Staten Island School in Running to Be "America's Favorite"

By Roseanne Colletti
|  Friday, May 21, 2010  |  Updated 8:29 PM EDT
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Staten Island School in Running to Be "America's Favorite"

Kids at PS 37.

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What is "America's Favorite School" and where is it?

With your help, it could be on Staten Island, PS 37, a school for special needs students Pre-K through age 21.

"We are so close," said excited parent Christine Piecyk. The school is close to winning an on online popularity contest sponsored by two non-profit education advocates, GreatSchools (www.GreatSchools.org ) and Care2 (www.Care2.com ).

Right now PS 37 is neck and neck with Soar Charter Academy of San Bernadino, California, for the top spot.

"One day we're up and then one day they're up. It's exciting," said PS 37 parent Susan Pugliese, who laughed when she first learned of the contest from a friend soliciting her vote for another school.

"I thought why should I vote for another school if we can enter," Pugliese added. So they did. The fans of PS 37 have waged a Facebook, Twitter, email, and person-to-person campaign to drum up votes as the deadline nears. One astute supporter sent an email to us.

First place commands a $20,000 prize that school officials say they would spend to purchase additional SmartBoards, blackboard sized interactive touch panels that provide a visual learning experience.

"Most of the youngsters at the school have autism and  focus and communication are great challenges for them," explained Assistant Principal Florence Gosky. "Every classroom should have a Smart Board. Our kids are visual learners."

The prize money wouldn't outfit every classroom, just a few more. But first the school and its special kids have to win.

PS 37 is the only New York school in the top five. Supporters can vote until 3 a.m. New York time by logging onto www.AmericasFavoriteSchool.com.

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