Written by Mary Ellen Porrazzo, email@example.com Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00
The budget may have been slashed, but the enthusiasm remains strong for the Peer Tutoring Program at the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club.
The club was humming late one recent Thursday afternoon with tutoring sessions underway in quiet upstairs offices away from the happy noise of the first floor lounge where students played games, read or relaxed after school.
Executive Director Thomas Bruno says a one-third reduction in county funding from last year forced them to make changes.
“Right now we have 29 matches,” he said, with some students coming more than once.
Matches, or tutoring sessions, are held Monday through Friday between the hours of 4 and 5 p.m. in the club’s headquarters at 79 West Old Country Road, a white two-story house warmly outfitted to young people’s needs and interests – including games for recreation and socialization and computers and quiet space to study – all within walking distance of the nearby Middle School and High School.
In a recent interview in his second floor office, lined with photos and awards, Bruno said, “We lost $50,000 from the county and had to cut back our hours.” Last year the sessions ran until eight o’clock Monday through Thursday evenings – three hours longer than right now.
“A kind of magic happens,” he said when the tutors first meet their students, who are about the same age as they are. “The kids have a real feel for each other.”
Most tutors, he said, are high school students and the closeness in age and year in school between the tutor and student makes for a special relationship that is sometimes absent if an older adult is involved.
“We have such a nice variety of kids. They’re from Hicksville, Syosset, Plainview and Jericho,” Bruno said of the tutors.
After they formally apply for the position, he said, volunteers are screened, interviewed and asked to provide references. When they are approved, they are matched up with a student who requests help “in any subject,” he said.
He smiled at the recollection of one of his “many success stories” involving that of a young man who came to them “shy and withdrawn.” The experience provided him with a newfound confidence and he went on to become a tutor himself. He said kids who come to the club hear about the program through school or their friends.
Once their service is over, Bruno said he provides the tutors with a letter from him praising their work. With colleges placing a greater emphasis than ever on community service, these letters are a prized possession and part of the
Another casualty of the budget cutting, Bruno said, is the popular English as a Second Language Program (ESL), although he remains hopeful it will return and some of the funding restored.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
Alan Yu, an external auditor from the firm, Cullen & Danowski LLP gave the findings of the annual district external audit at Oct. 22’s Hicksville Board of Education meeting. Discussed at the meeting were the financial statements of the 2013-14 school year which officially ended June 30.
According to Yu, the Hicksville School district has a fund balance of $34 million. Roughly 26 to 27 percent of the general fund balance comprises the total budget.
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.
Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:18
The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.
Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.
Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:31
The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization
— From Hicksville High School