Participants in the Glen Cove Youth Bureau’s “After 3” afterschool program bridged the distant past with the present at a showcase on Jan. 25, held in the Finley Middle School cafeteria. The “exhibits” ranged from imagined dioramas of prehistoric dwellings, to decorated cardboard cell phones.
On a sheet of paper where children were asked to imagine what they would do with a pet dinosaur, one wrote, “I would put my dinosaur in a giant cage. I would feed him sausage. I would use him to eat my homework.”
Thankfully there are no more dinosaurs around to do that. But according to Carolina Guastella, director of After 3, the program isn’t all crafts and dinosaurs. Facilitators do what they can to take the bite out of homework. “We do homework help when they first get to us, and then after they’re done, we work on these things,” Guastella said, gesturing around the room at the showcase exhibits.
“They succeed more in school,” she added. “We can see where they’re struggling and give them the help they need from term to term.”
Mayor Tim Tenke, who stopped by to take in the artwork, was popular with the kids. While he was taking a photo with some After 3 patrons, energetic five-year-old Cooper Damiano burst through the crowd, and shouted, “Tenke! I voted for you!"
Elementary school student Olivia Rodriguez told the Herald Gazette that her favorite part of the showcase was, “taking a picture with the tall guy.”