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Our Programs

August Martin High School Now Has Higher-Than-Average Graduation Rate

August Martin High School culinary students with Lidia Bastianich

AMHS scholar-chefs with Emmy award-winning public television host, best‐selling cookbook author, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich. Read the full story behind the photo: childcenterny.org/the-child-center-of-ny-on-pbs/.

Ready for some good news for which to give thanks? August Martin High School (AMHS) in Jamaica, Queens, achieved a 91.7% graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year!

“This is a great achievement, exceeding NYC’s average high school graduation rate,” says Amanda Etienne, The Child Center of NY’s Senior Vice President, Youth Development.

The city-wide high school graduation rate for New York City was 77.3 percent in 2019, the most recent figure. Continue reading

The Child Center of NY Recognized for Its Contributions to Mental Health

The Child Center serves as one of the few providers of early childhood mental health services. Strengthening the parent-child bond, as pictured here, is a part of all our ECMH programs.

We are honored to share the news that the New York State’s Office of Mental Health recently awarded The Child Center of NY with the 2020 OMH Community Cares Award for the New York City region.

OMH’s Community Care Awards were created in 2019 to highlight OMH’s partners and stakeholders in local communities across the state that are helping to identify and eliminate gaps in services and are working to build strong community-based behavioral healthcare systems. The award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of organizations who have furthered the OMH mission and made a positive contribution to the mental health system in their communities. Continue reading

Parsons Beacon Wins 2020 Young Sharks Competition!

Young Sharks at Parsons Beacon
Parsons Beacon YMI students prepare for Young Sharks competition

Young Sharks Jaylen, Mathew, and Joseph working on their team project before the shutdown.

When 13-year-old Mathew of Flushing, Queens, gathered his index cards and began pitching his anti-bullying app to judges of the virtual 2020 Young Sharks competition, he started to have second thoughts.

“There were many competitors, and I thought there was no way I would win,” the recently graduated 8th grader told us. “But Ronell and my mom were able to help me with my confidence, and I was able to get through it.” Continue reading

The Show Goes On — with a Virtual Performance

students singing Frozen Jr

P.S. 182Q Quest Program’s Musical Production During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Anne Cahill, Drama Instructor


The Quest ExpandEd Program at P.S. 182Q is a truly unique afterschool program. In a time when what we can educate our students about is often rigidly standardized, Quest gives teachers, group leaders, and students the opportunity to explore subjects about which they are passionate. This allows students to flourish while discovering their talents and pushing their limits. It also allows teachers to see students in another light and spurs an even stronger connection between them.

This is exactly what happened when I started a drama group at Quest in 2012. And it took on new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As in previous years, the 2019–20 school year began with three rounds of auditions. Interested students came prepared to sing, read lines, and learned a short dance combination. Twenty students were selected and began a rigorous, in-depth look into the foundations of acting, singing, and dancing. They also learned about character development and motivation through literature, which I teach along Group Leader Gianna Moncayo.

This year’s production was to be Disney’s Frozen Jr., and the selected students embarked on five months of preparation and rehearsals.

The time, dedication, and hard work a musical production demands is a lot to ask of anyone, let alone third, fourth, and fifth graders. So you can imagine that when schools closed because of coronavirus, the students were devastated — and, to be frank, so were we. We wanted the students to have the opportunity to showcase their incredible effort and achievement. Watching videos of Broadway casts sing songs from their shows gave Ms. Gianna and me the idea to do something similar: We would create a video of Frozen Jr.’s signature song, “Let It Go.”

We quickly shifted focus from stage acting to camera acting. Program Director Amelia Garcia hopped on board, as she always does, providing us with support and contact with a professional videographer, Erwin Villanueva.

The rest is history, as you can see by the resulting video, above. I hope you will be as moved by the beauty of the students’ voices and spirit as I was. I am so proud of the students and their families, whose support was crucial. The students had a lot of fun making the video, and we enjoyed getting to see them grow in a new way.

Most important, the students finished the project not only having learned performing arts skills, but also the trait of resilience. They had to pivot quickly from all they’d been training for to an entirely new set of skills, under circumstances that were traumatic enough on their own. That they were able to do this so successfully taught them a lot about their own capability to triumph over adversity and create something wonderful.

Fifth-grade participant Mia, who was to play the lead role of Anna, put it best: “To be honest, when we had to start doing rehearsals online due to COVID-19, I was really unmotivated and felt like it wasn’t going to be the same. But after three months of doing it remotely, it grew on me and I started to enjoy it! It gave me something to do during the day and we still had a lot of fun. Although I still get nervous when I know my family is listening to me singing in the other room, it’s still fun! When recording the video for ‘Let it Go,’ I was really nervous because I knew I was going to be heard by my neighbors and family, but seeing the final outcome, I know it was worth it. It’s cool to see how, even through quarantine, Ms. Cahill and Ms. Gianna never stop working hard and making things happen for us!”

We plan to put on a concert version of the show when school can be in session once again — and we know our students will be ready.

 

Photo of the Month: Ocean Bay Cornerstone, Loud and Clear

Deborah Hoyle of Ocean Bay Cornerstone Community CenterOcean Bay Cornerstone Community Center in Arverne has been organizing weekly food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that has exacerbated food insecurity. Here is Program Director Deborah Hoyle (and staff member Darryl Devore photo-bombing!) getting ready for the food distribution. As this photo demonstrates, we want to convey loud and clear that The Child Center is here for you during this unprecedented time, that it is a team effort, and we do this work with as much joy in our hearts as the moment allows.

Food distribution occurs at Ocean Bay Wednesdays at 1 p.m. No registration required. We welcome you to come by.

All of our Cornerstone Community Centers are distributing food to those who need it, including grab-and-go meals (calling ahead required) throughout the week. You can call the center nearest you for more information.

Leonard’s Story

Leonard, a client of the substance abuse addiction program at the Jamaica Family Wellness center in Queens

Leonard, a client of the substance abuse addiction program at the Jamaica Family Wellness center in QueensIt may sound ironic, but The Child Center’s focus is larger than just children. Since children don’t grow in isolation, our goal is to help lift up whole communities, providing members of all ages with opportunities to reach their full potential. That’s why many of our programs serve not just youth, but adults, too. Our addiction treatment programs, like the ones at our Jamaica Family Wellness Center, help clients of any age develop the skills and confidence to find lasting recovery and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Leonard is a man in his 60s who had been using and selling drugs since 1967. He’d been in and out of jail on drug-related charges for most of his adult life. His drug use and drinking became all-encompassing, causing him to lose contact with his family, including two daughters that he lost to the foster care system. Continue reading

The Child Center of NY Announces New Tele-Health Pediatric Primary Care Services

Collaboration with Strong Children Wellness Allows for New Service

The Child Center of NY is proud to announce that we have joined forces with Strong Children Wellness, a specialized primary care practice network that provides integrated medical, social, and mental health services and virtual care within community-based organizations in New York City. Through this alliance, The Child Center will be able to offer pediatric primary health care to our clients and to all children, ages 0-21, in the communities we serve. Continue reading

Photo of the Month: Project Promise

Project Promise client at Jamaica Family Wellness Center, Child center of nYQuanasia (pictured here with her baby Amelia) is a client of our Project Promise program, designed for women who are pregnant or have young children and have struggled with substance use issues. Quanasia is now working full time, and Amelia is registered in nursery school. The proud mom is in recovery and creating a bright future for herself and her beautiful daughter.

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