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smiled at the recollection of one of his “many success stories” involving that of a young man who came to them “shy and withdrawn.”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.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Typically Asian cuisine is not associated with dessert and pastries so I was delighted by the deliciousness of the breads and pastries I found at Canaan Bakery and Cafe in Hicksville. Savory and sweet buns, Danish and Korean pastries, cookies and very good coffee can be enjoyed at the café, which is located at the entrance of the H&Y Supermarket. This is the Nassau County outpost of the four Canaan bakeries—the other three are in Flushing.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
Linda Cafiero has been a yoga and tai chi instructor, as well as reiki master, for well over 10 years. Last week she brought her meditation expertise to the Hicksville Public Library. Cafiero hosted a meditation workshop at the library for an intimate group of individuals seeking to gain a few moments of peace and serenity in their hectic and fast-paced world.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:40
Hicksville’s Matthew Sloan faced off against the best young soccer players in the world recently, as he traveled to Turkey with the Olympic Developmental Program.
The Hicksville High School freshman started playing soccer when he was three and advanced his game to a more competitive level at age 10, when he was chosen to play with the Long Island Rough Riders. Sloan plays other sports and is on the boys basketball team, but says that he loves soccer because of the fast pace, and because of the coaches who have had a great influence on him throughout his training.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:45
The Hicksville Middle School Kickline claimed victory again recently at the Scholastic Kickline Competition held at Nassau Community College. The team competed against top kickline teams and placed second in hip hop, third in pom and third in kick. County legislator Rose Walker, an honorary Hicksville Kickline team member, supported the girls at the competition. The middle school kickline team’s season began in September, and includes dancing at football and basketball games and competing in three tourneys. Their last competition of the season was March 2 at Nassau Community College. The girls are coached by Hicksville kickline alumni Katelyn Heuser, Victoria Shannon and Laura Bueche.