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'Community Expo' Highlights After-School Programs

A Port Chester community organization held its second annual "Community Expo" at Port Chester High School Wednesday, which invited parents and students to preview some of the after-school activites and programs that will be available in the fall.

"It's an opportunity for parents to see that there are plenty of wonderful things their children can be a part of," said Joan Thomas, co-chair of the Port Chester Cares Community Coalition.

Although the expo was held at the high school, it was intended to reach out to students of all ages. In order to reach the broadest group of families, it was held two hours before "Band Night" to capitalize on the crowd that gathers every year to see a musical performance from all the Village's school bands.

Thomas said it's important to get students involved in extracurricular activites because it helps them develop "positive social behavior."

Rye High special education math teacher, Joshua Tenzer, firmly believes in getting teachers involved in after-school programs as well.

"It's important for us to see them inside and outside the classroom," Tenzer said. "You get to see their personality a little bit more."

Tenzer, in his first year, runs the chess club after school and recently directed the school's production of "A Chorus Line." He said it has not only allowed him to get to know the students better, but to interact with students he might not normally get the chance to.

Along with teachers and school clubs, many local community organizations had tables set out at the expo such as the Girl Scouts of America, Big Brother Big Sisters, the Clay Art Center and local church and boys and girls clubs offering summer activities.

Corpus Christi Church runs a summer program in conjunction with the Don Bosco Boys and Girls Club. During the school year the church sponsors several field trips including one in October where they go to New York City to feed the homeless.

"It affects [the students] tremendously," said Father Vince Paczkowski. "They really love meeting other people and talking to them."

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