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Calhoun Construction Update 7/19/19


Dear Neighbors,


The contractor has informed us that they anticipate street sweeping on Webster Avenue on Monday 7/22/19.


Thank you,

Jon Simpkins


Calhoun Construction Update


Students Lend a Helping Hand

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Throughout the 2018-19 school year, Grand Avenue Middle School students worked hard to raise money for the district’s Community Cupboard. Through two separate projects, the students raised $2,575. 

Through the first initiative, student volunteers sold pretzels from Philly Pretzel Factory after school. This effort helped to generate a net donation of $2,250 for the Cupboard.

The second endeavor involved student athletes taking part in community service by collecting plastic recyclable bottles from around the school. Thanks to the relationship and help of the Bellmore Beverage Center, the initiative raised $325. Grand Avenue thanks Joe Sciara and Steve Johnson from the center in their assistance with separating and counting the bottles.

Housed at Brookside School’s administrative building, the cupboard is a fully stocked food pantry for local families in need. The district congratulates and thanks all of the involved students for their outstanding effort in helping to provide for the Community Cupboard.

Mepham Celebrates 81st Class of Graduates

Mepham Celebrates 81st Class of Graduates

Mepham High School marked its 81th commencement ceremony on June 30 at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.

Principal Eric Gomez addressed this “unique and talented” members of the Class of 2019 by asking them to continually improve and encourage others to do the same. 

“A positive outlook is valuable, and it does lead to positive outcomes,” he said. “It also gives you a sense of hope and opens your mind.”

Salutatorian and Class President Gabriela Daza flipped back through the pages of the class’ collective educational history during her speech.

“We all have our daily routines, weekly rituals and annual cycles,” she said. “There’s comfort in them, so we stick to them. But it’s the blips in these patterns that have made our lives so colorful and we are about to get more of them. We get to go forward and move toward something new.”

Valedictorian David Collins compared high school to a level in a video game.

“Today this level ends,” he added. “And our reward is this ceremony. However, in order to achieve the next level, we need to think tactically and act swiftly. And we will need to rely on both old and new allies to lean on when we need them most.”

Board member Nina Lanci addressed parents and jokingly congratulated their role as “semi-retired from parenthood.”

“Whether you’re 8, 18 or 88, your parents just don’t stop parenting,” she added. “They’re in it for the long haul and will be there whenever you need.”

Calhoun Marks 60th Commencement Ceremony

Calhoun Marks 60th Commencement Ceremony photo

The June 30 commencement ceremony for Calhoun High School’s Class of 2019, which was held at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, celebrated a theme of perseverance and personal achievement.

“Use failure to propel you forward,” Principal Nicole Hollings told graduates before belting out an a cappella version of “This is Me.” “There will be times when you will feel powerless, but you will always have the control to be just, honest and loving.”

Board member Edward Corona, a 34-year high school math teacher, reflected on the importance of seemingly difficult lessons and their relevance later in life.

“I challenge you to seek deeper meanings,” he said about the students’ overall educational experience. “Expect to be confused, but be confident that you will also be well equipped from the various resources obtained throughout your time in Bellmore-Merrick schools.”

Co-senior class adviser Nikole DeLuca pressed that life will always be a series of firsts and lasts, but to also focus on the “many indelible moments in between.” Her Co-senior class adviser Ricky Posner told students to “carve a path that is right for you.”

“Trust yourself and live your life with happiness, health and family in mind,” he added.

Class President Tara Cavanagh reflected on the four-year journey to finally become class night champions. 

“We learned from our mistakes and spent four years trying to make things better,” she said. “Our class has proved themselves a lot these past four years.”  

Salutatorian Jessica Lin colorfully told her story of growing up with immigrant parents who operated a Chinese kitchen. 

“Through working at the restaurant, I’ve learned compassion and sacrifice, and I was able to translate these values into my time at Calhoun,” she added. “It also helped me learn how to bring people together through culture.”

Valedictorian Senya Huda spoke about moving on.

“Our time at Calhoun has not only told us what to learn, but how to learn,” she said. “It is now our job to use our education to help change the world and give back to our communities.”

Kennedy Cougars Celebrate Commencement

Kennedy Cougars Celebrate Commencement photo

At the June 30 commencement ceremony held at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, the message for Kennedy High School’s Class of 2019 was one of kindness and compassion.

Principal Gerard Owenburg also discussed the importance of gratitude.

“Make every moment count,” he continued. “Life is about happiness and living in the moment. Those who practice gratitude and mindfulness regularly are happier overall in life.”

He also urged graduates to make more human connections and to continue to “develop communication skills” in a world where digital communication reigns supreme.

Student Government President Jonathan Mashal called his classmates a “beacon of light and hope for the future.”

“We are the problem solvers of tomorrow, paving the road for future generations,” he added.

Salutatorian Whitney Sussman told her fellow classmates not to let other people’s measure of success define theirs.

“What makes a person successful is their ability to make a positive impact on others,” she added.

Valedictorian Jordan Pitti thanked teachers for the “culmination of positive interactions and life lessons both inside and out of the classroom.”
“They have helped us to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t do,” he added.

Lastly, Board trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan, spoke of transition; both at Kennedy this year with the passing of former Principal Lorraine Poppe and Owenburg’s first year as principal, as well as transition for the graduates who are moving on.

“I hope you feel a sense of pride in your school and all you have already accomplished,” she added, attributing the legacy of education excellence to Poppe’s tenure. “You have so many more moments left [referencing Principal Owenburg’s speech] ‘make every moment count.’”

Grand Avenue Celebrates Moving Up

Grand Avenue Celebrates Moving Up

Before an auditorium filled with faculty, family and friends at the Grand Avenue Middle School’s 61st  moving up ceremony, Principal Carlo Conte told graduates not to hesitate when they are embarking on a new venture.

“The next time you feel yourself hesitating beginning something positive, count down from five, empower yourself and launch yourself into greatness,” he added, recalling a speech he watched earlier in the week to help individuals get started.

Amanda Falls led the ceremony with a poignant rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Grand Voices, led by director Kyle Banks, sang “Here Comes the Sun” and “Proud Corazon,” with a solo by Sydney Florio.

Wellington C. Mepham High School senior Allison Trenkle was invited to address Team Warriors at the 10 a.m. ceremony. Grand Avenue held a total of four ceremonies throughout the day.

“Middle school was an unforgettable experience, but as that door closes, countless memorable times lie ahead of you in the door that opens to one of the amazing high schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District,” she addressed the middle school graduates. “I encourage every one of you to seize every opportunity you come across in the next four years. Doing this helped me to be able to look back fondly on the door that is closing and I hope that all of you are able to find that in high school as well."

Eighth grader Mario Medina offered a student reflection to his peers about their future after Grand Avenue.

“All of those who have impacted our lives have led us up to this moment and now is our time to seize it,” he said. “Be prepared to dive into the unknown and take your shot at life. Your life and world can only be as good as you make it.”

Merrick Avenue Eighth Graders Graduate

Merrick Avenue Eighth Graders Graduate

Merrick Avenue Middle School was decked out in fanfare for its eighth grade moving up ceremonies held on June 14.

Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson told students two years was not enough for her to spend as an educator and mentor.

“I ask you to quantify the two years in terms of friendships, arguments, happiness, surprises and disappointments,” she said. “Then I ask you to understand that time is fleeting and pause to put time into perspective. You will learn and live every moment. You will nurture in every single moment you have with each other.”

The school’s vocal group, Word of Mouth, sang a moving rendition of “Lullabye,” led by director Dana Brandwein.
Kennedy High School senior Samuel Moskowitz addressed the graduates.

“Take chances, make mistakes and get messy,” he offered to the graduates, quoting a famed character from television’s “The Magic School Bus.” “In each opportunity when I feared I would fall flat on my face, the support from teachers and friends always cleared my mind.”

Mariel Pusateri, a student speaker for Team Six was grateful toward teachers who pushed core values of trust and perseverance. 

“Thank you for being a great group of teachers that have made it very easy to trust you,” she recalled. “Everything you taught us was to benefit us.”

MAP Graduates Nine Seniors

MAP Graduates Nine Seniors photo

The Meadowbrook Alternative Program graduated nine students from its senior class on June 24.

During her commencement speech, valedictorian Brianna Ottofaro spoke about finding her self-confidence and her path at MAP.

“I urge you to embrace each other’s differences,” she said. “Not all schools offer such an advantage. No matter the path you decide to take after high school, the support we gained from our peers and teachers will help us succeed.”

Salutatorian Matthew Alexander touched on his thankfulness to the MAP teaching and support staff.

“They worked tirelessly to make sure we have a great education and are prepared for the future,” he said. “While doing this, they made sure we are actively engaged, and that we have fun while doing so.”

As a MAP graduation tradition, Principal Susan Ellinghaus invites an alumnus to address current graduates. Joseph Calvaruso from the Class of 2017, spoke about his path at MAP and the lessons he has taken with him. 

“I realized I needed to make a change,” he explained. “I needed to go to MAP. I was given a second chance I so desperately needed and became the man I am today. Most importantly, it was here that I learned to never give up.”

Dr. Joseph Netto, the program’s psychologist, offered the faculty address.

“The obstacles in your path may have seemed so daunting, yet your individual perseverance allowed you to rise to the occasion,” he said. “And I strongly believe that [perseverance] is the most important lesson and skill that you have learned here at MAP. It is this individuality that will allow you to surpass mediocrity.”

CHAMP Receives $1,000 Donation

CHAMP Receives $1,000 Donation
The Lions and Kiwanis Clubs of Bellmore made a donation to the Central High School District’s CHAMP Program at the June 5 board of education meeting. 

They presented a $1,000 check to the Culinary and Hospitality Applied Management Program, which is housed at Kennedy High School.
Students from the program volunteered last weekend at the Nassau County Strawberry Festival, assisting the clubs with their weekend fair and fundraising efforts.

“Students made nearly 1,300 pieces of cake and 40 gallons of whipped cream, as well as prepared 80 pounds of strawberries for assorted uses,” explained Andrew Meyerowitz, Kiwanis Club president, who is also a Kennedy graduate.

Tyler Bissoondial Awarded High Honors

 Tyler Bissoondial Awarded High Honors
On June 8, Grand Avenue Middle School student Tyler Bissoondial was awarded High Honors at the New York State Science Congress in Syracuse, for his project titled, “The Isolation and Characterization of Salt Tolerant Mutant in Raphanus sativus.”

This achievement is equivalent of second place.

Bissoondial will attend John F. Kennedy High School in the fall, but will return to Grand Avenue to serve as president of the Students Network of Cooperative Science, a peer-mentoring club, advised by science teacher Tami Cruz. The club pairs high school and middle school students, working together on science research projects.

Calhoun Colts Celebrate ‘Colture Day’

Calhoun Colts Celebrate ‘Colture Day’ photo
Calhoun Colts Celebrate ‘Colture Day’ photo 2
Calhoun Colts Celebrate ‘Colture Day’ photo 3
Calhoun Colts Celebrate ‘Colture Day’ photo 4
Calhoun Colts Celebrate ‘Colture Day’ photo 5
The International Buddy Club hosted its first ever “Colture Day” at Sanford H. Calhoun High School to celebrate with pride the school’s cultural diversity. 

Visitors collected stamps for their passports as they traveled to different stations, answering trivia questions, participating in cultural games, savoring international delicacies, and dancing to world music. 

IBC members, including first and second generation immigrants and students of color, spoke to the crowd and described personal experiences with immigration, racism, and discrimination, all with a positive message to promote change and equality for the future. 

The event was organized by ENL teacher and International Buddy Club advisor, Heather Glick, together with the collaboration of the Japanese Culture Club, Advanced Science Research, Model United Nations, as well as classes such as Drawing & Painting, AP Photography, AP Calculus BC, AP English, AP French, AP Italian, AP Spanish, Mandarin, Health, and Voices of the Past. Special visitors included middle school students from the English as a New Language (ENL) program at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue, as well as Calhoun’s present students and graduates of ENL/IBC. 

“This was a special day for all as students and staff proudly displayed their cultural heritage while sending a message of inclusion and tolerance,” explained Enrique Montes, a World Languages Chairperson.

Grand Avenue Hosts Gaming Showcase

Grand Avenue Hosts Gaming Showcase
Grand Avenue Hosts Gaming Showcase
Grand Avenue Hosts Gaming Showcase
Grand Avenue Hosts Gaming Showcase
The Grand Avenue Middle School Library hosted its first Grand Gaming Showcase on June 4-5.

Earlier this year, Michelle Biancardo’s seventh grade Coding classes created their own video games using the Hatch and Python programming languages. This event showcased the students creative work in designing multi-level, gravity platformers and vintage arcade style games, quiz games and other informative challenges.

“Students were invited to get a special pass from lunch to attend the event,” Biancardo said. “Once there, they could play the games created by their peers. There was also a section where students could explore the Scratch website to learn more about what can be designed or try their hand at creating something themselves.”

Bellmore-Merrick BOE Recognizes Student Representatives

Bellmore-Merrick BOE Recognizes Student Representatives
As the Central High School District wraps up the 2018-19 school year, it recognized four student representatives who offered school points of pride updates and witty banter at the monthly board of education meetings.

At the June 5 meeting, Gabriela Daza of Mepham, Juliana Tirino of Calhoun, Matthew Alexander of the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and Jonathan Mashal of Kennedy high schools, were given a commemorative gavel after offering their last update from the board dais.

“I can’t say I know exactly who I am, but I do know who I want to be thanks to the many people I’ve met here these last six years [in the high school district],” offered Daza.

Sara Tappeto Named Academic All-American Lacrosse Player

Sara Tappeto Named Academic All-American Lacrosse Player
Calhoun High School senior Sarah Tappeto was recently honored at the Nassau County Girls Lacrosse Association’s annual dinner as a U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American. 

In order to be considered for such an award, the athlete must maintain a 3.7. GPA during their high school career and have left their mark beyond the lacrosse field and classroom by making service contributions to the community. 

Tappeto was one of nine athletes in the county who received this honor. Aside from her work in the classroom, Tappeto led the team in goals this season and has amassed more than 100 points in her varsity career. In addition to her honor as a U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American, she was an All-County honorable mention recipient and Calhoun’s Scholar Athlete for this season. 

She will attend Molloy College on a soccer scholarship this fall.

Molly Flaherty Receives Student of the Year Scholarship Award

Molly Flaherty Receives Student of the Year Scholarship Award photo
Molly Flaherty Receives Student of the Year Scholarship Award photo 2
Molly Flaherty Receives Student of the Year Scholarship Award photo 3
Molly Flaherty, student at Calhoun High School was recently presented with the Student of the Year Scholarship Award. 

She was nominated by her teachers based upon her accomplishments during her time at Calhoun. She accepted this award at the LIASEA (Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators on Friday, June 7 at the Crest Hollow Country Club. 

In attendance were Molly’s parents, sister, Maggie, special education teacher Lisa Loonie and Assistant Director of Special Education, Emily Paluseo. 

MAP Creates Memory Garden

MAP Creates Memory Garden photo
MAP Creates Memory Garden photo 2
MAP Creates Memory Garden photo 3
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and to commemorate, Zachary Gosse’s School and Community Leadership class invited representatives from the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) to provide pertinent education on the disease to the students at MAP.  

The presentation was informative and was well received by the students. The School and Community Leadership class had raised funds through purple bracelet and purple ribbon sales, as well as through a Memory Garden which was planted in the front entrance of the Brookside School on Meadowbrook Road.  

Two flats of annual flowers were donated to the class by Atlantic Nursery in Freeport.   obin Marks, Executive Director & CEO, and Alexandra Bett, Care Consultant and Outreach Coordinator, of ADRC accepted the donation and sincerely thanked the students for their tremendous efforts. 

ADRC is a grassroots organization whose main goal is to provide services to those families affected by Alzheimer’s and other Brain disorders throughout Long Island.  

Mepham Softball Crowned County Champs

Mepham Softball Crowned County Champs
Mepham Softball Crowned County Champs 2
The Mepham High School girls softball team won the Nassau County Class A Championship on May 31.

This is the first time in the program’s history that a team has accomplished this. 

“The entire team of 16 works together as one to get the job done,” said coach Brenda Dolan. “Whether it's one pitch, one play, one at bat, one catch; they all know that every job is important to the success of this team.”

They take on the Suffolk County winners, Sayville High School, on June 7.

Students Receive High Marks in the LI Science Congress

 Students Receive High Marks in the LI Science Congress
 Students Receive High Marks in the LI Science Congress
 Students Receive High Marks in the LI Science Congress
In April several students from the Central High School District’s Advanced Science Research program, as well as some middle school students, presented their ongoing research projects in the Long Island Science Congress competition.   

“Our students were judged among nearly 2,000 student researchers from all across long Island.  The final results for the competition have just been released and we are so proud to share our list of awards and achievements in the Long Island Science Congress,” explained Robert Soel, a district science chairperson.

Kennedy High School:
Andrew Brinton                High Honors 
Mikaela Milch                    Honors 
Ashley Cammiso               Achievement 
Liam Boyle                          Achievement
Ekaterina Fakinos             Achievement 
Jack Racer                           Achievement
Kenar Gelman                    Achievement
Joshua Abramovitch       Achievement
Randi Finklestein              Meritorious
Katherine St George       Honorable Mention 
Nate Bergfeld                    Honorable Mention        
Pierce Infuso                      Honorable Mention
Jordan Kanner                   Honorable Mention

Mepham High School:
Timothy Langone     High Honors
Brandon Langone    High Honors
Sydney Rubin            Honors
Erin Lutz                     Achievement
Chloe Shipley            Achievement
Kirsten Knowles        Achievement
Sarah Hodnett           Meritorious
Sreeshty Ray              Meritorious
Hashir Siddiqui          Meritorious

In the junior division, students from Grand Avenue Middle School received the following honors:
Highest Honors and state finalist:
Tyler Bissoondial
High Honors:
Dillon Moi
Adhith Jacob
Sahara Partap
Gabriella Simal
Mackenzie Filosa
Jessica Blumberg
Massimo Marino
Cameron Franceschina
Hayden Schneider
Christopher Sanchez
Future Scientist Award:
Sahara Partap
Gabriella Simal
Mackenzie Filosa
L.I. Science Technology Engineering and Math Education Leadership Award:
Jessica Blumberg
Best in Category for Physical Science:
Dillon Moi
Adhith Jacob
Best in Category for Microbiology and Genetics
Tyler Bissoondial

Merrick Avenue Students are Kidsday Reporters

Merrick Avenue Students are Kidsday Reporters photo
Merrick Avenue Students are Kidsday Reporters photo 2
Students from Roland Clark’s seventh grade English classes from Merrick Avenue Middle School had the unique opportunity to become newspaper reporter for a day.

They were tasked with completing a Newsday Kidsday section, interviewing Buddy Valastro from the hit television baking show, “Cake Boss.”

Students Dylan Cuttler, Sam Saldarelli, Emmy Rosenberg and Asra Iqbal all traveled to the Discovery offices in Manhattan to complete the interview. 
Their article was published on May 21 and can be viewed online.

Kidsday is a section of Newsday that is written by kids, covering Long Island family-friendly places, reviews, celebrity interviews and more. 

Grand Avenue MS Hosts First Science Fair

Grand Avenue MS Hosts First Science Fair photo
Grand Avenue Middle School held its first in-house science fair on May 23, led by science teacher Tami Cruz.

Participants included Tyler Bissoondial, Mackenzie Filosa, Adhith Jacob, Li Lin, Brady Marr, Dillon Moi, Samantha Nadler, Sahara Partap, Christopher Sanchez, Hayden Schneider and Gabriella Simal.

“Students shared their knowledge either by answering other students' questions or by presenting to our interns and teachers,” Cruz explained. 

Participants from this class also received their awards from the Long Island Science Congress Competition. Awards ranged from the Achievement Award to the Highest Honors Award. 

Tyler Bissoondial received the distinction of making it to the state competition in Syracuse.

From Rams to Colts — A Welcoming Committee

From Rams to Colts — A Welcoming Committee
Guidance & Wellness Counselors Ricky Posner and Brian Resnick, along with several current students, welcomed some future Colts to Calhoun High School on May 29.

They fielded questions, offered campus tours and showed off the Colt culture to incoming ninth graders who are currently attending Merrick Avenue Middle School.

CHSD Designated ‘No Place for Hate’

CHSD Designated ‘No Place for Hate’ photo
CHSD Designated ‘No Place for Hate’ photo 2
Once again, all six schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District have been selected as No Place for Hate schools. 

Several staff members and students went to New York City on May 23 for the convention.

The Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate initiative is a school climate improvement framework that provides pre K-12 schools with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate. 

Science Fair

Ms. Cruz's research class participated in their first in-house science fair. Participants included Tyler Bissoondial, Mackenzie Filosa, Adhith Jacob, Li Lin, Brady Marr, Dillon Moi, Samantha Nadler, Sahara Partap, Christopher Sanchez, Hayden Schneider, and Gabriella Simal. A good day was had by all. Students shared their knowledge either by answering other students' questions or by presenting to our interns and teachers. Yesterday, participants from this class received their awards from the Long Island Science Congress Competition. Awards ranged from the Achievement Award to the Highest Honors Award. Tyler Bissoondial also received the distinction of making it to the state competition in Syracuse.

VIDEO: Students Shine in Bellmore-Merrick Challenge


Members of the Bellmore-Merrick School and Community Leadership Program and Athletes Helping Athletes participated in the Bellmore-Merrick Challenge on May 22.

Special needs students from various schools around Nassau County gathered at Calhoun each year to participate in the Bellmore-Merrick Challenge, a field day of fun activities designed to make connections between students from across the county.

What started with three schools and 90 kids, has grown into an extraordinary event with 14 schools and 450 kids. Students competed in a variety of traditional field day activities, including relays, an inflatable obstacle course, jumping competitions and throwing contests, among other events.
The Bellmore-Merrick Challenge provides an opportunity for special needs students to have fun, develop their strengths and socialize with students from nearby districts. 

“A special thank you goes out to all of the participants, buddies and volunteers from Athletes Helping Athletes for making this another successful year,” added Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings.

Art + Tech Highlighted at Shows

Art + Tech Highlighted at Shows photo

Both the Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools combined arts and robotics to create electrifying shows on May 9 and 16, respectively.

“The concept was that when everyone is the same it is boring,” explained Michelle Biancardo, a technology and coding teacher at both middle schools. “What makes society interesting is the difference between people. Sometimes that difference can create dissonance, but more often it can create beauty, cooperation and fun.”

At Merrick Avenue, the Robotics Club used Makey Makey kits to code messages and music from each artist when the clay ball was pressed, completing the circuit.

This year at the Grand Avenue Spring Expo, art and technology collaborated again to create an interactive installation called "CLIQUE." 
The Robotics Club, lead by Biancardo and the Art Club, lead by Nicholas Giordano, worked together to attach the large scale artwork to coded sounds. 

“The balloons are attached to wires and copper tape, which acts like a conductor,” explained Dillon Moi, an eighth grader in the Robotics Club. “These small motherboards were wired to helium balloons and aluminum touch pads to "complete the circuit and create a sound that supportd the main idea.”

Students Awarded NYS Senate Youth Leadership Awards

Leadership Awards
Leadership Awards2
Leadership Awards 3
Leadership Awards 4
Leadership Awards 5
Leadership Awards 6
Five Mepham High School students were recently recognized with NYS Senate Youth Leadership Awards.
Nicholas Azzariti, Julia Caponi, Anthony Novello, Anthony Paolillo and Allison Trenkle were each recognize.

Nominations for an award come from teachers, administrators, counselors or other school faculty for well-rounded candidates who excel not only academically, but through leadership in extracurricular and volunteer activities. There are four categories including Academics, Athletics, Arts and Community Service.

Points of Pride

The district's Points of Pride highlights various achievements and accomplishments in the areas of academics, arts, athletics and altruism. A celebration of student and staff successes, these monthly bulletins are also available at board of education meetings. 

Click here to read the Points of Pride.

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