skip to main content

Calhoun’s C.O.P.E. Club Seeks to Improve Peers’ Mental Health

 Calhoun’s C.O.P.E. Club Seeks to Improve Peers’ Mental Health  thumbnail165250
 Calhoun’s C.O.P.E. Club Seeks to Improve Peers’ Mental Health 2 thumbnail165251
The C.O.P.E . (Collectively Overcoming Problems Effectively) Club at Calhoun High School is a student-led initiative to improve mental health in a for-youth, by-youth environment.

C.O.P.E was created to provide students with a free space to relieve stress and form an even more united family within Calhoun by forming friendships and growing existing ones, as well as bridging the gap between upperclassmen and underclassmen by offering advice and sharing experiences. 

Officers include juniors Emma Bhansingh, Sophie Takmopoulos, Lauren Pagliari and Meghan Vecchione. The idea for the club was born during a shared AP Psychology class.

“This group lets students play a part in how our school handles mental health,” said Bhansingh. “It empowers students by creating a community of empathy.”

“It also focuses on building important listening skills and suggests stress-relieving coping mechanisms,” added Vecchione.

Meetings are held on Wednesdays, which coincides with wellness day, where school support staff is one hand for extra hours. They also plan stress relieving activities, fundraisers, peer mentoring and more. 

“Future plans involve introducing new topics and outside mental health agencies and organization available to students,” added Pagliari. 

“We’d also like to possibly bring this club to the other high schools in the district,” said Takmopoulos. “Or even extend our efforts into an entire wellness week.”

The club will also be involved in the Nassau County Youth Wellness Summit on April 2, which is co-sponsored by the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.

Club co-advisers include school psychologist Dr. Katherine Kusterer and assistant principal Anthony DeMartinis.

Calhoun’s Reza Aziz Advances to Final Round of Poetry Out Loud

Calhoun’s Reza Aziz Advances to Final Round of Poetry Out Loud photo thumbnail164940
Reza Aziz, a junior at Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, participated in the regional competition of Poetry Out Loud at Nassau Community College on Feb. 7, earning first place in the entire competition.

The winning poem he recited was “Prayer Rug” by Agha Shahid Ali.

Calhoun student Sara Antin also competed at the regional competition. English teachers Irene Ritaccio and Catherine Arresto helped both students prepare for this highly competitive event.

It was Ritaccio who encouraged Reza to start participating in the competition three years ago. 

“She was always very supportive, as well as my English teacher, Sal Salerno,” Reza added.

Reza won an award and gift card and will be competing in the state finals at FIT University in Manhattan on March 7 for a potential $1,000 grant and $500 for the school. 

Molloy Students Visit Calhoun

Molloy Students Visit Calhoun  thumbnail165435
Molloy Students Visit Calhoun 2 thumbnail165436
Molloy Students Visit Calhoun 3 thumbnail165437
Molloy Students Visit Calhoun 4 thumbnail165438
Students from Molloy College paid a special visit to students from Calhoun High School’s English as a New Language program to talk about their experiences leading up to and in college. 

“Our English Language Learners, some of whom are new to the country, had the opportunity to meet in small groups, discuss their experiences and get first-hand advice from other older students on how to reach their goals and acclimate to a new academic environment,” said Heather Glick, an English as a New Language teacher.

The Molloy students also led a meeting of the International Buddy Club in which they did ice breakers to get everyone comfortable and then led the club through a thought-provoking activity which allowed the students to reflect on their experiences and contact with people of other races and backgrounds in their lives. 

Appreciation is extended to Sarah Shin from the Office of Experiential Learning for bringing these excellent young leaders, as well as Ms. Angeles and Heather Glick for providing this opportunity to our students.



Calhoun Art Show Highlights Various Mediums

Calhoun Art Show Highlights Various Mediums photo thumbnail164477
Nicole Silvester, a senior at Calhoun High School, volunteered to install artwork for the Feb. 12 Art Show in the school’s main hallway. Silvester, who is a student of art teacher Linda Seckler, has four featured pieces and focuses on drawing as a medium, utilizing colored pencils, pastels and graphite. She is a student of art teacher, Linda Seckler. 


Our Schools