The Children's Aid Blog

From the Associates Council: Escape to Midnight in Paris

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The Associates Council is thrilled to continue our literary themed events by bringing a bit of Parisian sparkle to the lower east side in just a couple short weeks. Following our recent Emerald City spring soiree, the Children’s Aid Society’s 17th Annual fall fundraiser pays homage to Midnight in Paris.

Our venue, Preserve24, evokes a bit of the exposed brick facades, cobblestone street feel and Jazz Age environment the movie whimsically brings to life. You can almost picture Hemingway and Fitzgerald lounging in a corner booth discussing their newest masterpiece while Zelda dances by the bar. And even better, this fantastic new venue represents a charitable cause of its own, the preservation of Greenland’s retreating glacial landscape.

We are also pleased to announce that Tito's Vodka has graciously offered to be our exclusive vodka sponsor for the evening.

We hope you can escape with us to Midnight in Paris for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and more on Wednesday, November 20 from 7-9pm in support of the incredibly important work The Children’s Aid Society is doing in our neediest NYC communities. 

Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit The Children’s Aid Society Go!Healthy program, an initiative that follows children from early childhood through adolescence and beyond, educating them about wellness, nutrition and healthy cooking.

Buy tickets today!

-- Rebecca Steuer & Kate Ruque, Fall Event Committee Co-Chairs

Youth Vie For Coveted Spot on Leadership Council

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As New Yorkers head to the polls today to vote for the city’s new Mayor, students at The Children’s Aid Society are also holding their own valuable elections. Last Friday, students in the afterschool program at P.S. 8, a Children’s Aid Society community school in Washington Heights, voted in its new 2013-2014 Youth Leadership Council. Their excitement and nerves filled the school’s auditorium as over a dozen future leaders presented compelling speeches in hopes of securing the most votes.

Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members learn valuable leadership skills and advocate for their fellow students, school and community. The YLC provides input and feedback regarding the activities in their afterschool program, plays a part in organizing afterschool events, and develops and participates in community service and youth advocacy projects.

The incoming council members at P.S. 8 will have large shoes to fill. Former students (left) credit their time with the YLC with teaching them how to be a better student, a better son/daughter and better community member. They ask the new council to be the example that the other children follow.

Stay tuned for more YLC 2013-2014 news.

From the Associates Council: Supporting an Incredible Cause

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On Wednesday, November 20th, the Associates Council is hosting its 17th annual fall fundraiser themed Midnight in Paris.

Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will benefit The Children’s Aid Society Go!Healthy program, an initiative that follows children from early childhood through adolescence and beyond, educating them about wellness, nutrition and healthy cooking.

“The crisis we face with childhood obesity in this country is so large that it can be overwhelming. But we fight it with positivity and empowerment,” said Stefania Patinella, Director of Food and Nutrition Programs at the Children’s Aid Society. “Our program teaches kids to take their health into their own hands. From toddlers to teens, they learn how to grow vegetables, cook nutritious and delicious meals, be aware of advertising that persuades them to choose junk foods and make the healthy choice instead. As they share meals with their families and compete for Healthiest Chef in our Iron Go!Chefs event, healthy eating transforms from a chore to a cause for celebration.”

By joining us for Midnight in Paris, you will help make Go!Healthy programs, including cooking classes, health and fitness, recipe competitions, and many others better able to improve the lives of children in our neediest New York City communities.

We hope to see you there. Buy tickets today!

-- Rebecca Steuer, Co-Chair, Fall Event Committee

Tom Hiddleston Surprises Kids at "Thor" Screening

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Last night for Halloween, over 60 kids from the East Harlem Center and community school Mirabal Sisters Campus dressed up in costumes, and headed down to Times Square for a screening of “Thor: The Dark World.” Youth were greeted with Halloween treats and t-shirts upon arriving, and after they took their seats, Tom Hiddleston--the actor who plays “Loki”--made a surprise celebrity appearance, flying in all the way from London!

Thank you to Tom Hiddleston, the New York Daily News, Marvel and Disney for organizing this fantastic and memorable Halloween opportunity for our kids.

Read more on the New York Daily News article here.

photo credit: Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News

2013 Trauma Conference Attracts Hundreds

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Hundreds of education and social services professionals are attending the “Impact of Trauma on Learning and Development” conference today at the National Center for Community Schools. This daylong conference, a collaboration between The Children’s Aid Society and New York Foundling, will give an in-depth look at this critical issue that affects students and their school environment.

Today's agenda includes a keynote address by Dr. Glenn Saxe, the director of the New York University Child Study Center and Arnold Simon Professor and Chair of the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The effects of traumatic stress on children have been well-documented and as a result many effective strategies have been developed for addressing the needs of trauma-effected youth in school settings. Leading researchers and practitioners will present on a range of topics, including: current research; organizing support services in a community school setting; and therapeutic and teaching models and strategies.

The idea for the conference grew out of Children’s Aid’s and NY Foundling’s own charter schools, which serve children actively involved in the child welfare system. The event is bringing together leading thinkers and frontline staff to share successes and strategies for creating trauma-sensitive environments for vulnerable children.

From the Associates Council: Bonjour Midnight in Paris!

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The Associates Council is pleased to invite you to the 17th annual fall fundraiser, Midnight in Paris, an evening fête and fundraiser to help The Children’s Aid Society enable children in poverty to succeed and thrive. Details below:

17th Annual Fall Fundraiser Midnight in Paris
November 20, 2013, 7-9 p.m.
Preserve24
177 East Houston Street*
New York, NY
*Intersection of Houston & Allen Streets

Our fall fundraiser will support The Children’s Aid Society’s Go!Healthy initiative that follows children from early childhood through adolescence and beyond, educating them about wellness with nutrition and healthy cooking programs.

By joining us for Midnight in Paris, you are helping improve the lives of children and their families in New York City's neediest communities.

A sneak peek of what to expect at this year’s event includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and Bonheur. Check back here for more information about this year’s theme, distinguished guests, raffle prizes and the behind-the-scenes team that will make the event possible!

We hope to see you there. Buy tickets today!

-- Ali Rotondo, Fall Event Committee

Domestic Violence Part 4: How Can You Help

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This is the last in a series of blogs on domestic violence and healthy relationships which we originally posted last year in honor of October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

If you know someone who you think is being abused by their spouse or partner, here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Let them know you are worried about them and want to help. Don't tell them what to do or try to take control of the situation.
  2. Don't blame the victim, imply they did something to 'bring it on,' or tell them they are stupid for staying.  It's hard to understand why people stay in abusive relationships - some common reasons are love, belief the abuse will change, self-blame, and fear that the abuse will get worse if they try to break it off.  But the worst thing you can do if you want to help is to reinforce the idea that they are to blame.
  3. Help them to reduce isolation. Abusers often cut their victims off from friends and family members. Tell them you'll be there for them whether they decide to stay in the relationship or not.
  4. Connect them with a domestic violence advocate who can help them develop a safety plan. Call one of the numbers below to find out what resources are available in your area.

Finally, if you know someone who's being abusive, do not look the other way. Calmly express your concerns about the specific behavior that you see as abusive and make it clear that you do not believe there is any excuse for abusing another person. Suggest that they get help in order to change their behavior, and tell them you will support them in their efforts to change, but will not support abusive behavior. Do not accept excuses, justifications, “laughing it off” or victim-blaming. Call one of the numbers below to find out how to get help for the abusive person.

How to get help:

The Children’s Aid Society – Family Wellness Program   212-503-6842
NYC Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-699-SAFE (TDD 800-787-3224)
National Teen Dating Violence Hotline 1-866-331-9474 (TTY 866-331-8453)

Photo via www.mysistersplaceny.org
 

Save The Date for "The Graduates/Los Graduados"

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On Monday, October 28, PBS premieres, The Graduates/Los Graduados at 10:00 p.m. The film shares the compelling stories of six young Latinos from around the country who beat the odds and achieved success in school. Featured in this nationwide premiere is Bronx-born Chastity Salas, a Children’s Aid Society community school alumna and current freshman at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

Though her mother worked hard to provide steady housing for Chastity and her three younger brothers, the family found themselves living in a homeless shelter. During these difficult times, the after-school program at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, helped provide a safe and encouraging place for Chastity to build positive relationships, enhance her study skills and explore her creativity through music. With help from the Student Success Center and the EXCEL College Prep Program, Chastity was set on track to college and was better prepared for the challenges of higher education.

Watch the trailer here and check your local listings for Monday’s premiere.

Join the online conversation about this film and the ways to curb the high school dropout rate. Visit the film’s Facebook page and use the hashtag #TheGraduates/#LosGraduados on Twitter to show your support.

Domestic Violence Part 3: The Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

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This is the third in a series of blogs on domestic violence and healthy relationships which we originally posted last year in honor of October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Check back next week for our final blog on Why Victims Stay and how you can help.

While every relationship is different, survivors of domestic violence have identified common characteristics and behaviors of abusive partners.  Knowing the warning signs can help you to avoid abusive relationships or identify abuse and get help for yourself or a friend/family member sooner. If you recognize any of the warning signs below, consider calling the Family Wellness Program or one of the hotlines listed below.

  1. Extreme jealousy – when one partner wants to know who the other is with and what they are doing at all times, is extremely possessive, accuses them of cheating with no reason. 
  2. Isolation – when one partner wants the other all to him/her self, tries to cut them off from friends, family, and activities – might even insist they quit their job or school.
  3. Controlling behavior – when one partner tries to control the other by telling them what to do, how to dress, who to hang out with – or manipulates them into doing what they want.
  4. Fast-moving relationship – when a partner who comes on very strong, is an extreme “smooth talker” and wants make major commitments very early in the relationship.
  5. Blaming – when one partner always seems to blame the other for his/her own behavior – “You made me do this.”
  6. History of abusive behavior – if someone has ever been abusive to a current or ex partner, a child or an animal; it is unlikely they will change without help.
  7. Moodiness – someone with a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality.
  8. Put-downs – when one partner is constantly criticizing the other, putting them down and making them feel badly about themselves.
  9. Entitlement – when someone believes they are entitled to be in charge or be catered to, whether because of gender or other reasons.
  10. Intimidation and threats - when one partner uses threats or intimidating body language, punches walls or breaks things to intimidate the other.

How to get help:

The Children’s Aid Society – Family Wellness Program   212-503-6842
NYC Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-699-SAFE (TDD 800-787-3224)
National Teen Dating Violence Hotline 1-866-331-9474 (TTY 866-331-8453)

 

Trauma Follows Children to School

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Did you know? A history of trauma can impact a child’s language, memory, attention and sequencing skills. The effects of traumatic stress on children have been well-documented and as a result health, social service and education practitioners have developed many effective strategies for addressing the needs of trauma-effected youth. Despite the evidence and resources available, schools are not regularly implementing the strategies or policies necessary to address these negative effects.

The Impact of Trauma on Learning and Development Conference, a collaboration between The Children’s Aid Society and New York Foundling, will be held on Friday, November 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the National Training Center for Community Schools in Morningside Heights. This day long conference will give education and social services students and professionals an in-depth look at this critical issue. Leading researchers and practitioners will present on a range of topics, including: current research on the impact of trauma and abuse on learning and memory; organizing support services in a community school setting; and effective therapeutic and teaching models and strategies.

Click here to learn more and to register.