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
When 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.
Katie Brennan, one of The Child Center’s board members, believes in the work we do because she has experienced firsthand how important clinical help can be for families.
Katie Brennan, third from left, at the 2012 Child Center Children’s Holiday Party
“When my second child was born in 2007, she was healthy and we brought her home from the hospital 36 hours after her birth. Everything seemed fine until she was three weeks old. She became listless and slept even more than she had in the days following her birth. It turned out that she had viral meningitis. Luckily, viral meningitis is much less serious than bacterial meningitis and her hospital stay was only three nights.
“But the stress of her illness coupled with post-pregnancy hormones left me anxious and depressed, even after her health returned. With professional help — a good therapist, temporary medication and then figuring out that running worked better for me than any actual medication — I was quickly back to feeling like myself, maybe even better than I had ever felt before.
“It was around this time that I was introduced to The Child Center of NY.
This holiday season, The Child Center is overwhelmed with the generosity and good will of people who created special moments for our children and families.
World Cares Center‘s Project Elf brought Santa and presents to our after-school participants at Beach 41st Cornerstone Community Center. World Cares Center, an organization focused on empowering communities through disaster response training and coordination, came to The Child Center bearing gifts for over 100 children. The night before the gift-giving, they transformed the gym with decorations, pictures of presents, snowflakes and streamers. On December 8, children and parents came through the doors and were greeted by Santa Claus, fun art activities, and gifts.
The Child Center of NY was pleased to partner with Queens Community House to host a day of health education, fun, raffles, Zumba, and face painting. On November 22, the community came together for A Community Approach to Family Health, a family-focused event sponsored by Advantage Care Physicians.
The morning started at Parsons Beacon program with registration, tables inviting people to register for The Child Center’s Single Stop program. Congresswoman Grace Meng gave some opening remarks before Monica Corbett, a community leader and Chair of Pomonok Houses Resident Association, spoke to the crowd. Reverend Alfonso Wyatt led the group in a chant that inspired kids and parents to take charge of their health and take care of their bodies.
Advantage Care Physicians led the group in break-out sessions that helped educate people on child development at every stage: Nursery and Elementary School Years, Middle School Years, and High School Years. Continue reading
From the western edge of Queens, the Manhattan skyline looks close enough to touch. But Manhattan’s prosperity has not reached across the river, where neighborhoods have faced poverty for generations.
Zone 126, a nonprofit that works with families here to end poverty, wanted to provide expert, experienced counseling for the area’s schoolchildren. So they enlisted The Child Center, which placed its licensed clinical social workers in schools in Astoria and Long Island City.
Through the month of November, The Child Center of NY will be partnering with Advantage Care Physicians on a series of community events that combine health, education, games, prizes and fun for the whole family.
On November 4, we partnered with Advantage Care Physicians on a Family Game Night, held at Basie Beacon MS 72 in Jamaica, Queens. Strategically timed to happen on Election Night, when the school doubles as a polling place, it was a time for people to vote and then enjoy food, games and health screenings.
Sheila Tomlin, program director, said voters joined the fun when they heard the music and festivities. Thanks to Advantage Care Physicians, they were able to have their blood pressure, vitals, vision and BMI checked. The Beacon’s new marching band put on a musical show and The Child Center raffled off donated gift cards. Over 100 people came and some asked if it would become an annual event.
On November 5, we partnered with Advantage Care Physicians for the first of a series of maternal and child health workshops. Registered Nurse Frances Brenner, nurse practitioner with The Child Center’s Head Start programs, led 16 mothers, one dad and four new babies in education about preconception care and prenatal care.
The Child Center is excited to announce that we are now an official KidCents charity! KidCents is a program created by The Rite Aid Foundation that allows Rite Aid customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to help support kid-focused charities.
If you are a Rite Aid customer, you’ll be able to list The Child Center as your designated charity, and then elect to round up your Rite Aid purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the change to support our work.
Here’s what you can do to support The Child Center of NY with your KidCents round-up donations when you shop at Rite Aid: Continue reading