Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu
RTC Section Spotlight

Nassau options expand with Zoom

New York Teacher
Retiree chart
Source: UFT Welfare Fund

Breakdown by Retirement Years in Nassau County

Without dedicated office space, finding sites for Si Beagle classes and for activities for Nassau County retirees was challenging. Then came Zoom.

“In the past, people have gotten the use of public libraries,” said Patricia Sweeney, the coordinator of the Nassau County section of Si Beagle. “It’s very challenging to get space, so Zoom really allowed me to expand the program.”

Since the coordinator had to be present for all the courses, the section could only offer one class in a time slot. With Zoom, Sweeney can run more than one at a time and keep tabs on them.

The section offers a variety of courses and seminars to appeal to different ages — since UFT retirees in Nassau County range from 55 to 100 — and to bring in more male retirees. New seminars for the spring include baseball history, 20th century drummers, gardening and learning the language of Gen Z.

There are 7,270 retirees in Nassau County. Nearly 1,200 of the retirees, or 16%, are 80-89 years old, 48% are 70-79 and 26% are 60-69. The smallest populations are under 60 (6%) and 90-plus (4%).

All classes run by the Nassau County section were on Zoom for the fall semester, including line dancing, and 166 retirees took courses.

The section has three new instructors for the spring session, which begins on March 13. Canasta and mahjong will run for only four weeks instead of the full 10 weeks, so they will begin in person after the Easter and Passover holidays.

Two of the most popular instructors are Roseann Demers, a retired teacher whose class is about how to create conscious change through mindfulness, meditation and other techniques; and Jessica Alexandrakis, an author, quilter and artisan who teaches her students how to create T-shirt quilts and hand-quilted wall hangings.

“The people that we get are so highly qualified,” said Sweeney, who co-teaches computer classes. “If people tried to take [these] courses in the outside world, it would be much more expensive.”

The section may include some trips in fall 2023. “It does seem like there are more people who want to do things in person,” Sweeney said.

Related Topics: Retired Teachers