Ross’ Story

Ross, a former student at SCO’s Westbrook Preparatory School, is a motivated and engaging young man who has Asperger syndrome. “I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy,” says Ross. “On the other hand, sometimes I am unaware of other people’s feelings. I can be impulsive, and I do get overwhelmed. ”

Ross had difficulty adapting at his previous public school due to these challenges. However, Westbrook’s residential school setting gave Ross the opportunity to work on his social skills and develop strategies to help him avoid feeling overwhelmed.

One key element of life at Westbrook is the internship program. While students find comfort and build confidence living and learning with other teens who have similar challenges, they know that they need to prepare themselves to communicate and work well with all kinds of people. Ross’s first internship was at Sports Authority, and he held another at St. Brigid’s Elementary School Camp where he found talking with children about sports very rewarding.

His interest in sports led Ross to his next internship at WCWP 88.1 FM, the college radio station at CW Post. He ran the audio control sound board at sporting events, made guest appearances on a college sports talk show and researched sports information for use on air. He enjoyed his experience so much that he decided to study communications in college.

Selena’s Story

Selena first came to SCO’s Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program, in August 2017. This program provides housing and transitional services for young adults who have been in foster care and are at-risk of homelessness. Selena, who had been in foster care since age 9, was dealing with a lot of family and personal issues. She was feeling frustrated and depressed. The tipping point came when her biological father passed away.

As a way to help cope with her loss, Selena decided to write a book about her experience. She hoped sharing her experience might inspire others…turning her personal tragedy into something positive. Ever resourceful, Selena wrote her entire book on her cell phone and uploaded it onto Amazon where it is currently sold as a Kindle format e-book.

Selena’s entrepreneurial spirit had been unleashed. Following her book, Selena developed her own podcast where she talks about life issues and how she has dealt with them in the hopes of motivating others. Since establishing her podcast last year, she has attracted over 20,000 followers worldwide.

She didn’t stop there. Selena then decided that she wanted to sell merchandise with inspirational messages. She started her own online t-shirt company – printing, packaging and shipping orders out of her apartment.

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process.

SCO staff are encouraging her to utilize her abilities and resilience to pursue her education. In doing so, Selena will be able to use her knowledge to promote and expand her budding enterprises and find other employment opportunities to help her as she transitions to independent living.

Click here for IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES from SCO

Resources for Families

Educational Resources

Dial-a-Teacher or call 212-777-3380
Supplemental Remote Learning Resources
Early Childhood Learning Resources
The Math Learning Center 

Remote Learning Resources

12 Best Coding Tools & Resources for Kids While Learning From Home
Adobe – a resource hub for education with free templates, links to free software (including Adobe Acrobat, Sign, and tools for Google Drive), and videos with instructions for how to use the programs.
bartleby – a free digital self-tutoring and writing service available to college students. Students can ask homework questions, which subject-matter experts will answer, or post a paper to have grammar and spelling checked.
Blackboard offers the File Transformer, a free resource enabling students to convert digital course content into alternative formats, to meet their unique learning needs and preferences. Blackboard Ally, the new resource lets students personalize their learning experience and choose from several format types (PDF, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, and HTML) to work better with mobile devices, assistive technologies, and study tools.
Canva for Education is offering teachers forever-free access to the pro edition of its online design platform. Students can create and co-create presentations, infographics, websites, reports, worksheets, posters, flyers, and signage.
Code with Google provides free lessons, to help students pick up computer science skills.
Good Calculators is providing a variety of free online calculators, to do math and statistics, engineering and conversions.
Hallo is offering a free app to help students practice English. Students can learn from native speakers through live videos 24/7 and practice speaking in seconds with people all around the world.

Educational and Online Activities

Best Virtual Tours in Ireland – 7 amazing tours around the country.
Parks@HomeDr. – Experts bringing all the secrets of the outdoors right to your doorstep.
Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
Explore Virtual NYC – recorded performances, digitized exhibitions, social media gatherings, and virtual tours – from museums, galleries, comedy clubs, theaters, and other venues all over the City.
Storyline Online – a fun website where professional actors read popular picture books aloud.
Storynory.com – Bible stories, King Arthur, Saints, Robin Hood – and stories that enhance vocabulary.
Education.com – First Grade Phonics Games
Bronx Zoo Virtual zoo – bringing the animals to you!
Garden of Dreams Enjoy virtual and interactive content from Garden of Dreams, New York Rangers, New York Knicks, the Rockettes, MSG Entertainment, MSG Networks, and more.
Arts & Culture Virtually visit 500+ museums and art galleries around the world.
At Home Art-Making Activities for Families – Drawing, collage, audio and movement activities inspired by artworks in the MOMA collection.
Children’s Museum of the Arts LIVE! Interactive sing-alongs, create your own artwork, creative movement, and more.
Community Conversations A facilitator, chosen by your group, leads a conversation for 8-20 participants using training and materials supplied by Humanities New York.
Cosmic Kids Zoga Yoga, mindfulness, and relationship for kids 3+.
Go Noodle Kid-friendly videos to get your kids up and moving around.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Virtual events for all audiences including storytelling, live performances, film screenings, art-making programs, and more!
Mets Amazin’ Activities  The NY Mets have created some fun puzzles and games for your kids including the Mets Activity Book and Goodbye, Germs!
Monterey Bay Aquarium Live stream of different aquarium exhibits.
Mystery Science Free, easy science for remote learning.
National Geographic Kids Interactive, engaging and colorful games, videos, and more.
New York Hall of Science Free, fun, at-home STEM activities including The Pack – STEM-based video game
Road Trip from Home Explore different parts of the world, famous landmarks, beautiful works of art, historic marvels, science adventures and more!
Safari Tour Ride along on a live safari.
San Diego Zoo Tour the San Diego Zoo.
Scholastic Learn at Home Keep the learning going with four daily learning experiences, each built around a meaningful story or video.
Virtual Field Trips A list of virtual trips you can take to zoos, museums, and parks.
Yellowstone National Park Take a virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park.

Recreational Activities

Community Tennis Program – youth ages 5-18 receive free tennis instruction from trained coaches in schools and public parks in all 51 New York City council districts year-round.
Bike New York – Bike New York offers classes and programs designed to provide young people with the skills and experiences they’ll need to enjoy the benefits of biking. Every Youth class is free and open to the public with bikes provided.

Home Activity Ideas

250 Things to Do at Home
Things to Do at Home with Kids
28 Indoor Activities for Kids
101 Ideas to Keep Kids Busy

Housing

Home Energy Assistance (HEAP) – the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced funding to eligible New Yorkers facing home heating emergencies. Additional information can be found here.

Financial Resources

SNAP, Cash Assistance, Medicaid, and Fair Fares Online
Unemployment Insurance
File a New Unemployment Claim
HelpNowNYC
Medicare COVID Guide
MOPD COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities
During this crisis, HRA will take no negative case actions on any current benefits case
NYS Department of Labor is waiving the seven-day wait period for unemployment insurance benefits.
Free legal advice to unemployed low-wage workers trying to access UI benefits.
NYC is updating a list of resources for those who are unemployed.
All NYS debt collection has been suspended per the order of the Governor. This is debt owed to New York State only. New Yorkers with student debt, medical debt & other state-referred debt will have payments frozen for at least 30 days.

Food

Summer Meals NY – kids and teens ages 18 and under can get free, healthy meals at nearby places like parks, community centers, and libraries. Meals vary, but all include healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. Many sites offer fun activities, too. There is no need to sign up. Just show up!
Health Bucks – New Yorkers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free locally-grown fruits and vegetables through the Health Bucks program. Health Bucks are $2 coupons redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables at all NYC farmers markets. The New SNAP incentive level for 2021 is: For every $2 spent in SNAP benefits at NYC farmers markets, shoppers get $2 in Health Bucks up to $10 per day all year round. To find an NYC farmers market by zip code, text “sogood” to 877-877.

Get the Good Stuff – New Yorkers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free fruits, vegetables and beans through Get the Good Stuff, at certain supermarkets in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. For every $1 spent in SNAP benefits on eligible fruits, vegetables and beans, shoppers get $1 added to a pink Get the Good Stuff card (up to $10 per day) to spend on their next purchase of eligible foods including:

  • Fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs
  • Frozen and canned fruits, vegetables, and beans without added sugar, salt, or fat
  • Dried beans and lentils

Customers with SNAP can enroll in the program by visiting the customer service desk at a participating supermarket. See here for a list of participating supermarkets.NYC is delivering food for those who are home-bound and have no other alternatives
Available food resources by many neighborhoods, updated every couple of days
Apply for SNAP online
NYPL compiled a list of food resources outside and inside the home
Plentiful – A website and app that lists many of the pantries in NYC and lets people make appointments for food pick-ups with those pantries that participate
Food Hub NYC – Food resources for children
NYC DOE – Food resources for students
Access NYC – Get Emergency Food Now
Invisible Hands Deliver – A group of healthy volunteers from communities at the least risk for severe COVID-19 reactions working to bring groceries and supplies to those in high-risk demographics

Food Bank NYC – Updated map of pantries operating right now

Help Running Errands/Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid NYC
Mutual Aid Groups (national)

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Hotline

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. Applications begin on April 12, 2021.

Help for Small Businesses

Financial assistance from the city
Start Small Think Big

Additional Resources

“Coping through COVID” – NYC Administration for Children Services listing of resources available to families – including information about food pantries, free WiFi, housing assistance, and more.
Bereavement Counseling – American Red Cross program to support those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19.

New York State of Health – Health Insurance Enrollment 

Uninsured individuals can still sign up for health insurance through the New York State of Health website. There are new subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan that make Obamacare more affordable than ever. More information, fact sheets, and the FAQ in various languages can be found on the New York State of Health website.

Ross’ Story

Westbrook Preparatory School

“I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy” Learn More

Selena’s Story

Creating Opportunities

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process. Learn More

Children in our NYC shelters had a

96%

attendance rate at NYC DOE schools

We help

1,100

children and young adults through foster care programs

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