FirstStepNYC Opens “Little Free Library”

December 29, 2016 – Brooklyn, NY  Our FirstStepNYC Early Childhood Education Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn opened a “Little Free Library” for their students and families thanks to books donated by individuals and organizations throughout the area. Students, parents and faculty from The Wampus School in Westchester hosted a book drive that collected over 1,000 new and used books for FirstStepNYC’s new library.

Upon the Little Free Library’s opening, each child was given a library card that allows them to check out books to take home to read. It coincided with the kick off of their “Winter Reading Rally” to promote literacy – with the goal of students and their families collectively reading 1,000 books at home.

For Bronx Librarian, Bringing Books to Homeless Children Inspires Hope

dsc_0735December 19, 2016 – Bronx, NY – Lester Holt did a wonderful story on the NBC Nightly News featuring our Crotona Family Residence’s Reading Literacy Program. A manager from the Morrisania Branch Library, Colbert Nembhard, visits the shelter every Wednesday collaborating with our staff to engage toddlers though reading, sing alongs and other activities – sparking their curiosity and promoting the foundation for literacy. The partnership began 8 years ago when Crotona invited the library to do outreach for the children living at the shelter. Early literacy programs like this are now being replicated at shelters throughout NYC.  See their story.

SCO Welcomes NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariňa to Announce Homeless Shelter Reading Program

December 8, 2016 – Brooklyn, NY  SCO Family of Services welcomed NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariňa to our Flushing Family Residence in Brooklyn yesterday as she announced the Afterschool Reading Club (ARC), a brand new literacy enrichment pilot for elementary school students living in shelters. Chancellor Fariňa also took time to read “Leo the Late Bloomer” to our kids during her visit.

Flushing Family Residence is one of 18 shelters citywide piloting the Afterschool Reading Club, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Department of Services. Elementary school teachers visit the residence three days a week, providing reading instruction, homework help, and arts programming to help students develop heir literacy skills. The students also receive free books each week so they can build their own libraries and read with their families. ARC also engages parents and families, with the goal of bringing families together to read. See NY1’s coverage.

Early Education Stretches into Summer

©Marisol_Diaz_2016_ Morris_Koppelman_mg_9914Three- and four-year-olds at our Jerome Hardeman Early Childhood Education Center have been learning, reading and playing together all summer long, thanks to the generosity of the Sirus Fund, whose financial backing made our full-day Summer Extension Program a reality.

And after saying their ABC’s, our young learners are saying, “Om,” stretching their bodies and minds with child-friendly yoga classes offered at SCO’s Early Childhood Centers in Brownsville, thanks to the Sirus Fund. [Read more…]

Mayor Announces SCO ED Doug O’Dell’s Appointment to NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board

SCO is proud to announce that Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed SCO Executive Director Doug O’Dell to the newly created NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. The Advisory Board offers valuable non-governmental expertise, relationships and resources to the City agencies that make up the Children’s Cabinet, in order to help NYC best promote and protect children’s wellbeing. Members of the Board include appointees from all five boroughs in academia, faith, media, business, technology, the non-profit sector and the judiciary.

In announcing the Advisory Board members, the de Blasio administration recognized Doug for bringing the following expertise:

Douglas O’Dell is the Executive Director of SCO Family of Services where he has served in various other roles during his 24 years at the organization. He is an expert in the field of services to vulnerable populations of children, families and adults. During his time at SCO, he created SCO’s alternative to detention and placement programs serving court-involved youth in their homes with family-based therapy and community-based residences. He also launched the agency’s Family Therapy Intervention Pilot which promotes families’ acceptance of their LGBTQ children and provides services to reduce negative risk factors experienced by LGBTQ youth.

Read the full press release below. [Read more…]

2015 Holiday Cheer at SCO

Thank you to the many, many SCO supporters and friends who donated thousands of gifts, organized holiday celebrations or otherwise supported the children, youth, adults, families and communities we serve during this special time of year. Below is just a sample of the overwhelming generosity shown toward New Yorkers in need during this season of giving. [Read more…]

SCO Program Leaders Participate in Early Childhood Development Forum Panel

IMG_3812SCO’s Maggie Petrosky – Director, Nurse Family Partnership & Parent-Child Home Program and Chanda Hill – Assistant Executive Director of Program Services (overseeing SCO’s Early Childhood Programs) were among the Early Childhood leaders who served as panelists at the Early Childhood Development Forum in Brooklyn, hosted by Borough President Eric Adams and the Parent-Child Home Program, National Center. The forum brought together thought leaders, direct service organizations and policy makers to discuss the importance of early childhood education and care, specifically between the ages of 0-3. [Read more…]

Hillary Clinton and Chirlane McCray Announce “Talk To Your Baby” Campaign at SCO/FirstStepNYC

Photo credit: NYC Mayor's Office

Photo credit: NYC Mayor’s Office

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited SCO Family of Services’ SCO/FirstStepNYC early childhood education center Wednesday, April 1, 2015 to jointly launch New York City’s “Talk To Your Baby, Their Brain Depends On It” public awareness campaign, urging parents to talk, read and sing to their babies from birth.

Photo credit: NYC Mayor's Office

L-R: Chirlane McCray, Hillary Clinton, FirstStepNYC Founder Laura Ensler and Center Director Joan Kuo.

Clinton, McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery announced a collaboration between the New York City Children’s Cabinet and the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail children’s initiative that will feature major public awareness campaigns and a new partnership with Scholastic Inc. to distribute baby book bundles to hundreds of thousands of new NYC parents.

These efforts will focus on closing the “word gap.” Studies have found that by age four, children in middle- and upper-income families hear 30 million more words than their lower-income peers. This disparity in hearing words from parents and caregivers translates directly into a disparity in learning words. And that puts our children born with the fewest advantages even further behind.  [Read more…]

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chirlane McCray to Launch Early Childhood Initiative at SCO/FirstStepNYC

Update: Click here for our recap of the event.

THE CITY OF NEW YORK

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

NEW YORK, NY 10007

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov, (212) 788-2958

 

**Media Advisory**

 

WEDNESDAY: FIRST LADY CHIRLANE MCCRAY AND SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON JOINTLY LAUNCH NEW YORK CITY EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES

 

NEW YORK – On Wednesday, First Lady Chirlane McCray will team up with Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to jointly launch New York City’s Talk to Your Baby public awareness campaign and toolkit distribution, and the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small To Fail Community Campaign Guide at SCO Family of Services’ FirstStepNYC Child Development Center. [Read more…]

FirstStepNYC hosts CityTech Nurses for community health event

crowd 2

Seeking to raise awareness for two major health concerns facing children and families in Brownsville – uncontrolled asthma and childhood obesity – the New York City College of Technology Nursing Department and representatives from Brookdale and Kings County hospitals Tuesday held a community meeting at SCO/FirstStepNYC, an early childhood education center co-located at PS/IS 41.

Participants included FirstStep parents; representatives from the Nurse-Family Partnership, Parent-Child Home Program,  the offices of NYS Assembly Member Latrice Walker and Council Member Inez Barron; P.S./I.S. 41 Principal Therese Siegel; and SCO staff, including AED Chanda Hill, AED Maureen Angliss and Family Dynamics Director Rick Gallwey. Under discussion: The need for early education, youth and community health program partnerships and a proposal by CityTech nurses to turn neighboring empty factories into community health resources, including a Boys and Girls Club, medical center and neighborhood recreation center. [Read more…]

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