone suffering with cancer. We collected so many boxes and would like to thank everyone that brought them in. We are so glad that we could give back to the community.
The Lakeside Lions are so proud that we could help put a smile on their faces.

Ryan D.
Lakeside Student Council Member

students holding colorful boxes

Date Added: 3/22/2022


The Lakeside Levy School Student Council crew tries hard to help other kids ALL year long.

Over this past week, members of the Levy Lakeside student council helped collect many items for the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter and Ruff House Rescue. We collected so much and would like to thank everyone who donated because it is super important to give back to the community. This will help our furry friends out until they can find a family to adopt them. We are so grateful that these wonderful shelters were willing to accept pet food, toys, towels, and so much more! Again, thank you to all who donated. All the Lakeside Lions are proud to live in such a giving community.

By,
Owen K.

students with merch


The Lakeside Levy School Student Council crew tries hard to help other kids ALL year long.

During the holidays we want to make sure that every child in our neighborhood receives something special. This year we tried to help out by collecting brand new toys. We participated in Toys for Tots. The Lakeside Lions were able to collect nine HUGE boxes of brand-new toys for children of all ages.

We want to thank all the grown-ups and students who helped out by donating toys. We are so proud that we were given the chance to help. We wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Written by: Ben M.

Levy Student Council  Levy Student Council