Author Archives: Judy Grover

National Intern Day: Q&A with Sandra Ka, MSW

National Intern Day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the instrumental role interns play in keeping our society running and progressing. Here at The Child Center of NY, interns are crucial to advancing our mission to strengthen families.   

 Anderson Sungmin Yoon, Vice President, Integrated and Value-Based Care, oversees our internship program.Our internship program now resides within the Training Institute in our newest division, Research, Development, Innovation, and Training. We are proud to have created relationships and affiliations with more than 30 universities and graduate schools, including Columbia University, NYU, Nyack College, Hunter College, York College, Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, and others. The program places nearly 40 interns annually, matching them with positions that align with their goals and training them to learn and grow as the future generation of professionals.  Continue reading

Fun Friday: PAW’s Got Talent

Want to know how much fun you could be having at work? Check out this “PAW’s Got Talent” flyer for our afterschool program at the Preparatory Academy for Writers PAW Jam performance showcase. Our youth development staff at the program decided to have a laugh and photoshopped their faces onto an image of “America’s Got Talent” judges — and the youth participants loved it!

pictured from left to right:
Christopher Thompson, Media & Music Production
Vanessa Hazzard, Assistant Director
Charles Anderson, Principal, Preparatory Academy for Writers
Jessica Behr, Education Coordinator
Carolyn Johnson, Program Director

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Early Childhood Education in Action

HHS Secretary Becerra, NYC DOE Chancellor Porter, and NYC First Lady McCray Visit our Corona Early Childhood Education Center

HHS Secretary Becerra, NYC DOE Chancellor Porter, and NYC First Lady McCray Visit Us in Corona

HHS Secretary Becerra, NYC DOE Chancellor Porter, and NYC First Lady McCray Visit our Corona Early Childhood Education Center

On May 25, we had the honor of showing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, New York City Department of Education Chancellor Meisha Porter, and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and her son, Dante, the important work we do at The Child Center.

They toured our Early Childhood Corona center, which includes Early Head Start and Head Start/EarlyLearn programs. We were grateful for the opportunity for them to see our programs in action, and for us to learn more about their commitment to early childhood education and wraparound care, a cornerstone of Child Center programs. 

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La Historia de Melinda (in Spanish and English)

Scroll down for English version

Hola, mi nombre es Melinda. Tengo dos hijos se llaman Emely (12 años) and Erick (un año). Soy participante de las familias del Child Center de NY y estoy enormemente agradecida con el centro por todo el soporte que ellos me han dado. Perdí mi esposo cuando el menor de mis hijos tenía 6 semanas debido al COVID. Mi cuñada me recomendó el centro y el Child Center de NY me ha ayudado mucho.

Cuando empecé en el centro, les conté mi historia, y basado en lo que les conte ellos me conectaron con otras fuentes y gracias a esas recomendaciones ahora estoy recibiendo terapia con Nicole Stroke. Nicole y mi trabajadora social y mi trabajadora de casa nos han apoyado mucho a mí y a mi familia de muchas maneras distintas. Mi experiencia con el COVID ha sido muy fuerte, desde la perdida de mi esposo todo ha sido muy difícil, el aceptar la realidad para mi hija y para mí no ha sido nada fácil. Mi trabajadora de casa, Eliana, me llama dos veces a la semana para hacer seguimiento conmigo, hablamos de mis hijos, de mi familia y ella siempre me pregunta si hay algún cambio desde la última vez que hablamos, me siento bien cuando hablo con ella.

El centro me ha ayudado con fondos monetarios, comida, juguetes, y libros. Erick es parte de los niños participantes en nuestro programa de Early Head Start en Astoria. Erick estaba teniendo problemas con sus habilidades de movimiento finas, y Eliana me apoyo dándome actividades para ayudarlo con sus habilidades de movimiento. El programa también me dio guianza en como ayudarle a el con su aprendizaje y yo se que el por medio de esto estará listo y preparado para tener éxito el la escuela preescolar y kinder cuando llegue su momento.

Estoy muy agradecida con el centro porque ellos me han estado asistiendo vigorosamente y siempre logran hacerme sentir bien. Perder un ser querido es duro, especialmente si es su esposo. Mi hija de 12 años se ha visto muy afectada por la pérdida de su padre y a mí me duele profundamente el verle así, lo único que nos da consuelo son todas las memorias que su padre dejo en ella durante estos años. Una vez mas gracias a este centro y sus diferentes fuentes a las que ellos me han conectado. Mi hija ahora está recibiendo terapia, a pesar que ella siente que la terapia no es necesaria; yo sé que será una gran ayuda y a largo plazo beneficioso para ella. La primera vez que ella recibió terapia ella se sintió bien y yo también estoy tratando de apoyarla con la terapia y con la ayuda que estoy recibiendo le he dicho que tenemos que ser fuertes para poder superar nuestra perdida. Mi hija siempre esta preocupada y piensa mucho que pasara con nosotros ya que mi esposo era el proveedor en nuestra familia, pero con la ayuda del Child Center de NY hemos sido conectados con otros programas que nos están ayudando con la parte monetaria de la renta y también tenemos cupones de alimentos.

El Child Center de NY a sido una enorme ayuda para mi familia y para mi y estoy sumamente agradecida.


Melinda’s Story

Hello, my name Melinda. I have two kids, Emely, who is 12, and Erick, who just turned one. I lost my husband to COVID when my youngest baby was 6 weeks old. My sister-in-law recommended me to the Early Head Start program at The Child Center of NY.

In addition to providing comprehensive child development and family support services through our Early Head Start program in Astoria, The Child Center supplied the family with toys and books, as well as food and financial assistance.

When I enrolled Erick in the program, I told them my story, and based on what I told them, they connected me to other resources. Thanks to those recommendations, I am now receiving therapy with Nicole Stroke through The Child Center. Nicole and our Early Head Start family worker and home visitor have been supporting my family and me in various ways.

My experience with COVID has been hard. Since the loss of my husband, it’s been very difficult for my daughter and me to adjust to reality. Eliana, my home visitor, calls me twice a week to follow up with me and to talk about my son and my family. I always look forward to her call.

The Child Center has helped me with monetary funds, food, toys, and books, and with Erick’s education. Erick is a participant in the Early Head Start program in Astoria. He was having a hard time with his fine motor skills, and Eliana provided extra activities to support those skills. They also guide me in supporting Erick’s learning, and I know he will be prepared to succeed in preschool and in kindergarten when the time comes.

I am very grateful to The Child Center because they have been helping me unwaveringly, and they manage to always meet my needs and make me feel good. To lose a loved one, it’s hard, especially if it’s your husband. My daughter has been really affected by it; she has been suffering because of the loss of her dad, and it hurts me deeply to see her like that. What makes us feel better are the memories that her dad had built with her along the years. She was resistant to therapy at first, but I know she is benefiting from it, and it will be a big help for her down the line. The first time she had therapy she felt better, and also the support that I have been receiving has lessened her anxiety. My daughter is always worrying and thinking about our future because my husband was the family provider, but with the help of The Child Center of NY, I have been connected to other programs that are currently helping me with the rent and getting food stamps.

The Child Center of NY has been an enormous help for me and for my family, and I am very thankful.

Editor’s Note: You can help families like Melinda’s by making a year-end donation to support our programs, or donating to our holiday toy drive, through which 100% of donations go toward purchasing a gift for a child whose family is struggling. Every donation makes a difference. 

Statement on Current COVID-19 Crises Around the World

The Child Center of NY, like the communities we come from and serve, is rich in diversity. We are proud that our team members and clients represent more than 30 cultures and speak over two dozen languages.  

The range of lived experiences we bring includes being recent immigrants, living across the world from loved ones during an unprecedented pandemic. We are also caregivers with a deep love for humanity. When devastating events are unfolding around us, they do not feel like tragedies in a faraway place. They impact us deeply as humans, and on a personal level, as many of us have family abroad in places suffering the most. The communities we see in the media that are currently being impacted are made up of our family and friends and people like us.    Continue reading

Join Us! Race, Culture, and the Helping Professions Recruitment Conference

Join us on Monday, November 30, 5:00 – 6:30 pm for virtual workshops that explore Race, Culture, and the Helping Professions. Meet our CEO Traci Donnelly and speak directly with Hiring Managers from our Behavioral Health, Youth Development, Prevention, and Early Childhood Education divisions.

Register for one of the following workshops at bit.ly/SW-Conference.

To schedule an interview with a Hiring Manager, email careers@childcenterny.org.

Workshop #1: Tools for Self-Care and Resiliency for the Service Provider Working Remotely in times of Uncertainty and Stress  

Facilitated by Kena Acuña, MPH, ACC

This workshop will offer service providers tools for increasing self-awareness, clear thinking and a greater ability to provide treatment under pressure. Drawing from Internal Family Systems methodology, mindfulness, and somatic practices, helping professionals will learn and practice skills to:

  • Enhance personal well-being that fortifies how you care
  • Connect with your your compassion and confidence — your performance sweet spot
  • Connect more effectively with those with whom you interact and care for
  • Practice gentle ways to deal with triggers that can challenge clear thinking
  • Activate your power to support you through the holidays

Kena Acuña, MPHE, ACC, provides training to NYC educators on restorative circles and practices and Social Emotional Learning, with Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. She has led numerous workshops on practice and skills for stress and anxiety management during times of national crisis, in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. During 2020, she has been providing virtual support on practices and skills to address the emotional toll of COVID-19 and the moment of racial reckoning.  She has also been providing workshops to organizers in Chile during moments of political change. Kena is an affiliate of the Interaction Institute for Social Change.


Workshop #2:  The Impact of Migration on Our Resolve, Resiliency, and Relationships

Facilitated by Dr. Daniel G. Groody

This workshop will explore both historical and contemporary understanding of our collective and cultural journey of migration and its transformative impact on humanity.

Dr. Daniel G. Groody is the vice president and associate provost for the University of Notre Dame, where he also serves as a university Fellow and Trustee. He is a Kellogg Institute faculty fellow and former director of the Global Leadership Program within the Institute. Dr. Groody draws on years of work on international migration and refugee issues. He is also the executive producer of several internationally acclaimed films and documentaries, including Dying to Live: A Migrant’s Journey. He teaches the courses “The Heart’s Desire and Social Change,” “Theology of Migration,” and he lectures widely around the world. Dr. Groody has worked with the U.S. Congress, the Vatican, and the United Nations on issues of theology, globalization, migration, and refugees.

Virtual Recruiting Events

Meet our Agency Talent. Learn about our Job Opportunities.

The Child Center of NY is committed to closing the gap for kids and families in NYC’s under-served communities. Doing this requires recruiting dedicated individuals who have the skill set to make a difference for our communities. During this time of uncertainty, not only are we focused on meeting the immediate needs of our families, but we are actively looking toward the future and searching for the right individuals to join our team! And, we offer per-diem and work-from-home opportunities!

In order to connect with talented and qualified individuals, we are coming to you through virtual interviews with our hiring managers!

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It’s PAWsome!

PAW Jam showcase

Students at Preparatory Academy for Writers Shine at PAW Jam

It wasn’t the first time that 7th-grader Jordyn and her fellow afterschool program participants danced in front of an audience. It was the first time the audience included police school safety agents and representatives from an elected official’s office — and Jordyn couldn’t have been more proud of herself and her team.

“We went hard and did great,” Jordyn said through a beaming smile. “I’m so happy for us!”

Jordyn is a student at M.S. 283 Preparatory Academy for Writers, where The Child Center of NY operates a high-quality afterschool program for more than 100 middle schoolers, affectionately nicknamed “Play After Work” (PAW) by Principal Charles Anderson. Continue reading


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