The Children's Aid Blog

Children’s Aid Society and Diverse Coalition Demand City Reinstate Funding for After-School Programs

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The Children’s Aid Society, along with representatives from CAMBA, The Educational Alliance, The After-School Corporation, YMCA of Greater New York, United Neighborhood Houses, Good Shepherd Services, UJA-Federation and other advocates, was joined by Council members Lew Fidler and Jumanne D. Williams at a press conference on the steps of City Hall this morning to demand the City reinstate the $23 million proposed reduction in vital after-school programs.

“These programs provide essential opportunities and support for low-income children and have been proven to promote healthy development and reductions in crime, substance abuse, and pregnancy among teens. At least 16,000 underprivileged children will lose their after-school program throughout the City. We urge the Bloomberg Administration to work with The City Council to restore these devastating cuts” said Richard Buery, President and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society.

Please visit our Take Action Page to learn how you can contact the Mayor and City Council to demand that the cuts be restored before the June 30th budget deadline.

Richard Buery, Children’s Aid Society President and CEO, Addresses Mayor’s Executive Budget

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NEW YORK, May 5, 2011 – “As a key provider of city-funded daycare and after-school programs for New York City children, we are pleased that the Mayor has made some restorations to childcare subsidies for low-income New York families in his FY 12 executive budget. While we are encouraged by this news, as well as the restorations to child welfare preventive and homemaker services the Mayor made last month, we must also insist on restoration of funding for after-school (OST) programs – which stand to lose more than $23 million. These programs provide essential opportunities and support for low-income children and have been proven to promote healthy development and reductions in crime, substance abuse, and pregnancy among teens. At least 16,000 underprivileged children will lose their after-school program throughout the City. Further, the proposed cuts would make it impossible for some low-income working parents – who depend on these after-school programs for childcare – to earn a living; and hundreds of full- and part-time workers serving our most vulnerable populations will be laid off. The impact would be disastrous for children and working people, as well as for the economy of the City. We urge the Bloomberg Administration to work with The City Council to restore these devastating cuts.”

Follow Richard Buery on Twitter: @RichardBueryCAS

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

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Mark your calendars: May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM). Sponsored by Advocates for Youth, NTPPM is an educational campaign designed to help communities recognize the destructive effects of unintended teen pregnancy and early childbearing. The United States continues to have the highest adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the industrialized world. Despite recent reductions in teen births in our country, 3 in 10 girls still get pregnant as teenagers.

The Children’s Aid Society is one of many organizations around the country that recognize the great need to work together to face the challenge of preventing this national tragedy. In 1984, Dr. Michael A. Carrera and The Children's Aid Society developed the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (CAS-Carrera). CAS-Carrera reduces teen pregnancy and births through educational repetitions centered on the benefits of abstinence, the importance of acquiring sexual and reproductive health knowledge, the wisdom of conscientious contraceptive use if abstinence is not chosen, the essential importance of acquiring primary health care, and the life-long benefits of educational achievement and developing aspirations for a career or profession. Guided by a philosophy that sees youth as "at promise" not "at risk," CAS-Carrera builds a participant's capacity and desire to avoid pregnancy.

As part of NTPPM, Dr. Carrera has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth to discuss his “specific challenges and rewards of getting youth to care about their futures” based on his 40 years of working with young people.

Click to hear Dr. Carrera’s podcast or read the transcript.

If you’d like to support the efforts of CAS-Carrera, please click here.

Community School Honors the Memory of Jobis Ozoria

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Approximately 100 Children’s Aid Society parents, youth and staff crowded the auditorium at the Roberto Clemente Campus, a Children’s Aid Community School in the Bronx, for the naming ceremony in honor of Jobis Ozoria. The ceremony, which took place in early April, honored the life and work of Mr. Ozoria who was the Community School director at the Roberto Clemente Campus. He was tragically killed in a car accident in 2009.

Before his death, Jobis was instrumental in securing a grant from the office of New York City Council Member Helen Foster that was used to upgrade the auditorium’s audio equipment. The new auditorium will enhance all school functions and will also be of significant value to the students who admired and respected Jobis.

After a testimonial video with emotional and humorous anecdotes, Jobis’s father, sister and young daughter took to the stage and offered thanks for the tremendous amount of love and support. His sister shared a very meaningful dream she recently had with her late brother that brought the school a very strong message.

“…he came to me and wanted to take me to see where he lives now. He led me here, to I.S. 166.” She, along with other staff, reminded the students that Jobis had always wanted them to become bigger and better people, to graduate middle school, go on to high school and eventually college, that is exactly what he wanted for all his students.

2011 Iron Go! Chefs Competition: Teamwork, Healthy Cooking and Fun!

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For many children, Spring Break is coming to an end. But only a few can brag about having spent their time off participating in the 2nd Annual Children’s Aid Society Iron Go! Chefs Cooking Competition at the East Harlem Center! On April 19th, teams of elementary and middle school chefs from Children’s Aid Society centers and community schools showed off their cooking skills in hopes of winning the Best Overall prize and the prestigious title of “Iron Go! Chefs.” The students had only one hour to prep, cook and plate a delicious meal to be judged by a distinguished panel of judges, including New York City Commissioner of Community Affairs Nazli Parvizi, Radio Show host and Institute for Culinary Education instructor Chef Erica Wides (a.k.a. Chefsmartypants), filmmaker Heidi Reinberg and Children’s Aid staff.

All participating teams showed complete dedication in preparing a meal that was both healthy and delicious. Elementary age chefs competed during the morning with tasty breakfast treats and middle school students prepared nutritious meals appropriate for lunch or dinner with ingredients such as brown rice, salmon and shrimp.

Click here to view a complete photo gallery of the 2011 Go!Iron Chefs Compeition.

Click here to learn more about the Go!Healthy program.

All participating teams took home a prize in one category. This year's winners are:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COMPETITION

Best Presentation - East Harlem Center Little Bites - Dish: Multigrain Pancakes with Fresh Fruit Sauce
Best Teamwork - Frederick Douglass Center’s Choppers - Dish: Hard-boiled Eggs and Pico de Gallo on multi-grain toast, served with a Mixed Berry Smoothie
Most Healthful - P.S. 5’s Chef Pepins, Dish - Cheesy Scrambled Eggs with a Quinoa Almond Milk Smoothie and a Fresh Fruit Cup
Most Ethnic Flair - C.S. 61 Scramblers - Dish: Breakfast Tostada with Kidney Beans, Scrambled Eggs and Low-fat Cheddar
Most Original
- P.S. 8 Little Stars’ Stars - Dish: Toasted Pita Nachos with Fresh Tomato “Star Sauce”, Spicy Egg and Veggie Omelet and Melted Cheddar Potatoes
Best Overall - P.S. 152 Top Chefs - Dish: Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits with Veggie-packed Scrambled Eggs and Orange-Honey Fruit Salad

MIDDLE SCHOOL COMPETITION

Best Presentation - Mirabal Sisters Campus' MSC Chefs - Dish: Salmon and Baby Greens Salad in Whole Wheat Pita Pocket with Pineapple Salsa and a Delicious Pineapple “Soda”
Best Teamwork - East Harlem Center Mighty Bites - Dish: Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage and Carrot
Most Healthful - SUMA’s Dominasian Invasion - Dish: Asparagus-Broccoli-White Bean Soup
Most Ethnic Flair - I.S. 98 Bosses - Dish: Fish Taco with Pineapple-Strawberry Salsa
Most Original Dish - I.S. 166 Fire and Spice - Dish: Asian Noodles with Lemongrass Shrimp, Snap Peas and White Asparagus
Best Tasting
- I.S. 50’s Chef Kids Italiano - Dish: Whole Wheat Pasta with Sundried Tomatos and Feta Cheese
The Best Overall - Fannie Lou Hamer’s FLH Cooks - Dish: Salmon with Asparagus, Roasted Red Peppers and Brown Rice

Incredible Talent On Display at the 10th Annual Children's Art Show

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Dozens of youth attended the 10th Annual Children’s Art Show reception on April 14th to view their artwork on the legendary walls of the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park. The children, accompanied by family and friends, were bursting with pride as they slowly looked around for their piece and stayed close by throughout the evening in case one of the many cameras wanted to capture their moment.

The 10th Annual Children’s Art Show showcased over 150 pieces of art by children ages 3-18 and featured artwork of students from The Children’s Aid Society's fall and winter programs. The reception also featured a salsa performance from P.S./I.S. 50 Vito Marcoantonio, a Children’s Aid Community School in Harlem, and a fashion show from the Eco-Fashion and Green Design club at the Mirabal Sisters community school campus in Washington Heights.

Click here to view a complete photo gallery of the Art Show.

The Associates Council: Young Professionals Making a Difference for Children's Aid

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The Children’s Aid Society Associates Council (AC) is comprised of a dedicated group of young professionals who share the common vision to “convey the mission of the organization through both their words and deeds.” Since 1985, the AC has been taking ordinary volunteers and transforming them into future leaders that help guide Children’s Aid in its mission to serve New York City’s neediest children and families.

Members of the AC come from a variety of fields including media, finance, education, human resources, and social work. They combine their individual talents to provide a vibrant and diverse resource to The Children’s Aid Society. Throughout its history, AC members have spearheaded and engaged in numerous initiatives, projects, and special events such as Miracle on Madison Avenue, the Annual Holiday Toy Drive, and “Cocktails for a Cause” happy hours.

Currently, the Associates Council is focusing its efforts on an exciting calendar of fundraising events and forums. These include:

Childhood Obesity Speakers Forum
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
6:30 to 8:30pm
105 East 22nd Street, New York, NY

The Associates Council of the Children’s Aid Society invites you to “Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Speakers Forum.”  Shockingly, this could be the first generation where children do not outlive their parents.  Experts Kevin Dedner from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Children's Aid Society's Stefania Patinella will present compelling information on this wide-spread issue which will inevitably have a huge impact on our healthcare system and the future of our children and families.  Come learn about the facts, our approach, and how you can make a difference! For more information or to RSVP for this event, please email Malia Poai at maliap@childrensaidsociety.org. For a preview of this event, listen to Stefania Patinella talk about The Children's Aid Society's efforts to combat childhood obesity in the podcast at the bottom of the post.

FORWARD—First Annual Spring Cocktail Event
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
6:00pm to 9:00pm
Southwest Porch at Bryant Park
Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

FORWARD will feature food from 'wichcraft, drinks from New York's best craft breweries, raffle prizes and more, all in one of the city's most picturesque spots. Proceeds go to The Children's Aid Society Early Childhood program. Purchase tickets here.

Click here for more information on these events or to learn more about The Children’s Aid Society Associates Council. You can also follow the AC on Facebook.

As a preview to the upcoming Childhood Obesity Speakers Forum, please click "Play" below to listen to an interview with Stefania Patinella, Director of Food and Nutrition Programs at The Children's Aid Society.

You may need: Adobe Flash Player.

The Children's Aid Podcast: Stefania Patinella discusses The Children's Aid Society's efforts to combat childhood obesity

Richard Buery on The Huffington Post: Sensibility Must Prevail in Approach to Teen Pregnancy Prevention

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"But teen pregnancy is a real problem, and it requires real solutions, not political jockeying. It is particularly acute among teens living in poverty. The Children's Aid Society has worked for years to address the issue and with our Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (CAS-Carrera) we have seen real results."

Richard Buery, President and CEO of The Children's Aid Society

Today's Huff Post New York, a microsite of The Huffington Post, features Richard Buery's article Sensibility Over Partisanship in Preventing Teen Pregnancy. Mr. Buery explains the importance of evidence-based adolescent pregnancy prevention models like the Children's Aid Society's Carrera Program (CAS-Carrera). He also warns that partisan political bickering greatly harms the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

Click here to read the complete article.

Follow Richard Buery on Twitter: @RichardBueryCAS

Harlem Youth Show Off Knowledge and Skill in Moot Court

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The Street Law participants at The Children’s Aid Society’s Hope Leadership Academy in Harlem concluded their program with a successful Moot Court on Friday, April 8th at the Fried Frank Law Firm. The event showcased the students’ accomplishments and growth. The Street Law curriculum at Hope consists of 10 interactive lessons centered around the 4th Amendment (Search and Seizure).

The participants, with the guidance of their New York Law School student trainers, worked on developing arguments for a case involving searches conducted on school property. Before a panel of three judges, the students took turns debating both sides. Some argued that the searches were excessively intrusive while others represented the school’s interests arguing that the searches were a necessary way to maintain school safety. Both sides cited past cases to support their positions.

The Moot Court session was followed by a celebration that included food, drinks and a ceremony to honor students and mentors alike. Moot Court winners were awarded gift bags including gift certificates, movie tickets and t-shirts. The students took the opportunity to thank their volunteer mentors from New York Law School, presenting them with certificates of appreciation.

Click here to learn more about the many important programs going on at Hope Leadership Academy.

East Harlem Center Keystone Club Honored for Work in Career Exploration and Community Service

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The Children’s Aid Society’s East Harlem Center has much to celebrate! The center’s Keystone Club recently attended the 2011 National Keystone Conference in Orlando, Florida, where they were awarded the top prize in Career Exploration for their CSI: East Harlem event held in the fall of 2010. The Keystoners wanted to explore the fields of criminology and forensic science after learning that many of their peers at the center share an interest in these potential career paths. They spent weeks planning, writing and rehearsing a CSI-inspired, murder mystery skit. Hard work also went into identifying key panelists who could share their experiences and knowledge with the center’s participants. Panel members included missing persons detective Roberto Santos, mystery/crime novelist Doug Magee, NYC Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent Tranchida and Assistant District Attorneys Shanda Strain and Jung Park. The event was a great success and with help from the panel of professionals, the murder mystery was solved!

Along with Florida’s warmth, the group brought back a shiny new plaque to add to their collection at the East Harlem Center, a Boys & Girls Club of America affiliate. The youth also received $1,500 to be used towards their club’s future projects.

The Keystone Club enables young people to demonstrate leadership and build character through community service projects and fundraising. The East Harlem Center Keystone Club also received a “Runner Up” award of $500 in the National Keystone Project: Save Our Society category. Their winning project was a program they designed called “Happy Feet for the Sole.” The youth collected shoes to be donated to communities in Senegal, Africa after learning of the growing number of people contracting parasitic diseases from walking around in dirty water, dirt and soil. The collection of shoes will help children and adults avoid such infections that can lead to the loss of limbs and in worse cases, death. The donation of over 100 pair of shoes will reach Senegal by way of YES, Inc., an organization in Georgia.

Congrats to The East Harlem Center’s award-winning Keystone Club!