The Children's Aid Blog

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.