The Children’s Aid Society Fall 2011 NEWS Wagon Road Campers Avoid “Summer Slide” Kids at Wagon Road Summer Camp learn teamwork and balance on the ropes course. During the summer, most of us think about vacation, travel and relaxation. But for many New York City kids, the summer is a time of loneliness, inactivity and boredom, contributing to learning loss known as “summer slide.” A lack of adult supervision, outdoor activities, learning opportunities and fun can stifle creativity and breed feelings of insecurity and despair. Camp experiences are an essential part of improving education for city youth overall and critical to meeting the social, emotional and intellectual needs of children from low-income households who are disproportionately affected by ”summer slide.” At The Children’s Aid Society Wagon Road Camp in Chappaqua, New York, more than 400 campers took part in activities designed to hone social skills, build self-esteem and refine literacy and learning skills in ways that are fun, safe and engaging. Supported by an influx of generous contributions from a group of kindhearted donors, these children benefited from activities like horseback riding, adventure ropes courses, nature study, swimming instruction, music, dance, drama and more. “We take advantage of the camp setting to develop a holistic learning environment,” said Camp Director Vince Canziani. “The camp programming is varied and designed to have an impact on every level.” Creating an environment that’s conducive to positive outcomes starts with diversity. Campers get to interact with others from a wide range of backgrounds, and it’s the diversity of Wagon Road that makes experiences so valuable to campers and their parents. Katherine Loda, a local resident, chose Wagon Road Camp based on the Continued on page 2 visit www.childrensaidsociety.org often! From the CEO Closing the Achievement Gap through Community Charter Schools While many advantaged students can afford extra help in their scholarly pursuits like SAT tutors, private schooling, and summer camps – the vast majority cannot. Combined with systemic problems in the public education system, these disparities contribute to a growing achievement gap between the working classes and the wealthy. While there is no one solution to this issue, community charter schools that offer comprehensive educational, health, social and family supports can help level the playing field between rich and poor, allowing low-income students to focus on academic excellence and avoid the pitfalls that can derail a promising future. For decades, The Children’s Aid Society, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, has provided wraparound services through community schools. Now, CAS will be implementing best practices codified over many years when it opens The Children’s Aid Society Community Charter School (CAS-CCS) in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx in August 2012. CAS-CSS students will receive intensive case management provided by CAS life coaches. Life coaches and school Continued on page 3 Donor Spotlight: Associates Council While most young professionals are concerned about opportunities to expand their professional networks, cultivate new job opportunities and balance their personal development, a dedicated group of young professionals, known as the Associate’s Council (AC), is broadening its horizons while applying its collective talents toward helping children in poverty. Since 1985, the AC has been working diligently to convey the mission of The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) “through both their words and deeds.” “I’ve been doing volunteer work since I was a teenager, so when I moved to New York I began looking for organizations I could really connect with,” said Amy Kohn, past president of the Associate’s Council. “Children’s Aid helps the children of New York City and by extension all New Yorkers. Children’s Aid’s innovative programs really improve the educational and vocational opportunities for all of the city’s youth. I’m proud to be a part of it and to learn about the research and work being done in the areas of education and child development.” In 2010-11, the AC raised more than $20,000 in support of CAS programs and, through its Speaker’s Forum, helped draw attention to key issues, like childhood obesity and related health consequences. In addition, the council has forged positive relationships with other organizations to produce events that directly benefit youth in poverty. “I got involved with the AC in the fall of 2010 through a friend who had worked with CAS and spoke very highly of the organization and its leadership. The opportunity to work AC President Jennifer Gallivan volunteers at the Dunlevy-Milbank site. with a group that touched the lives of children from infancy through early adulthood was perfect,” said Jennifer Gallivan, president of the Associates Council. “My experience thus far has exposed me to some very dynamic programs, program directors, staff members and leaders, particularly Rich Buery, who hit the ground running as CEO in 2009 and who has been revolutionary as a leader and an inspiration to me.” In 2011, the AC hopes to exceed its fundraising goal of $20,000 as well as attract a cadre of professionals from legal, business, social work, media and many other professional backgrounds. For more information or to become a member of the Associate’s Council, contact Kat Connelly, Director of Volunteer Services, at 212-381-1173 or [email protected] Keeping the Promise: CAS’s Inaugural Gala wonderful mix of children who attend. At its inaugural gala next month, the Children’s Aid Society will honor BNY Mellon, Robert Wolf, Chairman of UBS Americas, and volunteer Ann Sather. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind will serve as Master of Ceremony. The Keeping the Promise gala will celebrate CAS’s 158-year commitment to improving the lives of New York’s neediest children through medical, educational and recreational programming, while showcasing the work of corporate and community leaders who serve as role models by upholding the CAS promise through their meaningful contributions. “Children’s Aid is delighted to honor our supporters who have worked tirelessly to realize our shared vision of breaking the generational cycle of poverty by providing enriching opportunities for our most vulnerable children to succeed 2 Wagon Road, continued “My children are interacting with others from different socio-economic, ethnic and cultural groups, and that’s an opportunity that they don’t often get in this area,” said Loda. Wagon Road Camp provides a safe haven for social maturation, intellectual stimulation and healthful development for all students. Subsequently, campers emerge more confident and enriched by new friendships and experiences. and thrive,” said CAS President and CEO Richard Buery. The gala will take place on October 12 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. Thanks to the overwhelming support of donors and friends, the event is already sold out. “Riding a horse, negotiating a ropes course or performing in front of peers sounds fun, but there is an emotional component to it that allows children to test their boundaries and go beyond their comfort zones,” said Canziani. “And these are the experiences that stay with kids for the rest of their lives.” Take Action: Education Reform Early Head Start Promotes School Readiness As part of its continuum of programs designed to prepare children for college and productive adulthood, The Children’s Aid Society’s (CAS) Early Head Start, Head Start and Daycare programs promote school readiness by contributing to the social and cognitive development of children in underresourced neighborhoods through educational, health, nutritional, social and other services. Serving more than 600 low-income children between the ages of 0 – 5, these programs help ensure that children are prepared to participate in advanced learning activities as they grow older. Starting at the earliest stage equips children with the requisite social and academic skills and ensures that their health and nutritional needs are met. Government support for these programs enables CAS to shape impressionable children in a way that prepares them for higher education and beyond, and it allows CAS to work with new mothers to ensure that young children in need get an equal opportunity to succeed and thrive. In the current academic year, a total 678 slots are available for children in Children’s Aid Early Head Start, Head Start and Daycare programs. 3 Lawmakers have some overdue homework to turn in. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is severely outdated, and its much-needed update deserves as much Congressional attention as the recent coverage of the debt ceiling. In rewriting ESEA, a more comprehensive law is needed that will support wide-ranging strategies—such as full-service community schools—and allocate resources to the children who need them the most. The Children’s Aid Society’s goals in education reform parallel those of the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who would like to see a system that appropriately measures improvements in both student learning and school progress. Modifications to ESEA should include: • Increased accountability and transparency • Increased flexibility to allow for locally determined solutions while holding school districts, schools and their partners accountable for achieving results • Promote investments in successful education solutions The moment for Congress to give ESEA its long-overdue overhaul is now. Join The Children’s Aid Society in advocating for the improvement of America’s educational system by contacting your representatives and New York State Senators Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer. From the CEO, continued leadership staff will also identify students’ family and home-based needs and develop a plan to address those needs throughout the year. Also, the CAS-CCS school day and school year will be longer than a traditional public school. The extended time allows for increased learning and creative exploration, promotes physical activity and exercise and builds community. After-school, weekend and holiday programs will be an integral part of CAS’s holistic approach to fulfilling the developmental needs of children at CAS-CCS. Parent workshops will be provided by CAS that will focus on developing the skills, strategies and supports to reduce barriers to their children’s success, and to improve CAS-CCS. CAS summer camps will be available to CAS-CCS students and they will have the opportunity to participate in year- round programming including a rich arts programming, summer athletics and dance camps. The multi-service support systems of the CAS Community Charter School more precisely address the needs of children in poverty who have no choice but to grapple with an underfunded education system that does little to address barriers to effective learning. CAS intends to fully realize its vision of preparing children for self-sufficient adulthood by providing layered services proven to be most effective in improving academic outcomes. Sincerely, Richard R. Buery, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer Client Spotlight: Meet Robert Saunders, Future Entrepreneur Robert Saunders, 18, of East Harlem, is a shining example of what a young person can accomplish if surrounded by supportive adults, provided with educational opportunities and encouraged to pursue a greater vision for the future. Robert began his relationship with Children’s Aid 10 years ago when his mother registered for childcare services at the Dunlevy Milbank Center. Since then he has taken part in myriad CAS programs, each providing him with a unique set of skills that prepared him for the next level of his education. “In the Corporate Workplace Program, we would meet once per week for about seven weeks to do workshops on career readiness and interview skills,” said Robert. “Then, through the Youth Empowerment for Success program, we worked on résumés and talked about job placement and different professions.” With an interest in law, Robert, 16 years old at the time, gained valuable work experience as an intern at the law firm of Pavia and Harcourt LLP, where he had an opportunity to apply his new skills during the summer of 2009. The following year, he continued to participate in activities at Hope Leadership Academy, piquing an interest in accounting and business that set a clear trajectory toward higher education. Through the Financial Literacy Program at Hope’s summer institute, Robert developed more confidence, progressing from program participant DECEMBER 5 to peer leader and trainer. The institute provided him with a foundation for responsible money management including budgeting basics, saving and goal-setting, understanding wealth and assets, credit scores and spending versus investing. It also offered him opportunities to develop his presentation and public speaking abilities. With an interest in business, he is now focused on becoming an entrepreneur and developing money management skills that he says will benefit him for the rest of his life. “It’s good to know about money and to think about ways to save for the future,” said Robert. Robert is now working toward a degree in business administration from Onondaga Community College and has hopes of pursing more advanced degrees in business and marketing. To see more about Robert go to www. childrensaidsociety.org/snapshots/ourkids/robert. The Silver Anniversary of Miracle on Madison Avenue Join us on Sunday, December 4, as caring New Yorkers make their holiday gifts go further. Madison Avenue retailers between 57th and 86th Streets will donate 20 percent of the day’s sales to The Children’s Aid Society. Visit childrensaidsociety.org/miracle for a full list of participating stores. TH E CH I LDREN’S AI D SOCI ET Y NEWS The Children’s Aid Society 105 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010 Mark M. Edmiston, Chairman Richard R. Buery, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer William D. Weisberg, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Ramos, Director of Marketing and Communications Increase your gift at no additional cost. Find out if your company has a matching gift program, visit www.matchinggifts.com/childrensaidsociety Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) has ranked Children’s Aid a 4-star charity for 11 consecutive years. The Children’s Aid Society is a proud participant of the BBB Charity Seal Program, which indicates that our organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. For more information, please visit the BBB of Metro New York’s website: www.newyork.bbb.org. The Children’s Aid Society is a founding member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Published by the Marketing and Communicatons Office 4 visit www.childrensaidsociety.org often!
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