News

Two New North Clubs

By Cody Sung

Volume 2 Issue 6

April 14, 2022

Two New North Clubs

Image provided by Chess.com

There are now two new clubs at Valley Stream North High School. The first one is the Chess Club, run by Mr. Lepanto, one of our Social Studies teachers. The second one is The Readers, advised by Mr. Toffolo, our Library-Media Specialist. I was given the chance to speak with both about their respective clubs. First, I spoke to Mr. Lepanto. I asked him how the Chess Club was established. He said that students approached him and asked if he plays chess and if he would like to start a club. He is an outstanding chess player himself and would like to share his knowledge with students. He says that the Chess Club is for anyone, no matter what level of chess player. He also has his own commitment to the students of North, as he says he always wants to be available for his students. The club officially meets every three weeks on Mondays, but Mr. Lepanto says that “When I’m going to be at school working late on other days, they can stay in the library and play chess on their own.” He added that a lot of students were interested in the club. He was incredibly happy that there was a large amount of interest and said, “That’s stunning.” He hopes that they can play against each other competitively in tournaments and next year play against other schools. I also spoke to Mr. Toffolo and asked him about how his new club, The Readers, started. He said that it began with three students coming to him and saying that they wanted to start a book club. They also talked to Ms. Belbol, the head of the English department, and Dr. Small, the principal, about it. Both Ms. Belbol and Dr. Small informed the students that an advisor was needed, so they came to Mr. Toffolo. The club meets every other Friday. While The Readers is initially meant for the upper grades, he is looking forward to starting a junior high book club. The junior high book club would occur every other week as well, alternating with The Readers. Mr. Toffolo said that “Right now, our important thing is we are trying to find a good first book for us to read.” With that book, he plans to do things a little bit differently compared to a regular book club or an English class. He says that in a regular English class, you get to read, but “to study it, and not necessarily for pleasure.” Students seem to enjoy that idea. The club had many interested students at its first meeting according to Mr. Toffolo. He is hoping to have a steady member count, enough to become an official club. These two clubs have a very promising outlook and will hopefully do very well in the future. If you are interested in joining the Chess Club, please contact Mr. Lepanto at lepantob@vschsd.org. If you are interested in joining The Readers, please contact Mr. Toffolo at toffoloc@vschsd.org.