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.




    New York State Assemblyman Dave McDonough and New York State Sen. Michael Venditto spoke to Forest Lake fifth-grade students during an assembly about government. The presentation reinforced information from the students’ comprehensive fifth-grade government unit. Both New York State representatives described their jobs and explained how government works on the state level. They also took time to answer questions and sign autographs.

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    At Forest Lake, students predicted how many beanbags they could throw in 100 seconds into the hole of a beanbag throw game. Classes read poems and books, including Karen Fenstermaker’s “100 Animals” and Margery Cuyler’s “100th Day Worries.” Using a scale, they also predicted which 100 objects (nickels, paper clips, candy, etc.) weighed more and recorded their results.

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    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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Book Of The Month


February, 2015
Dear Forest Lake Community,


The book that I have chosen as this month’s book of the month is called Only One You, written and illustrated by Linda Kranz.   I would once again like to thank the PTA for generously donating this book to each classroom in support of this program.  Only One You is a heartwarming book that helps us realize that every individual is unique and each of us possesses the power to find what we love to do and to do it.  It is a simple book filled with wisdom and life lessons that many do not learn to appreciate until much later in life.  It explains that people are born with gifts that they can bring to the surface and use for good and for things they enjoy doing. This book allows students and people to figure out what their strengths are and how they can use them to help make the world a better place.


“Adri’s mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their eager son.  Their words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world.”   Every parent has words of wisdom and lessons they want to share with their children before they venture out into the world.  Whether your child is heading off to Kindergarten or graduating from college, this book serves as a manual for being a good citizen and finding time to enjoy the things which money cannot buy.  The painted rockfish in this story inspire the reader to look at life around them and see the world through new inspired eyes.  The inside front and back covers have inspirational quotes and phrases splashed about and is perhaps one of my favorite parts of this book as it ties in perfectly with the words of wisdom Adri’s mama and papa bestow onto him.  Over the past few days, I have found myself reading and re-reading these powerful statements, storing them in my head and saving them for just the right moment.  I challenge all readers, young and old, to try the same.  It can serve as a springboard that allows families to talk about memories and life lessons with their children. 


At the end of the book, Mama says, “There’s only one you in this great big world, make it a better place.”  Her words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide her son as he goes about exploring the world.   As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  It is not enough to hope that all students succeed.  It is the entire community working together that ensures each child is armed with the tools to find happiness, as that is what life is truly all about. 

Happy Reading!

Anthony F. Ciuffo Jr.


Forest Lake Elementary School