School News

Wheeler parents go clubbing


If you’re looking for something for your kids to do after school, there’s baseball, karate, music lessons and a whole lot more.

On Jan. 23, the Wheeler Avenue School PTA hosted its first club fair, which featured numerous organizations and local businesses that cater to children. “We look at it as one-stop shopping for after-school activities,” said Wheeler PTA president Christine O’Toole. “This way the parents can come and see what there is to offer.”

The fair was held in the small gymnasium prior to the regular PTA meeting. Parents were able to travel from table to table. Among the groups represented were several youth sports organizations, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library and cultural groups. Karate, fitness and music businesses were also on hand.

Parents are always looking for new activities for their children, O’Toole explained.

Liz Smith, the mother of two daughters at Wheeler Avenue School, was there promoting She is the publisher of the local website which lists kid-friendly activities in the Town of Hempstead. “It’s one place for moms and dads to find out what’s happening in our area,” she said.

Smith designed the recently launched Wheeler PTA website, and also teaches art classes for children. She said the fair was a good idea for parents and their children to find out what kinds of activities are offered in the neighborhood.

Ellen Strojan, a PTA vice president, came up with the idea for the fair. She said parents are frequently asking what kinds of activities are available in the community for their children. The fair, she said, was a good opportunity to get parents that information while hopefully attracting more people to Wheeler’s PTA meetings.

Strojan said she would like to hold the event every year and hopes to make it even bigger in the future. She said she was pleased with the variety of organizations represented. “I think we have a really good mix,” she said. “We’ve got some sports. We’ve got some arts. We’ve got enrichment programs.”

The Valley Stream Little League was there promoting its 2013 season. Lee Bogner, the executive vice president, said he talked to parents about what the league offers, the differences between it and the Valley Stream Baseball League — which also had representatives at the fair — and the upcoming instructional clinics.

Bob Hawkey, from the Valley Stream Green Hornets, said the youth football league is open to players ages 7-14, so the elementary school club fair was an ideal place to promote the organization.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “We always need new people.”