Photo by Joe Anuta
By Joe Anuta

It was a star-studded affair at PS 107 last week, when elementary students from around District 25 trickled into the school’s auditorium to receive awards for community service, leadership or for simply imparting a bit of wisdom to their classmates.

The third annual Student Award Ceremony was created and hosted by Community Education Council District 25, which gave out medals, tote bags and a certificate to each of the evening’s 82 honorees at the school, at 167-02 45th Ave.

One award winner actually took the microphone and gave an acceptance speech, but most of the talking was done by Nicholas Corrado, president of the CEC.

“We are supposed to be there for the children,” he said in an interview. “What better way to do that then acknowledge their community service and volunteering in their schools?”

Corrado, who as an FDNY firefighter towered over the children, recognized the philanthropic pupils for a wide range of good deeds, from traditional volunteering jobs like hall monitoring to slightly more unique forms of leadership.

One PS 129 fifth-grader received accolades for instituting a fun fact of the day policy at her school and shocked the emcee by actually having one prepared.

“An adult komodo dragon can grow up to 10 feet long,” said Ashley Tudor, a 10-year-old who prefers to say she is 11 to sound more mature.

Ashley is in charge of morning announcements at her school. At the start of each day she broadcasts a song, student and teacher birthdays and then the Pledge of Allegiance.

One day when she was brainstorming with a teacher seeking an addition to the daily routine, Ashley hit upon the idea.

Lawrence Liang, a 10-year-old from PS 20, raised a cool $3,000 for the American Heart Association with the help of his mother.

And Thomas Kim, a fifth-grader from PS 32, took home a prize for helping with a recycling program at his school.

Principals from each school in the district, which covers Flushing, College Point, Whitestone and Bay Terrace, nominated students to receive the awards.

One particularly altruistic student volunteered his time at the Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home, where he would keep some of the borough’s aging population company, while other youngsters painted a mural at their school that called for unity and an end to bullying.

While many of the award winners beamed on stage as their parents ran up to take photos, some of the more modest students accepted their tote bags with reticence and posed unsmiling for the camera.

But because all the children stood out from their peers as leaders, Corrado saw good things in their future.

“Keep working hard and doors will open for you,” he said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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