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New York Power Authority Funding For Literacy Garden Bears Fruit For Astoria Students

Evelyn Evans

June 23, 2006


ASTORIA—The school year at P.S. 84 in Astoria took on an outdoor touch, thanks to a $2,000 contribution from the New York Power Authority (NYPA).  Assemblyman Michael N. Gianaris requested the funds from NYPA on behalf of P.S. 84 for creation of a “literacy garden” at the school.

“Our students and their teachers began using the outdoor classroom as soon as the weather broke,” said Tony Loverso, assistant principal of P.S. 84.  “Although the project was completed in mid-May, we could not take advantage of this great addition to our school because of the very cool spring we had.  After the weather became warmer, the literacy garden was used daily by at least three classes for such activities as read-aloud story time and scientific exploration and observation.”

The literacy garden’s focal point is a massive oak tree that provides shade even on the sunniest of days.  Flowering beds of black-eyed susans and wax begonias line the perimeter of the garden.  Students can sit on a carpet of artificial turf as teachers read or instruct them from an oak bench. 

The Power Authority funds, provided last December, were used to pay for all materials, while the labor to construct the landscaped project cost nothing because of  the voluntary efforts of the community, parents, students and the school’s teachers and administrators.

About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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