Written by Adolfo Zepeda, CCH programs coordinator Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00As 6 p.m. arrived, Ashley Zavala, a Centro Cultural Hispano Youth Group member and eighth grader at Oyster Bay High School anxiously awaited the arrival of the first registrants in the gymnasium of the Roosevelt Elementary School, on March 24. “We hoped to have about 25 to 30 kids register,” Ms. Zavala said. By the end of the night the youth group had met its expectations. “It was a great outcome,” added Christopher Husmann a senior at Massapequa High School.
Eight junior varsity and varsity basketball players from Oyster Bay High School and Massapequa High School led a basketball clinic, where they ran the kids through various drills. “I was really impressed by how effortlessly the older kids jumped into that ‘teacher’ role. They didn’t need much guidance from the adults. They knew how, and what, to teach the kids based on their ages,” said Adolfo Zepeda, program coordinator for Centro Cultural Hispano, located in the Christ Church parish hall at 61 East Main Street, in Oyster Bay.
After the basketball session was over, all the children participated in a martial arts clinic that was led by Alfredo Maldonado. “I think this is a great event to have because it allows kids the chance to experience something new,” said Kevin Vasquez, an eighth Grader at Oyster Bay High School. “It lets them think about what kind of sports they might want to play in the future.”
The evening concluded with a dance clinic led by Ana Lucia Zepeda, a junior at Syosset High School and member of that school’s kickline team. Ms. Zepeda taught the children dance choreography to the tune of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. “My goal was to have the kids learn a dance routine that they would remember and then show their parents at home and friends at school,” said Ms. Zepeda.
The energy level throughout the evening never waned and many children left asking when the next sports clinic would be held.
“The atmosphere that the youth group members created with the younger kids was fantastic,” said Cinthia Scavone, program director. “One of the goals of the youth group is to empower local youths by participating in civic-minded activities, be that by organizing events such as tonight’s sports clinic, or through taking on a mentoring role at our after-school program C.A.R.E.”
“Can we do handball next time?” asked Dennis Mejia, a fifth grader at Vernon Middle School. “I can’t wait until the next one!”