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Hicksville Illustrated News - Schools

A Community Of Lifelong Learners

Continuing Education program allows

Hicksville residents to master new skills

Learning is a lifelong process, that goes well beyond graduation. Local residents can keep learning, meet other members of the community and stay active year-round with the Hicksville Continuing Education Program, which is offered through the school district.

The program offers fall and spring sessions that last from six to eight weeks, and offers activities, lessons and more. This Continuing Education program has been running for over 20 years according to director Meghan Dowling-Lewis.

“Continuing education is anything for the community,” said Dowling-Lewis. “I think we offer some really strong classes that people would really benefit from.”

Any person over the age of 18 can sign up for the classes, even if he or she is not a Hicksville resident. Non-residents have to pay an extra $15 per course. Senior citizens of Hicksville can receive free entry or a discounted price to certain classes.

The Continuing Education program offers classes such as language, music, and financial planning, as well as athletic classes including yoga, basketball, beginner volleyball and advanced volleyball.

“A lot of people who take the Advanced Volleyball class have been taking it with the instructor Tom Altamura for years,” said Dowling-Lewis. “There is a strong little community there that meets every Wednesday.”

Altamura has been the instructor for the class for about 15 years. “This class builds up a reputation and there’s quite a few people who pay the extra 15 dollars to join because they’re a non-Hicksville resident,” said Altamura. “Volleyball has a following, so you get a cast of characters that come to find good game.”

One non-resident member of the advanced volleyball class travels from Cold Spring Hills to play in Hicksville. Glen Steinberg found out about this program from a friend who has been playing in this volleyball program for a number of years. Steinberg has been playing volleyball for about 20 years and has participated in other town’s volleyball programs in the past.

The Advanced Volleyball class is held once a week on Wednesdays in the Hicksville Middle School gym from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The class started on March 5, and will run for eight weeks.

Within those two hours, the members break up into four teams and play six games of volleyball throughout the night. “We rotate so every team plays each other in open games,” explained Steinberg.

Registration for the program is upfront, which is what Steinberg likes about this volleyball class. “I come here every other week,” Steinberg said. “Since it’s open and you pay upfront, you show up when you want to show up.”

In addition to the various classes, the Continuing Education program also offers trips that will begin starting in May. A few trips that are being offered include a trip to Foxwood’s Casino and The MGM Grand on May 10, and a trip to the flea markets in Stormville, New York on May 24. “These trips cost $40 per person,” said Dowling-Lewis. “They are all-day trips on the weekends.”

Although she just accepted her position in December, Dowling-Lewis is already actively trying to find ways to receive more feedback and participation from members in the community.    

There were a few classes that had to be cancelled due to low enrollment, so Dowling-Lewis is looking to promote the fall session the best way possible.

Before each session starts, the Hicksville Continuing Education program sends out flyers to members of the community. “We want to get word out about the programs in advance so people have time to sign up for the classes that they’re interested in,” said Dowling-Lewis.

For the fall session, the program intends to send out a community survey to assess what type of classes the community is looking for, and what classes they would like to see offered. “Our goal is to send the flier out by early August to get people aware for the fall session,” said Dowling-Lewis.

As the program director, Dowling-Lewis hopes to improve the Hicksville Continuing Education Program with the help of community-feedback. “We want to build a better relationship with the members of the community so we can offer something that they want,” she said.

For more information about the Continuing Education program, click “For Community” tab at www.hicksvillepublicschools.org or call the office at 516-733-2240.