Written by Mary Ellen Porrazzo, firstname.lastname@example.org 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smiled at the recollection of one of his “many success stories” involving that of a young man who came to them “shy and withdrawn.”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, 12 December 2013 00:00
Visitors to the concession stand at Triangle Park might notice a difference in the snack’s shack’s name, as it was recently rededicated to honor longtime Hicksville American Soccer Club (HASC) Vice President Joe Visconti.
The building rededication came as a surprise to the Hicksville resident, who found out about the renaming when he arrived at Triangle Park to find his friends, family and local legislatures gathered around a new sign on the concession stand that read “Joe Visconti Snack Shack.”
“I was very touched. It was amazing that they did that for me,” said Visconti.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Hicksville residents, business owners, and stakeholders came out to a Northwest Hicksville Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) open house last week where they learned more about proposed revitalization and provided feedback on the draft pre-nomination study.
The Northwest BOA is bounded by the Northern State Parkway to the north, Old Country Road to the south, Cantiague Lane to the west and 106/107 to the east. The area includes major Hicksville landmarks including the Broadway Mall, train station, post office, Cantiague Park, Burns Avenue School, several businesses and manufacturers, and numerous residential homes. Several of the properties in the corridor lie vacant or underused, which identifies the area as eligible for the BOA program, which is meant to provide communities with money, land use and redevelopment tools for revitalization.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Hicksville’s Jill Loveland, 28, scored as the second finisher among the women in the 25-29 age group in the 21st annual New York Blood Services Rob’s Run, a 5 Kilometer cross country race held through Stillwell Woods in Woodbury on Sunday morning, Dec. 1. Loveland finished the run in 22 minutes, 29 seconds.The weather for this year’s run was nearly perfect for a late Fall cross country race, and the net result was a bunch of pretty impressive performances — and lots of enthusiasm — on the part of the 534 finishers. The run was staged by the Greater Long Island Running Club in cooperation with the Town of Oyster Bay.
“We were thrilled to see Jill Loveland do so well in this event,” observed Run Co-Director Sue Fitzpatrick. She is a great competitor and a valued member of the club."
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
As they come off their most successful season in 30 years, the Hicksville Boys basketball team faces a challenge in replicating last year's success. The 2012-13 season saw the Comets compile a 15-5 record and had their season ending in the Nassau County semifinals to rival Baldwin. According to Head Coach Phil Essigman, who is entering his 14th season with the varsity team, the team will feature only two returning players from last season. Last year’s team was incredibly deep and experienced and it is part of the “rollercoaster”, as he described it, of high school sports for teams to go through periods of grooming inexperienced players.