34 The Queens Courier • MAY 9, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com HOME GROWN ADVENTURE Alley Pond Park Adventure Course now open BY MELISA CHAN firstname.lastname@example.org Queens rope climbers and zip liners can find a free adventure without leaving the borough. The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course, the only course of its kind in the city, reopened for its seventh season on May 1. The venue boasts a zip line, a climbing wall, a trust fall station, swings and balance platforms. It also has ropes courses that promote team building and problem solving skills through physically and intellectually demanding situations. “The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course allows park visitors to zip through the tree tops and balance among the branches, all without leaving New York City,” said Parks Commissioner Veronica White. “It is part of a new generation of park designs, where people of all ages can challenge themselves and get fit.” The ropes course, which features 45 foot cables in some areas, incurred about $17,000 in damages from Sandy-felled trees, a spokesperson for the city’s Parks Department said. Repairs were paid for by Project Adventure, the course’s construction company, and the adventure course reopened on schedule, the spokesperson added. The free course is open every Sunday until November with classes at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., depending on the weather. Registration is only required in July and August. Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course is open every Sunday until November. Photo courtesy of Parker Institute Caren Russo, a resident of the Parker Institute, with a member of the St. John’s campaign event planning class. PROJECT CREATES AN EXTENDED ‘FAMILY’ BY ANTHONY O’REILLY email@example.com For some St. John’s University students, reaching out to the elderly has expanded their family. The Parker Jewish Institute for Healthcare and Rehabilitation teamed up with students to highlight residents and patients’ individuality. The event, called Parker: Discovering a New Family, took place Sunday, May 5. “These are individuals,” said Ron Shafran, associate vice president of public affairs and government relations for Parker. Shafran’s wife, Phyllis, had her campaign event planning class from St. John’s come up with a public relations campaign to highlight the individuality of the residents. Another goal was to transform the image of the Parker Institute into being not just a rehab center, but also a place of learning. The students interviewed the seniors about their lives and compiled snapshots depicting what made the seniors who they are. Caren Russo, a resident at the Parker Institute, said she was initially unsure about why the students wanted to interview her. “I really didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I was ready to back out.” But Russo said in the end, she was glad she stuck with the project. “It was exciting,” she said. “I enjoyed it, frankly.” Student Bianca Pappas said that in addition to gaining experience on how to run a successful public relations campaign, she also became very close to the residents she interviewed. Pappas said she was also able to learn a lot about life by seeing how the seniors reacted to the prospect of creating an art project. “I learned that life still goes on,” she said. “You can still grow passion.” THE SUM OF SUCCESS Teen wins prestigious math honors BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO firstname.lastname@example.org At only 14, Jena Yun knows the equation for success. The 8th grader at Russell Sage Junior High School is captain of the school’s math team and the only New York City public school student in the National Society of Professional Engineers’ National upcoming Mathcounts competition in Washington, D.C. She is also the only female in the contest. “I never really expected it to get this far,” said Yun. “I’m definitely nervous.” After placing fourth at the state Mathcounts competition in Albany, Yun was selected as one of four team members to compete in the national competition taking place May 9-12. She will work with two students from Rochester and a student from the Bronx. “It’s just humbling, it’s amazing,” said William Collins, who coaches Russell Sage’s math team. He added that whatever the outcome, “we’re so proud of her.” On Monday, May 6, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott gave Yun an award for her success at the state competition. She also received a New York City Council Citation of Honor from Councilmember Karen Koslowitz. “Behind all of it is studying and trying to get where you want,” Yun said. “It all pays off in the end.” The middle schooler also received a $1,000 scholarship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for being the first female to qualify in the competition. “You hear about Russell Sage because it’s such a great school,” said Walcott. “These students are truly outstanding,” After graduation, Yun will attend the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She hopes to follow in her older sister’s footsteps by moving on to Princeton University. Russell Sage’s math team started up 12 years ago with just three students. The team has since become a “family” with over 50 students from all grade levels.
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