Forest Lake Elementary School

Forest Lake Elementary School

Our Mission:

Forest Lake Elementary School is dedicated to the achievement of academic excellence and the lifelong love of learning, the enhancement of self-esteem, the building of character, respect, and responsibility through the cooperation of home, school, and community




    Warming Hearts with a Coat Donation Forest Lake student council members collected coats for Assemblyman Dave McDonough’s 2014 Coats for Kids Campaign, under the direction of advisers Susan Burdick and Colleen Nicolosi. The students were delighted at the opportunity to give back to the community and were pleased with its overwhelming success. Mr. McDonough visited the students and thanked them for participation in this valuable campaign for adults and children in need.

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    Forest Lake kindergarten students were the recipients of wonderful books donated by members of the high school senior class. Wantagh High School students John Casella, Alexis Conway, Melissa Ehl, Emily Fenter and Kaitlyn von Runnen wanted to stock the kindergarten classrooms with some of their favorite books and took requests from teachers. As a surprise, John, Melissa and Kaitlyn read their donated picture books to excited and attentive students.

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    This Thanksgiving, while many are busy cooking their feasts or watching football, Forest Lake Elementary School special education teacher Christine Torrellas will don a Mother Goose costume and marches in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual trek through the streets of Manhattan has been a family tradition for the past 14 years.

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    In celebration of Veterans Day, Forest Lake Elementary School third-graders attended an assembly that featured discussions with community veterans. Many of the veterans were grandparents and parents of the students. The active and retired veterans discussed their experiences during active duty and shared their dog tags, a Purple Heart and a Marine Corps flag, as well as photos of the countries where they were stationed.

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    Kindergarten students in Lynn Adams’ class at Forest Lake decided that Duck, the main character in Doreen Cronin’s “Duck for President” has qualities that would make him a great U.S. leader. He won a proverbial election against Pete the Cat, a character in the popular Harper Collins series written by Eric Litwin.

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    Touchdown Terror, Graveyard Golf and Spider Bowl are just three of the 15 physical education stations that comprise the Halloween Fitness Funhouse at Forest Lake and Wantagh elementary schools. Wantagh Elementary School physical education teacher Christine Moran and current Forest Lake Principal Anthony Ciuffo developed this thrilling and spooky physical education unit a decade ago, and each year the students look forward to playing games like Candy Corn and Ghostbusters Bowling or traveling through the Tunnel of Terror.

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    With the approach of the fall season, first-grade students at Forest Lake and Wantagh elementary schools have been studying the properties of apples and utilizing math, English language arts and science skills in their examination of this versatile and popular fruit.

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    The sunflowers in the courtyard garden at Forest Lake Elementary stood as tall as the students this fall, the result of much tending by Chris Torrellas’s class. With assistance from a SEPTA and NEFCU grant, the second- and third-grade students have re-energized the courtyard through a beautification project that included the planting of perennials, annuals and vegetables. Weeding and the colorful painting of a bench completed the project, but Torrellas said there is more work to do in the coming year.

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    In honor of Arbor Day, Wantagh students in Lori Gottlieb’s class at Forest Lake Elementary School learned how to make paper from recycled newspaper. Arbor Day in New York State is the last Friday of April and is celebrated by tree plantings and various recycling projects...

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    Throughout Forest Lake Elementary School in Wantagh, students were busy decorating valentines and writing letters to send to veterans as part of the Town of Hempstead’s Valentines for Veterans Program...

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Book Of The Month


January, 2015

Dear Forest Lake Community,


The book that I have chosen as this month’s book of the month is called Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell.  It is illustrated by David Catrow. This book was once again purchased with funds raised by our PTA through the “Target: Take Charge of Education” fundraiser.  The story is charming, the illustrations are quirky and fun, and the message is subtle and sweet.


Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor.  She doesn’t mind.  Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that to heart.  But then, Molly Lou has to start in a new school.  A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that.”


I think all of us have been picked on or criticized at some point in our lives, and it is our reaction to that criticism that measures our pride and determines how we are perceived by others.  Molly Lou Melon showed her friends that she was very proud of who she was and could do anything she put her mind to.  This story teaches a very valuable lesson not only to children but adults as well.  The author’s simple, yet powerful text is complemented by the illustrator’s bold, bright and joyous artwork.  Together they've authored a terrific story that's summed up on the book's last page, in Molly Lou's letter to her Grandma..."Everything you told me was exactly right."


Molly Lou Melon teaches kids to not let put downs bring you down but to “Stand tall and walk as proudly as you can.”   This is a fabulous message and Molly's letter to grandma on the last page is the perfect ending.  Teaching self-esteem and confidence is very difficult to do at such an early age, and it is my hope that Mary Lou and her grandma can help!   I hope your children enjoy this story as much as I did.


“Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too!” -    Mary Lou Melon’s Grandma

Happy Reading!

Anthony F. Ciuffo Jr.


Forest Lake Elementary School