Mermaid Ball

An Educational and Inspirational Mermaid Ball Photo

Fire Island Health Services Director and School Nurse Janet LaViolette recently coordinated a dynamic and engaging event to promote learning about health and safety as well as Fire Island’s environment and history.

The “Mermaid Ball,” transformed the school gymnasium into an eclectic wonderland of learning and creativity for two days, attended first by students and staff of Woodhull School, and then opened to the public with a limited number of complimentary ferry tickets provided by Fire Island Ferries.

The event was very much a group effort both within and beyond the school. Woodhull staff members led activities including “Yoga Under the Sea,” where Superintendent Loretta Ferraro taught students yoga poses, “Surf Shack Cafe” where art teacher and librarian Bianca Hansen served smoothies and nori, “Captain’s Reading Room” where reading specialist Colleen Ferry donned pirate attire and read to students, and an outdoor drum circle led by music teacher Philip Tamberino. 

The event also drew residents, parents, and former students, including Dana DeRuvo-Hanner of Saltaire, who taught about safety at the “First Aid Station,” parent Blair Burke, who facilitated the popular “Dress Up” outlet featuring nautical costumes, and Fire Island graduate Mallory Wood who taught about hygiene at the “Handwashing Station.” Representatives from other Fire Island organizations also participated, including the U.S. Coast Guard, whose members taught about water safety, and the National Parks Service, whose members taught about the natural resources and environmental concerns of Fire Island.

This is far from the first time Nurse Janet has helped organize a schoolwide educational event. For many years her “Teddy Bear Clinics” filled a similar niche and last year’s “Space Station” foreshadowed the more expansive program this year.