School News

District 13 launches weekend enrichment program


You’re never too young to learn to speak another language or play a new instrument. Valley Stream District 13 will be giving its students a chance to develop these and other skills during a five-week Saturday enrichment program which begins in February.

This is the district’s first winter explorations program being hosted by Long Island-based SCOPE Educational Services. It is open to students in pre-K through sixth grade. Classes include French, Spanish, Salsa and Ukulele, Story-making and Scrapbooking, Kitchen Science and Arts and Crafts. For pre-school age children, there is Fun to Be 4, an interactive parent-child program.

The classes will be taught by teachers from District 13 and the Central High School District. Children can sign up for one or two classes, which will be held for an hour and a half on Saturdays beginning Feb. 2.

Superintendent Dr. Adrienne Robb-Fund said this is a pilot program and if it is successful, district officials would like to offer the weekend enrichment program twice a year.

Robb-Fund said the idea for the explorations program came out of the annual Educational Planning meeting in November, where parents expressed a desire for enrichment activities for their children beyond the school day. She said parents are particularly excited about the foreign language classes, which many have been seeking for several years in the district.

Denise DeMeo, a second-grade teacher at the James A. Dever School, will oversee the program. She brings to the position her experience running the district’s summer recreation program.

DeMeo said she is excited for the enrichment program to begin, and hopes parents will sign up their children. “It’s an incredible opportunity,” she said. “It’s so affordable. All of the materials are provided.”

The cost is $60 per child for each five-week session. Students will be divided into two groups for most classes — kindergarten through third grade, and fourth through sixth grade.

DeMeo said the program, which will be held exclusively at Dever, will be a good opportunity for District 13 students to meet their peers from other schools and hopefully make some new friends while learning new skills.

Robb-Fund said that other school districts across Long Island offer similar enrichment programs. “It’s just something that I though we needed,” she said.

There are only 10 spots for the ukulele class, as students will be able to take home their instruments to practice. “What good is playing it every Saturday,” Robb-Fund said, “if you can’t go home and play it for grandma on Skype?”

To view a brochure for the program and for registration information, visit the district’s website,