The Children's Aid Blog

Campaign for Children Call In Day

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We need YOU to call City leaders in charge of the budget and tell them to save child care and after-school programs – programs that allow parents to keep their jobs while their children get the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

Campaign for Children Call In Day – Instructions

On Wednesday April 4th between 9am and 4pm, parents, providers and concerned New Yorkers will take action by calling City leaders and letting them know we are paying attention. 

Call (888)-279-3491 on Wednesday, April 4th to let our City leaders know that child care and after-school must be saved!

Use this script as a guide for your call (and please be polite):

Hi, my name's ________. I'm calling to urge you to save child care and after-school programs.

With the newest budgets cuts, more than 47,000 NYC children are at risk of losing the educational opportunities that pave the way for success. Families that rely on subsidized child care and after-school work hard and play by the rules. Without these programs, many working family members will be unable to keep their jobs and provide for their households, or will be forced to make potentially unsafe arrangements for their children. It is morally wrong to balance the city budget on the backs of children and hard-working families.  We’re counting on YOU to restore the funding to save child care and after-school programs. Thank you.

Calls to the number above will be automatically connected to one of the City leaders in charge of the budget.  If no one answers, leave a voicemail. Despite what message you get from their office, please be assured that these are the key people in making budget decisions.

You can also send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officals by clicking here.

Background:

Mayor Bloomberg’s released his preliminary budget for New York City.  While many programs and services have been protected, the proposed budget fails to include funding for child care and after-school programs for more than 47,000 children currently enrolled in these programs.  The Mayor’s proposed budget would eliminate child care for 15,900 children, and would cut after-school programs for 31,800 children – leaving 47,000 of New York’s children and their families stranded without care. Currently, Children's Aid serves 2,280 children in city-funded OST programs and more than 600 childrens in early childhood programs.

These sweeping cuts would strike a devastating blow to New York City’s working parents – who depend on these critical services to keep their jobs – and their children – who need these early education and after-school programs for future success. The cuts represent a dramatic departure from the Mayor’s stated desire to make education reforms and economic development his top priorities and the foundation of his legacy as mayor.

Treasure & Bond Charity of the Quarter Contest

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The Children’s Aid Society is a semi-finalist in Treasure & Bond Charity of the Quarter. Bringing together fashion and art with social responsibility, Treasure & Bond is making shopping guilt-free with every purchase made supporting programs and services for New York City’s neediest children.

The race to becoming the beneficiary of this wonderful opportunity has begun and so has your task!  Help The Children’s Aid Society become Treasure & Bond’s Charity of the Quarter by voting in-store during the entire month of April. Visit the store as many times as you want and vote for Children’s Aid, if selected, we receive 100% of the proceeds from the store for the entire quarter.

Treasure & Bond
350 West Broadway
(between Broome Street and Grand Street)
646.669.9049
Store Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Curating a Children’s Art Show

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Children’s Aid staff and friends are hard at work preparing for the 11th Annual Children’s Art Show scheduled to open to the public April 24th thru the 26th at The National Arts Club. This week, Ann Kugel, a former Children’s Aid Advisory Council Member and Meredith Rugg, a dedicated Children’s Aid Society Trustee, spent hours reviewing hundreds of pieces of art work from participants ages 3 – 18, from Children’s Aid Society fall and winter programs throughout New York City. Water colors on canvas, papier-mâché projects and charcoal drawings lined the vintage boardroom at the 22nd street headquarters where the curating was taking place. Needless to say that this task was not taken lightly as there were more than enough brightly colored, skillfully created masterpieces to choose from.

The young artists, staff and families will have the opportunity to view the artwork and celebrate artistic creativity during a special reception at The National Arts Club. It is always an interesting evening spent with the youth as they enthusiastically describe their piece to everyone in attendance. Look for a full 11th Annual Children’s Art Show recap and photo gallery at www.childrensaidsociety.org.

The National Arts Club is located at 15 Gramercy Park South between Park Avenue and Irving Place on 20th street. Gallery hours for the 11th Annual Children’s Art Show are as follows:

April 24th 3 – 5 p.m.
April 25th 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 3 – 5 p.m.
April 26th 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Richard Buery on The Huffington Post: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

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NYC's Budget Cuts to Leave Lasting Wounds    

"The American dream demands that where a child ends up in life should not be determined by where he started. Race, class and zip code should not determine destiny. "

On March 5th, I joined my colleagues on the steps of City Hall to launch the Campaign for Children to protest the mayor's massive budget cuts to early childhood and after-school programs. I understand that the mayor and the city will have to make difficult choices during the coming budget cycle, but decimating these critical programs for children is the wrong choice.

As the mayor has said, "Teaching doesn't stop when the last school bell rings." He created the city's Out-of-School Time initiative, a nationally recognized effort to bring high-quality after-school and summer programs to kids, declaring that what happens after school is as important as what happens during the school day. From his efforts to remake the schools to his Young Men's Initiative to reverse poor outcomes for young people of color, the mayor has consistently demonstrated his commitment to New York City's children.

That is why the mayor's proposed cuts to early childhood education and after-school programs are so jarring. We all understand how important it is to keep kids engaged and on track beginning at a very early age. Children who are consistently involved in stimulating, educational activities grow up to be smart, safe and productive members of society. They are more likely to go to college, get jobs, support their families and less likely to end up on the streets, involved in gangs or in prison.

Continue Reading

Follow Richard Buery on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RichardBueryCAS

Children's Aid Remembers Joy Dryfoos

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We mourn the loss of our colleague, mentor and friend Joy Dryfoos, who died peacefully at home on Saturday, March 17.  Joy was an inspiration and champion for our community schools work, here in New York City, nationally and internationally.  She loved to visit our schools and to bring policymakers, funders and other leaders to see them “in action.”  She challenged us to make our work better and she documented our work so that others could learn from it.  There is no one quite like Joy and we are grateful to have had her in our lives for these past two decades. 

Jane Quinn
Vice President for Community Schools and Director, National Center for Community Schools

If you would like to make a donation in Ms. Dryfoos' name to Children's Aid, please click here. You can also leave a personal message by signing her online Rememberance Book.

Children’s Aid Middle School Youth Council Project

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The Children’s Aid Society Middle School Youth Council project started with our January retreat at Wagon Road.  Youth Councils from JHS 98 Herman Ridder, Mirabal Sisters Campus, SU Campus, and Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School broke into four groups and made posters representing each group, had an ice cream party, played games and had a great time.  We also started talking about issues in our schools. My group said that the biggest issue was bullying.  Some other things we talked about were relationships with our teachers and school principals and how can we change the school.

The main project we did was creating a survey. We came up with the idea of surveys when we started talking about bullying and other school problems. The Youth Council decided we should see what other people thought and what other people felt. To create the survey, we went around the group and we started asking each other questions about bullying. We collected surveys from all of our schools, over 300 surveys, and put the answers in Survey Monkey. This weekend we are going to continue our project with our next Wagon Road trip.  When go on our next retreat, we hope to complete a video about the results of our survey.  We will show this video on Wednesday, May 23rd at the Barnes and Noble on 86th Street.   Please join us from 4:30PM till 6:30PM!

Written by: Daphne C.
7th Grade
Herman Ridder JHS 98

Photo by: Kenya R.

Education Week Article Covers Children's Aid Community Schools

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The community schools movement is growing – and it continues to capture national attention. This time it’s the front page of Education Week. Reporter Christina Samuels takes an in-depth look at community schools in Multnomah County, Ore. and its nearly two decades of success.

SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) Community Schools in and around Portland has been lauded as a shining example of how schools and communities working together can achieve sustaining positive outcomes for students even in the economic downturn. While it features SUN, this in-depth, three-page story also covers the growth of community schools in recent years in cities like New York and Chicago and its growing favor with federal education leaders, including Secretary Duncan and President Obama.

Read full article here.

Photo Credit: Clare Redhead, second from right, leads a group of students during a 4-H program offered at Faubion School in Portland, Ore. The K-8 school is one of 64 “community schools” in the county.

—Leah Nash for Education Week

Children's Aid Ambassadors: Ready for the Job

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Children’s Aid has its Ambassadors! Rest assured that New York City’s children have a group of talented and passionate group of youth and parents ready and able to speak up for them.  The Advocacy Ambassadors from each CAS site have been trained over the last couple of weeks and now have the tools to be leaders in our advocacy efforts at the very next press conference, rally or to spread the word using the most popular social networking sites.

Over the next couple of months, the efforts of our Ambassadors will be focused on fighting to protect the more than 47,000 child care and after-school program slots from being eliminated, as proposed in Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary budget. Children's Aid serves 2,280 children in city-funded after-school and holiday programs and more than 600 more in early childhood programs.

“Children’s Aid calls us Ambassadors, we call ourselves protectors of the people and services that guide, shelter and teach our children while we are at work or school. The city wants to cut budgets and shorten our programs, who is then accountable for those children who then wander aimlessly through the streets with nowhere to go” said Jessica Ortiz, a parent whose child attends the Children’s Aid Society after-school program at Fannie Lou Hamer High School.

Lilibet Mendez, also a CAS parent whose child attends programming at P.S. 50 wonders how a working parent would choose between providing income for her family and the safety of her children if they lose their after-school slot.  “I work full time and live check to check. I depend on the Children’s Aid Society extended day and holiday programs so that I can receive my full check and work in peace knowing that my sons have a safe place to be and are surrounded by a wonderful group of people who care about their well-being and educational needs, they also provide a clinic with a registered nurse so that I don’t have to take any days off from work.”

Thank you to all the CAS Advocacy Ambassadors for taking on the challenge. Stay tuned to learn more about our Ambassadors and as they update us on the various efforts throughout the city over the next couple of months.

Photos by Lily Kesselman

Young Men Lift Their Voices in Honor of Their Culture

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The Children’s Aid Society's African American Male Initiative held its public speaking event “Lift Every Voice” last month on Saturday, February 25th at the New York Mission Society’s Minisink Townhouse. Lift Every Voicewas an opportunity to encourage a deeper appreciation of African American history and culture.Along with participants from AAMI, young men from Middle Schools 161, 129, Promise Academy II, and from Abyssinian Baptist Church's Saving Our Son's youth group presented their speeches related to Black History Month.

 Top honors went to Mark Jackson of AAMI and Chazz Johnson of Abyssinian Baptist Church for Exceptional Content and Dzifa Gzaba and Armani Moore of AAMI for Exceptional Delivery.

 "This was an absolutely amazing event “said Mr. John Reddick, a founding board member of the Harlem Link Charter School. “I was impressed and I do not see any reason why next year won't be bigger and better."

 The African American Male Initiative-Steps to Success(AAMI) is a program created by The Children’s Aid Society in response to the educational and social challenges that disproportionately confronted young men of color. AAMI seeks to provide comprehensive services and support to program participants and their families by encouraging academic, social and leadership development of young men.

Congratulations to all the young men for their participation and continued appreciation of African American History.

Children's Aid Fights for New York City's Kids

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The Children’s Aid Society, Emergency Coalition to Save Child Care, NYC Youth Alliance, parents, advocates and elected officials gathered at City Hall on Monday, March 5th to launch Campaign for Children, a citywide campaign against the Mayor’s proposed cuts to child care and after-school programs. The coalition spoke highlighted the devastating aftermath that will surely fall upon New York City’s neediest children and families if the City continues to cut these critical services.

Present among the many elected officials showing their strong support were New York City councilmembers Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Gale A. Brewer, Margaret Chin, Leroy Comrie, Elizabeth Crowley, Julissa Ferreras, Sara Gonzalez,Brad Lander, Stephen Levin, Darlene Mealy, Rosie Mendez, Diana Reyna, Hon. Joel Rivera, Albert Vann, Melissa Mark Viverito and Jumaane D. Williams, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and a representative from the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's office.

Mayor Bloomberg’s fiscal year 2013 proposed budget would eliminate 15,900 child care slots and slash after-school program capacity by 50% – so that 31,800 children will lose their after-school programs come September. In all, more than 47,000 children would be left with no other choice but to fend for themselves or their parents would be forced to walk away from their employment. This is the fifth straight year that the Mayor has cut child care and after-school programs. If the latest proposal is enacted, 90,000 fewer children will have access to these programs since2009.

“It is unconscionable that tens of thousands of kids who already have it tougher than most of us can imagine, now stand to lose some of the most important supports in their lives that will put them on a path to success in school, college and life” said Richard R. Buery, Jr, President and CEO of the Children’s Aid Society. “The Campaign for Children coalition has taken a bold stand to fight for some of the most vulnerable people in our city and I’m proud to join them.”

Join the Children’s Aid Society and Campaign for Children by getting involved and Take Action now!