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As of July 1, the Education & Assistance Corp. (EAC) is the new sponsor for the Port Washington Senior Community Center located at St. Stephen's Church at 9 Carlton Avenue. For the past 24 years, the center was sponsored by the Port Washington School District. Funding is provided through the Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs, the New York State Office for the Aging and the US Administration on Aging with support from the Community Chest of Port Washington and the Town of North Hempstead.

The center is open 250 days a year, providing a hot and nutritious lunch, transportation, case assistance, referrals and a wide range of social and recreational services to seniors over 60 years of age living in Nassau County, regardless of race, religion, national origin or income.

The school district's coordinator of the senior center, Serena Bogucki, explained the reason why the school district turned the administration of the senior center over to another agency. "With all of the new mandates and requirements being placed on our educational system, we just couldn't continue to use our resources managing a non-educational program," said Ms. Bogucki. "We've had administrative oversight, paid the bills and managed the services provided by the center for close to 30 years," she added.

When the program started, back in 1977, it was housed in one of the school facilities. Eventually, the district contracted with St. Stephen's.

"In the beginning, the main purpose of the center was to ensure that senior citizens had a nutritious meal at least once a day. Over time, activities and socializing for the seniors also became important," noted Ms. Bogucki.

Ms. Bogucki was quick to mention that from the beginning, after the schools decided to relinquish oversight of the center, the district agreed to administer the program until a new oversight agency was contracted. "There will be no noticeable change in services for the seniors both during and after the transition," she said.

EAC was founded by volunteers in the Port Washington Community 32 years ago and currently operates the Developmental Learning Center. EAC is delighted to offer senior citizens the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, transportation and lunch five days a week at the Port Washington SCSC.

EAC also sponsors the Hempstead Community Senior Center, SeniorNet Computer Learning Center, The EAC Senior Respite Program, Citizenship Initiative Project, and serves over 100 meals a day through the Meals on Wheels Program.

According to Carol O'Neill, EAC's Director of Senior Services, "We have years of experience in helping senior citizens live full and productive lives and we look forward to sharing our expertise with the seniors in the Port Washington area."

EAC helps more than 45,000 people each year with 55 programs that provide educational, vocational, counseling and mediation services, rehabilitation for non-violent offenders and support to the aged.

For more information about the Port Washington Senior Community Center call Carol O'Neill at 489-7733 or call the PW Center at 944-9654.


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