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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 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 65 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 65 14 28 23 42
B. Nelson 65 17 20 7 37
F. Nielsen 65 11 25 13 36
A. Lee 59 21 13 13 34
J. Bailey 53 13 19 11 32
J. Boychuk 55 7 23 14 30
N. Leddy 65 8 18 16 26
T. Hamonic 55 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 1 .911 2.47
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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