Piggy Banks for Project TOY

Huntington High School art students created Piggy Banks as gifts for charity.
Huntington High School art students created Piggy Banks as gifts for charity.

It can never be said that Huntington High School students lack big hearts. Time and again the teenagers who study there give generously of their time, effort and money to help those in need.

Students in art teacher Kim Valerio’s Ceramics & Sculpture II class created and donated attractive and colorful piggy banks to the Project TOY (Treasure our Youth) holiday boutique. The annual boutique is an initiative of Tri-Community & Youth Agency and the Family Service League.

Using small plastic juice bottles, plaster craft and paint, students Olivia Castillo, Jessica Chitwood, Courtney Francis, Leah Khwaja, Olivia Morgenstern, Meghan Plant, Joe Saginaw, Michael Teague and Christian Wolf created whimsical piggy banks for Huntington area children to enjoy.

Project TOY gives parents of struggling families an opportunity to choose two new unwrapped gifts for their children that they otherwise would not be able to afford. The boutique is held at the Tri-CYA facility located in the Big H Shopping Center on New York Avenue.

Ceramics and Sculpture II is a year-long one-credit course that meets daily. It is offered to students in grades 10-12 and recommended for those interested in an advanced studio elective.

The course includes an “emphasis on individual growth and development of learned techniques as it applies to modeling, carving, wheel work, glazing, casting and construction methods,” according to the Huntington High School curriculum guide.

Ms. Valerio joined Huntington’s faculty in September 2010 as a part-time art teacher. She previously worked as a substitute teacher in the Huntington, South Huntington and Harborfields school districts since 2002.

Ms. Valerio holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design and a Master’s in art education from Long Island University. Prior to coming to Huntington, she worked as an art teacher in Half Hollow Hills and as a computer art teacher in North Babylon. She has also worked as a summer art teacher at the Art League of Long Island.

District officials reviewed 300 applications, pre-screened 100 candidates and conducted 20 personal interviews before recommending Ms. Valerio for the position.


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