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-- Student Theatre Arts Scholarship Recognition Program Launched with 
$10,000 Grant from Wal-Mart; Participating High Schools Announced --

Rocky Point, NY (August 28, 2007) –  The Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council today launched the First Annual Teeny Awards for Northern Brookhaven High Schools.  At a ceremony held at Rocky Point High School in Rocky Point, NY, elected officials, including Assemblyman Steve Engelbright; and Legislator Daniel P. Losquadro, Dr. Carla D’Ambrosio, Superintendent of Schools in Rocky Point School District, Charles Wittreich, College Director of Theater Arts for Suffolk County Community College, Matthew Whelan, Assistant Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid - Stony Brook University and local arts leaders gathered to announce the participating high schools and a $10,000 grant from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc for the scholarship program. 


Modeled after Broadway’s Tony Awards®, qualified judges will attend high school plays and musicals at the participating Long Island high schools, and assess a variety of skills and disciplines. The top scoring students will be announced as the nominees, and attend a gala awards ceremony in June, where the winners will be announced and presented with a trophy and scholarship.  In addition to acting awards, categories in drama, comedy and musical will also include: choreography, set design, lighting design, poster art, and recognition of stage managers.

“The Teeny Awards will recognize and celebrate the talented theatre students across Northern Brookhaven and encourage them to pursue their dreams.  By stimulating local interest in this program, we hope to develop an understanding of the value of the arts in education in a well rounded school curriculum, raise the bar on theatre education and promote increased attendance and community pride at our school productions,” said Lori Anne De Iulio Casdia, Executive Director, GPJNB Teeny Awards.  “We are grateful to Wal-Mart for their generous support, seeing the vision and making a commitment to The Teeny Awards.  This endowment allows the Council to realize an important community initiative.”

The high schools participating in the program will be from the Greater Port Jefferson/North Brookhaven Arts Council service area. 

“I believe everyone has gifts,” said Dr. Carla D'Ambrosio, Superintendent of Schools -Rocky Point UFSD.  “In Rocky Point we support students who excel in the Fine Arts.  Participating in the Scholarship Recognition Program of the Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council provides the opportunity for our students to be adjudicated by professionals in the field of theatre and encourages them to pursue their dreams.”

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is supporting this student Theatre Arts scholarship recognition programwith a sponsorship of $10,000.  The announcement came during a ceremonial check presentation which was also attended by representatives and associates from the Middle Island Wal-Mart.


“Wal-Mart is committed to being a good neighbor and valuable member of the Long Island community,” said Steven V. Restivo, Director of Corporate Affairs – Northeast Region, Wal-Mart.  “This culturally enriching and educational project is just one of many community-based initiatives we have been involved with in the area. We look forward to forging a lasting relationship with the Arts of Long Island and supporting its various community programs.” 

In 2006, Wal-Mart’s philanthropic efforts in the State of New York totaled more than $11.7 million, including $347,890 on Long Island.

Theatre Arts develop in students many important life skills and qualities including: communication skills, self esteem, teamwork, improvisational skills, and creative problem solving.  The New York State Education Department has added Theatre Arts to its learning standards, understanding its importance to an academic curriculum.  

For more information about the Teeny Awards, please call 516-983-3591.
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