Youth Appreciation Award: Nicholas Piscitelli

Breath of fresh air

Sixth-grader Nicholas Piscitelli started attending St. Casimir School, 324 Wharton St., two years ago. But if you ask his teachers, they’ll tell you Nicholas couldn’t be more dedicated to the school if he had started there in kindergarten.

When the student arrived at St. Casimir after attending Sharswood Elementary, he immediately found ways to make himself useful. He took over as a reader at Mass when needed and narrated the fifth-grade Christmas pageant. The youth also has continued to make the honor roll, keeping intact his streak from first grade.

As a result of his helpful ways and academic performance, Nicholas , who will turn 12 on March 7, received the school’s citizenship award. He also has earned sports awards, including Rookie of the Year, Golden Glove and Most Valuable Player for baseball.

Nicholas, of the 300 block of Roseberry Street, plans to attend medical school someday and says his dream is to help people live healthier and happier lives. He says his father, Nicholas Sr., inspires him to do well because "he is always there when I need him."

The student himself is a welcome presence at St. Casimir, says his teacher, Josephine Frattone.

"Nicholas is a delight to teach because of his love of learning," Frattone says. "He is a very dedicated and conscientious student, always willing to read at Mass and other school events. He is very well-mannered and attentive at all times. He also possesses a great sense of humor, which — at times — is necessary in the classroom. He is a very courteous, friendly, well-natured youth who, in my opinion, will do well in all his future endeavors." Nicholas Piscitelli will receive a $150 savings bond. The Review has a sufficient amount of nominations for the remainder of the school year, so subsequent nominees will be featured next fall. If you would like to nominate a student (first through 12th grades), call 215-336-2500 ext. 120 or e-mail for a nomination form.

Bok will add a Beacon

Edward W. Bok Community School, Eighth and Mifflin streets, will soon operate a Beacon School through the support of the City of Philadelphia, theSchool District of Philadelphia and Safe and Sound of Philadelphia.

The Beacon is mainly focused on afterschool support for students from 3 to 6 p.m. The evening segment for the community operates from 6 to 9 p.m. Bok plans to work with community agencies to add programs to the Beacon.

Eleven Beacon sites opened across the city last year. An additional seven, including the one at Bok, were announced last Thursday. Mayor John Street, School District CEO Paul Vallas and James E. Nevels of the School Reform Commission were on hand for the ceremony at Bok.

For more information, call 215-952-6200.

Stephen Girard Elementary, 18th Street and Snyder Avenue, will hold a math-a-thon to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event, scheduled to begin next month, is being coordinated by Maria Carpenter.

The funds raised by the students will help St. Jude in its ongoing fight against childhood catastrophic diseases such as cancer, AIDS and sickle-cell anemia. Any person or business who would like to make a donation can call the school at 215-952-8554 ext. 3100.

St. Jude’s covers all costs not paid for by insurance for medical treatment given at St. Jude. Families without insurance are never asked to pay.

For more information on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, visit