The Children's Aid Blog

Mayor Bloomberg, Please Renew our Yoga Program!

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colorfulsigns-cas This past Thursday morning, the East Harlem Head Start children, staff, and parents went to City Hall to participate in a press conference supporting funding-renewal for our yoga program (which is provided free through our partnership with University Settlement). saveyoga-cas2

The trip fit in perfectly with the Civic Participation theme and related events that we've been working on with our families.

Much to our surprise, Mayor Bloomberg actually walked out of the building just as our press conference was wrapping up.

huggingkneecas31 The highlight of the day came when, of his own accord, 3-year-old John spontaneously broke from his mother to passionately hug the leg of our famous Mayor.

Everyone (including Mayor Mike) had a good chuckle.  It was the perfect example of true civic participation! Enjoy the pictures. Moira Cappio, Director of the Head Start Program, East Harlem Center

May was National Foster Care Month: The Children's Aid Society Supports Youth in Foster Care and Their Families

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New York City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) recently marked the beginning of National Foster Care Month with a commemoration to raise New Yorkers' awareness about foster care, celebrating generous New Yorkers who have opened their hearts and homes as foster and adoptive parents.

The Children's Aid Society in New York, which partners with ACS, began its efforts to help the thousands of homeless, abused and orphaned children living on the streets of the city in 1853. That program, called the Orphan Train Movement, is still recognized as the foundation of the modern-day foster care system in the United States.

Today adoption and foster care constitute one of The Children's Aid Society's largest service divisions, and among our highest priorities, as we continue to work for the nearly 17,000 children living in foster care in New York. National Foster Care Month is a great opportunity to highlight this continuing need -- thanking foster families and social workers who care for children -- and encouraging New Yorkers to become foster parents, volunteers or mentors. Many foster care alumni have taken that crucial early support and mentoring to go on to many great things in life.

New York's Children's Aid Society finds safe and nurturing homes for more than 640 needy children a year, a powerful statement of commitment and care. In addition, we also provide many specialized services for youths and families in the foster care system. Learn more about becoming a .

Katherine Eckstein is The Children's Aid Society's New Director of Public Policy

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The Children's Aid Society in New York is delighted to announce Katherine Eckstein's promotion to the position of Director of Public Policy. Katherine's new position is part of the agency's Office of Public Policy and Client Advocacy, which leads in developing, coordinating and implementing The Children's Aid Society's policy priorities and strategies. C. Warren Moses, CEO of Children's Aid Society, said of Katherine-

"After her successes in advancing our community schools policy agenda at the city, state and federal levels, Katherine is the ideal person to help us achieve greater impact in all of our policy work going forward."

New York's Children's Aid Society is one of the nation's largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving 150,000 of New York's neediest children and their families. Katherine has been with The Children's Aid Society for three years, and previously worked to broaden support for the agency's community schools. As Katherine puts it-

"We understand the real needs of the children and family we serve through our client and legal advocacy work. Our policy work will allow us to advocate for large-scale, high-impact change to really address what children and families face each day..."

Before joining Children's Aid Society, Katherine was special assistant to New York City Department of Education regional superintendent, and interim director of a community technology center. Eckstein has a BA in Public Policy from Brown University and an MA in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Congratulations!

Giving in a Recession: Children’s Aid Society of New York Earns “Exceptional” 4-Star Rating Eight Years in a Row!

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Investment portfolios may be slumping, and jobs may be less secure, but a majority of Americans who give to charity still plan to donate as much this year as in 2008, according to a new surveyMore than 52 percent of donors said their gifts would equal last year's, while just 17.5 percent planned to give less. In our current  recession, it's all the more important to have confidence that your donation is going to those who need it. The Children's Aid Society of New York City  creates programs that improve children's health, education and welfare, making a difference for so many for over 150 years.

As it assists 150,000 children and families each year, The Children's Aid Society of New York City commits an exemplary 90 cents of every dollar donated directly to its children's services, an extraordinary number.

This high percentage, among other qualities, has earned The Children's Aid Society of New York a four-star "Exceptional" rating, on Charity Navigator  the nation's largest and most-used evaluator of charities. The Exceptional rating is a powerful statement of fiscal integrity, meaning that Children's Aid significantly outperforms most other charitable organizations.

We have just learned that Charity Navigator ranks The Children's Aid Society as number 3 among the Top Ten Charities with the Most Consecutive Four Star Ratings! Children's Aid has held its 4-Star rating for eight years in a row. In posting the rankings on its website, Charity Navigator remarked that:

"To be successful, organizations must be high performers consistently, year after year. These ten charities are the first to earn 8 consecutive 4-star ratings demonstrating an ongoing fiscal excellence. They are well-positioned to pursue and achieve long-term change."

Charity Navigator is the industry standard for rating the financial responsibility of non-profit organizations, provides information for consumers about donations and how they are used -- to the people who need it or to overhead.

The Children's Aid Society's work and dedication is as important as ever. It's good to know that your donation gets to the child who needs education or healthcare or a new home and provides the supports needed to help him or her become a successful, productive, happy and healthy adult.

Rally at City Hall Calls Attention to Children's Aid's Saturday Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Teens

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children-signing5221 Clients, providers and advocates gathered on the steps of New York's City Hall on one of the sunniest days in May to shed some light on and rally support for restoration of city budget cuts to core human service programs serving New York's most vulnerable populations - children, youth and elderly.

The Children's Aid Society was represented by key staff members of its Saturday Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Teens which takes place at the Rhinelander Children's Center, as well as by the mother of one of the children who attend the program.

The Saturday Program is the only free program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and teens in New York City outside of a school. Isolation is a common feeling for Deaf young people. Children's Aid's program offers an opportunity for Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth to relate to peers outside of a school setting, build socialization skills and experience recreation, sports and field trips as well as attend workshops in relationship building, violence prevention and communication.

The Saturday Program, established in 1989, has always been funded by a mix of public and private support. The Saturday Program is one of the successful grantees of the Department of Youth and Community Development's OST Option II funding. This funding is slated for elimination in the proposed City budget. As the grandmother of a participant has written about the Program:

[My granddaughter] now realizes that her limitations are only the ones she imposes upon herself and that she really can do pretty much whatever she wants to do in her life. Although she has always been told this, the program made it a reality for her.

Children's Aid Teens Participate in Eastern Regional Championship

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image001 Our teen Sports Management team has been busy. On a chilly day in January, our teens had the opportunity to manage the score boards at the Eastern Regional Championship at City College, sponsored by Gatorade and the NBA/WNBA. The NBA had specifically requested our teens manage the boards for that one day, all-day tournament. There were 16 teams at the tournament with 4 games playing simultaneously. Two teens monitored the boards for each game.

In mid-March, our team managed four courts at Fordham University for the two-day True Hoop Event tournament. Later that month, Children's Aid's director of sports and recreation, Kelsey Stevens, found more springtime action for the youth; he arranged to have the team manage middle school tournaments at 10 sites in Manhattan and the Bronx through the C.H.A.M.P.S. Junior High School basketball league. "These youth come in with skills," Stevens said. "Our students shine."

Children's Aid's Sports Management team comprises 15 youth (10 females, 5 males), 15 to 20 years of age, culled from the city’s high schools. Interested teens should contact Kelsey Stevens at Children's Aid's Frederick Douglass Center, 212-865-6337. 

And to learn more about the team Hammer and Kelsey Stevens who run this program, read this blog entry from the Village Voice by Graham Rayman.

Children's Aid Society - A History of Firsts

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With revolutionary ideas about the importance of the early education and welfare of children, Children's Aid Society in New York introduced continues today in programs all across our country.  For over 150 years, these ground-breaking programs have astonished and amazed with their innovation, helping children at risk grow up healthy and productive.

With unique vision, New York's Children's Aid Society introduced many progressive programs in their schools that today are commonplace. Look at the National School Lunch Program, the federal program that provides free or reduced-price lunches to students based on the student's household income.  The Children's Aid Society in New York started their free school lunch program over 150 years ago to destitute children, recognizing that a child can't learn well when he or she is hungry.

And there is the Head Start program, founded in 1965, which benefits children by enrolling them into instructional settings at the age of 3 in order to promote school readiness.  Children's Aid opened the first Head Start classroom in New York. Early childhood education has been a cornerstone of New York's Children's Aid Society since its inception in 1853. The passion to champion children at risk in the 21st century continues, with program-innovation and imagination.