The Northern Westchester Examiner

Soundview Prep Taps Into a Sweet New Potential

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Soundview SyrupSoundview Preparatory School in Yorktown is known for thinking outside of the box. Now it is having students tap into a whole new type of potential—and it could not taste any better.

Students were tapping maple trees and collected sap so they could make their own maple syrup as part of a project that is integrated into the class curriculum.

The project was the brainchild of Melinda Franzese of Mahopac who is the school’s art teacher.

“I was looking around at our campus and realized there were a lot of maple trees throughout the 13 acre campus,” said Franzese. “So I told Mr. [Glyn] Hearn that I want to tap some trees. “

Hearn and the rest of the faculty were immediately on board.

pancake time“She is amazing,” said Mary Ivanyi, assistant headmaster. “To be able to come up with such a way to engage the students is incredible.

Over a week period a group of students tapped 10 trees twice. They collected 110 gallons of sap.

“I was really surprised,” said Bryce Sawyer, who has been going to the school for two years. “I thought we were going to get like a gallon of sap from each tree, but we had to keep replenishing the buckets.”

Then with Nicole Tantillo, the science teacher, the students boiled the sap down. In the end there was three-and-a half gallons of syrup.

“It was enough for every student to get their own two ounce bottle and still have some left over,” said Franzese.

There are about 80 students in the private school at teaches sixth –12th grade.

To celebrate the first tapping the school held a breakfast on March 22. There was pancakes, bacon, fruit, zeppoles and of course fresh warm maple syrup.

Many of the students were excited about how different fresh maple syrup tastes as compared to the type bought in the supermarket.

“It was definitely not what I was expecting said Sawyer. “It was even better than I was expecting. I am hooked.”

With the success of the program this year, the school is considering expanding its efforts in the future.

“We have hundreds of trees on this campus,” said Franzese.

Soundview Preparatory School is located at 370 Underhill Avenue in Yorktown. For more information, call (914) 962-2780.

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