All aboard the Smile Train

All aboard the Smile Train photo thumbnail119639

Students from Sylvan Avenue Elementary School in the Bayport-Blue Point School District recently celebrated “Things That Make Us Smile Week” to recognize Better Speech and Hearing month and raise awareness about communication disorders.

To raise school spirit and promote fundraising, the week’s themes consisted of Comfy Day, T-Shirt Day, How Many Smiles Can You Wear Day, Career Day and Crazy Hair Day. Additionally, the students were granted the opportunity to “Walk A Mile for A Smile” as they walked around the front of the school building, and safely duct taped school principal Alane Dougan to the wall in an effort to raise additional funds toward the Smile Train Organization. After the students finished up their turns, Superintendent of School’s Dr. Timothy P. Hearney applied the final piece of tape on Mrs. Dugan before she was suspended on the wall entirely.

The school is proud to have supported the efforts of the Smile Train and Better Speech and Hearing Month for more than 10 years. This year, staff and students have raised upward of $4,000 due to their successful fundraising, which will assist in granting hundreds of children with free cleft palette surgery. 

“We are extremely proud of our students, some of whom have so little but still manage to find ways to raise money,” said speech and language pathologist Christine Monahan. 

Since 1999, the Smile Train organization has provided free cleft palate surgery to more than 580,000 children who would have otherwise never received it. They have also helped train tens of thousands of medical professionals and have established programs in more than 75 countries.