Our Supporters

Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle

It’s never too soon to instill in children the importance of financial literacy — and it’s never too late for their parents to achieve it.

That’s why The Child Center promotes the concepts of budgeting and saving in age-appropriate ways across our programs.

At our Escalera Head Start in Manhattan, that recently took the form of a financial literacy workshop called, “Break the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle,” organized by volunteers from TD Bank. Continue reading

Local School Kids Celebrate Metsgiving

Curtis Granderson and Jose Reyes Usher in Holiday Season with Turkey Giveaway

Metsgiving #ChildCenterNY

The Mets’ Jose Reyes and Curtis Granderson gave out turkeys at M.S. 72

Thanksgiving came early for some 100 students from M.S. 72 (Catherine and Count Basie Middle School), P.S. 223 (Lyndon Johnson), and August Martin High School. New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson and his teammate, third baseman Jose Reyes, joined them this week at M.S. 72 in Jamaica, Queens, to hand out turkeys for their holiday meal. The giveaway was part of The Mets’ larger Metsgiving and Granderson’s Grand Giving campaigns, which have the shared goal of combatting hunger in New York City.  Continue reading

Donor Spotlight: Garrett D’Alessandro

Like other driven individuals, for the first 20 years of Garrett D’Alessandro’s career, he was principally focused on achieving his career goals. Garrett has always been financially generous to charitable organizations, although he made little time to otherwise engage in his community.

Garrett, who is currently the CEO and President of City National Rochdale Investment Management, managing $27.8 billion in assets — had an epiphany; he became concerned that he was not being true to the example his parents had set. “My dad always said, ‘We have to help others,’” he explained. “My mom wished he spent more time with the family, but she wouldn’t have had it, or him, any other way. That lifelong demonstration made me realize it is important to give of yourself to community well-being.”

When Garrett was ready to follow in his parents’ footsteps, he searched for an organization dedicated to family, education, and community — and came upon The Child Center of NY.  As the Vice President of the Board of Directors, Garrett continues to support the agency financially, and in his role on the Board contributes leadership, business acumen, and lives up to the example set by his parents: an abiding spirit of generosity.

“I’m proud to be affiliated with an agency that helps not just the child, but the whole family, live up to its potential by offering the right education, counseling, and support,” said Garrett. “In my work, I help people make good investments. Frankly, supporting The Child Center is about as failsafe an investment you can make.”


Alan Stein: Innovation in Giving

DSC_0312“Not everybody has the same advantages that I had.  I am lucky to have parents who supported me at every step of the way,” said Alan Stein, Online Advertising, Global Strategy, and Operations Manager for Google.

Alan believes in giving back – but not merely in traditional ways.  As a frequent donor to The Child Center of NY over the years, he has also participated in a number of events “hands on,” such as acting as a referee for dodgeball and organizing a Google cafe fundraiser attended by board members, and has encouraged his three children to give back as well.  His kids, learning the importance of philanthropy by his example, have held bake sales and lemonade stands to raise money for The Child Center.

But the Stein family doesn’t just raise money for us; they also encourage friends and coworkers to donate as well – to The Child Center and other worthy recipients.  At Google, where Alan works, up to $6,000 a year per employee is matched in giving to charitable organizations, and Alan does not let that benefit go to waste.  In addition to maxing out his own annual Google contributions, he also sponsors a “Holiday Triple Match,” with his colleagues, matching up to $150 of their donations out of his own pocket.  In five years, they’ve raised a combined $72,000.

“The Child Center of NY helps children grow and develop, and I want to support that by creating opportunities for kids to be able to make their own opportunities.  Giving them the resources they need to work toward their own goals makes me feel like I’m making a difference in their lives, and for the next generation as well,” said Stein.

Russ Carson: The Magic of a Match Challenge

What’s better than donating to a great cause? Donating to a great cause and having your donation go twice as far. That’s why Russ Carson, a supporter of The Child Center and a founder and partner at private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, established a match challenge, whereby he pledged to match any gift up to $1.5 million—turning an already generous $1.5 million donation into a $3 million gift.

“The Child Center does amazing things, and I wanted to find a way to make as big an impact on its work as possible,” Carson said. “Creating a match challenge was a way to get a whole community of supporters involved, and help twice as many kids.”

Fundraising studies show that people are very responsive to matching gift campaigns. Carson’s has been extremely successful and is nearly complete.

In recognition of this gift and Carson’s tremendous impact on the agency, The Child Center created a new award in his name: The Russell L. Carson Visionary Award. The inaugural award was given to Kay Howard, tutoring coordinator for the M.S. 72 Basie Beacon afterschool program, at our 2015 annual gala by Carson himself. This year’s Carson Award went to Tanya Krien, director of Early Head Start.

“We are so grateful to Russ for coming up with this innovative way to double his already generous gift. It has been truly transformational in generating support and helping us serve the children and families in our programs,” said Traci Donnelly, CEO of The Child Center.

We encourage other donors—on their own or with a group—to create their own matching gift pledge. To learn how, or to donate to the Carson Campaign, please contact our Development Office at 718-651-7770.

Maura Nicolosi: How Can You Say No to These Children?


Maura Nicolosi is the owner of The Nicolosi Law Firm, P.C., in Manhasset, New York, and a member of The Child Center of NY’s Golf Committee. In the following Q&A, Nicolosi discusses how she was introduced to The Child Center, why she stays involved—and why it’s so easy for her to convince others to do the same.

The Child Center of NY: How did you first become involved with The Child Center?

Maura Nicolosi: I was invited by a business acquaintance to a Child Center golf outing about eight years ago and have been supporting the agency ever since. Continue reading

Bank and Investment Firm Come to Woodside Head Start

ReadingWhen a family enrolls a preschooler in a Child Center of NY Head Start program, parents must complete a home inventory that includes the statement, “You see 10 books in the home environment”—and parents answer either “yes” or “no.” More often than not, the answer is “no.”

“Most of the families in our program don’t own books,” explains Marie Mason, Education Director of The Child Center’s Ficalora Family Foundation Head Start Center in Woodside. “Poverty is an issue for the majority of them, and many parents may not be able to read English—or even their native language—and so are unable to read to their children.”

As common sense tells us and research confirms, early exposure to books is key to instilling a lifelong love of reading, and it helps provide a strong foundation for success in school. That’s why our Head Start programs keep classrooms stocked with reading materials. “Our center often provides kids with their first exposure to a collection of books,” says Mason. Teachers read often to the students, who love to listen—but they get really excited when someone new reads to them.
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