GREENBURGH, NY - The first time Harold Kivelevich of Elmsford drove a car was in 1964. It was a red and white Chevy Bell-Air, and he promptly backed up into a fire hydrant. For the past 33 years, he has been teaching teenagers to not make the same driving mistakes he did.
Since June 1978, the driver's education program at Greenburgh's Maria Regina High School pulls in between 400-600 students county-wide each semester. The six-week summer program, beginning on June 27, is comprised of 18 hours of lectures and 18 hours of driving. In addition, students are eligible for their junior license one year early upon course completion.
The quality and integrity of the program are what continue to gather students into Greenburgh for the teachings, said Kivelevich. He imparts responsibility to his students, a large component of his course.
"Welcome to the world of responsibility," said Kivelevich. "This is a car, not the bumper cars at Playland. They have to learn and assume responsibility. It's time to grow up."
At the end of the program, the best drivers are usually women who had no prior experience behind the wheel, said Kivelevich. This is because they are a raw slate with no preconceived notions about driving etiquette.
The "highlight of driver's ed" is the visit from the Greenburgh Police Department. Sergeant Robert Gramaglia arranges for Officers Dennis Basulto, Brian Matthews and Steven Deastis to give a presentation to the students. Years ago, Kivelevich taught Deastis how to drive.
"The day a kid comes into my driver's education program and says, 'Hi Mr. K, you taught my grandma,' I'm going to retire immediately."
Lectures are held Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Driving can be done between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Each student must attend three classes per week for six weeks. A seventh week is added for make ups to ensure students complete the course learning the required information. The program costs $499, a recently reduced rate.
For more information, please contact Kivelevich at 914-683-1950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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