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Class is in Session

The Islanders were at school Monday, talking to Long Island kids about teamwork, healthy living and anti-bullying.

Monday, 11.25.2013 / 5:54 PM / News
By Peter Kaplan
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Class is in Session
The Islanders were at school Monday, talking to Long Island kids about teamwork, healthy living and anti-bullying.
Click here to view Islanders School Day gallery.

As buses pulled up to select Long Island elementary schools Monday morning, some lucky students were greeted by special guests, as the New York Islanders were on hand for Islanders School Day.

The Islanders paired off for the annual community initiative, and spoke at a variety of local elementary schools. Assembly topics ranged from the importance of education, staying active, eating healthy and making smart decisions in life.

“Today was great, the kids were awesome,” said Josh Bailey, who was at Old Bethpage Elementary School. “The students were really excited to see us, they were a great crowd.”

Bailey, who was paired with Andrew MacDonald, focused on the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork. After introducing themselves and talking about their journeys to the NHL, the players shared personal experiences on bullying, setting goals, and making healthy habits.

“Bullying is not easy to talk about but it is a big part of schools these days,” said MacDonald. “It was nice to hear the children talk about bullying to know they are aware of it. They know to talk to a grown-up about it. It is good to hear that kids are really listening.”

After the presentation, Students were given the opportunity to ask the players questions. At Old Bethpage Elementary, not all questions were easy.

“The toughest question today was about fighting,” said Bailey. “We are trying to teach the kids good values. It is tough to spin it positively and it was probably the toughest question today.”

MacDonald mentioned another problematic part of the Q&A which he handled with poise.

“We had a couple statements from Ranger fans,” he said. “I was hoping we could maybe convert a couple of them, but they are probably listening to their parents.”

Howard Merims, Principal of Howard D. Fayette Elementary School, could already see the effect that the Islanders had on his school.

“What a thrill, just to give back to the community,” said Merims. “We have children who just crave this. You can just see by their reactions this morning how much it meant to them, to have professional athletes in our school. We are so appreciative of the Islanders and the commitment to us here.”

Bailey, said he never had this type of opportunity growing up and knew what it would have meant to him as a kid. He was eager to provide that unforgettable experience for the Long Island kids.

“If an NHL player visited my school when I was young, it would have been the coolest,” Bailey said. “It would have been a day I would never forget.”

Schools that the Islanders visited included:

• Kramer Lane Elementary- Radek Martinek, Matt Donovan, and Frans Nielsen

• Setauket Elementary- Matt Carkner, Eric Boulton, and Aaron Ness

• Polk Street School- Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Okposo

• Waverly Avenue Elementary- Kevin Poulin, Brock Nelson, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard

• Seaford Harbor Elementary- Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, and Thomas Vanek

• Old Bethpage Elementary- Andrew MacDonald and Josh Bailey

• Harold D. Fayette Elementary- John Tavares, Colin McDonald, and Travis Hamonic

• Abbey Lane Elementary- Peter Regin and Brian Strait

• Island Trees Middle School – Michael Grabner and Thomas Hickey

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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