The pucks have been dropped—and the I.S.L.E. Program is underway!
On Thursday, the Marion G. Vedder Elementary School in North Babylon enjoyed the honors of being the first school to take part in the one of the newest arms of the Islanders Amateur Hockey Development Program. The Islanders Street Learning Experience Program (I.S.L.E.) is designed to help bring the game of hockey back into the physical education curriculum of Long Island elementary schools.
"What a great day this was," said Dan Bedard, Director of the Islanders Amateur Hockey Development Program. "The whole idea of the I.S.L.E. Program is to expose children to the sport of hockey. Today was a huge success and a very positive start to our program."
Bedard, Sparky the Dragon and Ice Girl Samantha, worked closely with Physical Education Instructor Jim Mango and Principal Kerry Larke to ensure all of those on hand had a great experience. There was even an ad-hoc hockey game in the gymnasium on Day 1.
"Our students were just so thrilled to have the Islanders here," said Larke. "It was all they could talk about—especially Sparky, he was a big hit. The Islanders have given us a great gift, not just in equipment, but in their support and interest."
In all, more than 60 schools have registered for the program, which provides all of the equipment, a playbook and a ticket voucher for each student. The other schools will begin play in the coming weeks.
At the end of the two-week unit, schools have the option to send a class from their school to the street hockey tournament in January, which is held during the Islanders Long Island Hockey Fest Weekend. Each class that weekend receives an additional ticket voucher to an Islanders game during Long Island Hockey Fest Weekend.
To learn more about the I.S.L.E. Program, or to sign your school up, please email AmateurHockey@newyorkislanders.com