To celebrate Staten Island’s upcoming 350th anniversary (1661-2011), the SI350 Education Committee presented a contest about the “Bridges of Staten Island” on two levels; one for Staten Island students from grades 1 through 5 and the other for grades 6 through 12.There were over 500 entries of dozens of different bridges.
Students were to select a Staten Island bridge (major or local) that had affected them, their family or their community. For the younger grades, they were to draw a picture of the bridge and, for the upper grades, they had the option to take a photograph or draw the bridge. Pictures with family or friends were encouraged.
Included with the entries, the students wrote what had inspired them to pick the bridge and described who or what is in their drawing/photo. The students also were asked to report two dated historical or significant facts about the bridge they selected. Some of the winning responses are reprinted below, including several who related how their grandfather helped to build the Verrazano bridge
We are pleased to announce the winners below.
A former NYC teacher, her goal is "seeing the lights go on" in children. She is currently working as an educator at the Staten Island Children's Museum and is proud of its contribution to the community.
After a unique experience working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and 8 years in Junior high schools, Carolyn has been an Art teacher at P.S. 50 for 16 years where she had the privilege of working in a wonderful school community.
At the College of Staten Island, Catherine serves as an adjunct lecturer in the Psychology department. She is also a mom to three little ones who teach her how to be a better human being each and every day.
Photo documentation of entries courtesy of Johnny J. Chin
Chairperson, SI350 Education Committee
Board Member, Staten Island Chinese School
“Many people take their wedding pictures on this bridge in New Dorp Moravian cemetery, just as my great aunt did many years ago. This is [one of] the oldest stone arch bridges surviving on Staten Island.” — Alivia Mendez
”The bridge at Conference House Park has a lot of sentimental value to me. Growing up my sisters and I would walk through the paths and would always stop at this bridge, next to a pear tree, to admire the view of the ocean ...” — Julia Simonella
“... I was particularly stunned, yes, actually stunned, by some of the talent ...”
— Addy Manipella
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading each student's facts and personal stories ...”
— Catherine Ma
“I was intrigued by the writing that accompanied the artwork.” — Carolyn Corbo
“My grandfather Richard Hayes was the second oldest of seven children who immigrated from New Foundland [Canada] for a better life. He was 15 when his dad passed away and he became an iron worker for local 40 two years later ... [Grandfather] worked on the Verrazano bridge for three years straight ...” — Ryan Hughes
“The Verrazano is so pretty, at dusk, dawn, covered in snow…In my picture, a small portion of Fort Wadsworth is shown. I remember going there before my sweet fifteen party to take some photos. The beauty of the bridge showed. I think it was symbolic. My sweet fifteen was my bridge from being a child to a young woman.” — Jennifer Martinez
“In July 1963, my grandfather worked at a machine shop in Brooklyn. Being a NYC firefighter, he was not afraid of heights and volunteered to work at the top of the Verrazano bridge. He had to take a boat then an elevator….” — Sean Drennan
“On June 28th, 1976, there was a giant American Flag placed on the Verrazano bridge to help celebrate the bi-centennial year…It was built from 1959 to 1964. Without it, I would not be able to play hockey with my friends in Brooklyn.” — Anthony Bello
“My papa drives his tugboat under this bridge. The first time I went with him, it was nighttime. The bridge looked beautiful. The Verrazano bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge. The cables contract and expand so that the bridge roadway is 12 feet lower in summer than winter.” — William Wheeler