To Our Clients: Please visit our COVID-19 page for program information and updates.

Our Programs

Social Work Month 2021: Social Workers Are Always Essential

Chrissie Chua, SBMH

By Traci Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer

Chrissie Chua, Long Island City school-based mental health

Lead Clinical Coordinator Chrissie Chua conducts tele-therapy sessions with her clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Governor’s office deemed The Child Center staff essential. That is in no small part because of our social workers and other service providers and support staff. They are essential to their clients, and to our community at large, and I can think of no better theme for Social Work Month 2021 than this year’s theme: Social Workers Are Essential. Continue reading

Black History Month Happenings 2021

Black history month at ocean bay cornerstone

Celebrations Look Different, Spirit Is the Same

Black History Month Bulletin board at Ocean Bay community Cornerstone

At The Child Center of NY, we know every day is a day to observe, study, and appreciate Black History. From the first days of our nation when York played a pivotal role in the Lewis and Clark expedition, to today’s Black luminaries like President Barack Obama and Presidential Inauguration poet Amanda Gorman, Black Americans are an integral part of the fabric of our country.

That’s why in honor of Black History Month, many Child Center programs took the time not only to study and appreciate Black History, but also to celebrate it.

Continue reading

School Tips: How to Help Children Struggling with Remote Learning

Girl at a laptop Chromebook engaged in remote learning during COVID pandemic

screenshot of distance learning, remote learning, virtual learning

As NYC schools shift between in-person and hybrid learning models during the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is for sure: Remote learning will be around in some fashion for at least a few more months.

Parents across the city remain understandably anxious about how to help their children adjust to full-time remote learning or blended-education options. The Child Center of NY, a community-based organization that works to close the gap for New York City’s under-served communities through afterschool programs, counseling, and many other services, has been helping parents in need with related issues since before the pandemic hit New York City.

Nicholas Ferreira, one of The Child Center’s Senior Vice Presidents of Youth Development, offers up the following tips that he and his staff provide to parents in under-served communities. Continue reading

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:

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.


Recent Blog Posts

Translate »