16 Apr

#foundatthesharingplace campaign takes off!

#foundatthesharingplace

A new campaign features fun fashion #foundatthesharingplace

This National Volunteer Week, we salute the many volunteers who help make all we do possible!  Kaitlyn Marie Jackson, the creative force behind the #foundatthesharingplace campaign, is a great example. Photos can be seen on the Instagram account for The Sharing Place, LSA Family Health Service’s thrift store, this April.

Kaitlyn is a student at Pace University majoring in arts and entertainment  and with double minors in photography and special events marketing.  She had been volunteering at the thrift store when she came up with the idea for the campaign.

“The campaign started with a class advocacy project assignment and I decided to combine my culture, passions, and education to create the #foundatthesharingplace campaign,” said Kaitlyn.

The campaign features selected items from the store, modeled by her friends and styled and photographed by Kaitlyn herself.  The vibrant photos show off The Sharing Place’s amazing low prices.

“Volunteering with the Sharing Place has allowed me to find and help a community very similar to mine, which I have missed since my move from Texas to New York,” Kaitlyn said. “I love that I get to help both indirectly, through the marketing campaign and directly, in the store.”

Follow @thesharingplace to see more of Kaitlyn’s fantastic photos!

16 Apr

Geography Workshop

An introduction to the world…

Five high school students from the Dalton School have been introducing children in our after school program to the globe in a weekly geography class.  Developed by geography enthusiast Ryan McCormack, the workshop has helped the young participants to expand their view of the world and their place in it.

Ryan describes the experience of leading the after school workshop, below.

My name is Ryan McCormack, and I go to the Dalton School on the Upper East Side. For my entire life, Geography has been a passion of mine. For that reason I began a Geography Club at my school. Finding success in this, I realized that my pursuit of spreading my joy of Geography should not be limited to my community.

I reached out to LSA last year with the idea of beginning a workshop for the students, and when I found out that we had the green light, I was incredibly excited. Along with a few other students, including Tyler Azzam, Max Radomisli, Oliver Fisher, and Noah Delgado de Torres, we have begun to host a workshop each Thursday after we finish school.


“The entire experience has been incredibly fulfilling for all of us.”


Working last year with kids from Kindergarten to 3rd grade, we decided it would be best to begin with something that is incredibly important when it comes to world geography: understanding the continents. The continents can be used as a starting point to understand countless other areas of geography, such as countries, oceans, rivers, and mountains.

After the students learned the continents, they became much more receptive and excited about other aspects of geography, which opened the door to successful and engaging lessons. Before we knew it, the students began to know different countries, native animals, and indigenous plants all around the world.

This year, we began working with around 15 kids from 3rd grade, and now we have been working with kids in Kindergarten. The entire experience has been incredibly fulfilling for all of us, and there are specific moments which remind me of this. For example, one time, as we were examining different countries, I mentioned Mexico, which visibly brought excitement to much of the class, whose parents hailed from Mexico. It’s moments like this one that definitely have a great impact on me, as it shows that my work is actually bringing joy and interest to the children.

Geography has been important to me for my entire life, and I hope that I can get the younger generation of kids interested in the subject that is so important for understanding the entire world. I definitely have a new understanding of myself as a result of volunteering, and my work with the children at LSA has made me want to turn to more volunteering in the future, and I have realized how important it is to educate the new generation. Even if what I do does not specifically impact the understanding students may have with geography, I want my work to be able to spark their interest in the same way that it sparked mine when I first looked at an atlas in third grade.

23 Mar

Women’s History Month

Our youth programs celebrated Women’s History Month with Art!

Parents and daughters took self portraits in “Rosie the Riveter” poses, with Rosie’s iconic red bow in their hair.  Families also learned about one of the historic founders of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, Antionette Fage.  Boys in the group made a beautiful collage, reflecting on what “Woman” means to them.  Their collage reflected images of strength and love.

All month, children in the after school program have been reading books about women who have had historic impact.  The person they enjoyed reading about the most was Malala Yousafzai – they were so impressed by her accomplishments in the face of adversity that some of the children asked if they could meet her.  Artist Liam Critt created a beautiful  wooden plaque with Malala’s image and an inspirational quote.

     Women's History Month

Artwork by Liam Crill @crillwoodwork

 

 

 

 

13 Mar

Family Service Day

Family Service Day – a fun day for all!

March 11, 2018 – Teens and their parents joined children and families in LSA programs for an afternoon of fun.  The event was hosted by the LSA Parents Committee, a group of volunteers who promote student service opportunities at LSA to NYC school communities.

The event included a monster-making craft activity, snacks and a hilarious show with Looney Louie the clown.  Snacks included delicious tacos donated by local Mexican restaurant Hot Jalapeno.

Our thanks to the wonderful teen and parent volunteers who made this event so much fun for the children who participated.  Special thanks to the Parents Commitee for hosting, and to event underwriters Robin Poulos and Cecilia Vonderheide.  And finally – thanks to photographer Kaddy Tsang for taking such great photos!

08 Mar

Saluting Social Workers

We celebrate National Social Worker Month this March by saluting the wonderful social workers in our Preventive Services program.  This program contracts with the Administration for Children’s Services to work intensively with families to prevent the placement of children in foster care.  The program is recognized for its excellent work throughout the city and has a 98% success rate in keeping families together.

We thank social workers at LSA and everywhere for all they do!

Photo above: members of our Preventive Services department (r-l) Regina Sherman, Karen Williams, Nilsa Welsh, Lenequa Campbell, Yessica Sherman, and Georgina Ogilve.

18 Feb

Farewell Lucia, Welcome Lucia!

February 2018 — LSA bids farewell to Lucia Russett, who has worked with the agency for close to 20 years.  She most recently served as the Director of Advocacy and Food Pantry program.  She moves on to start a new career as a yoga instructor.  While at LSA, Lucia was a tireless advocate on behalf of clients rights.  Staff and friends of LSA Family Health Service gathered for a farewell party to send her off with expressions of gratitude and admiration for her work at LSA.

Lucia Bravo, a longtime member of the Advocacy team, will fill the role of Manager of the Advocacy program.  We wish Lucia and Lucia all the best!

15 Feb

Food Bank Recognition

Food Bank for New York City Hunger Conference

February 15, 2018 — We were honored to be recognized by Food Bank for NYC at their Conference on Hunger and Poverty.  Members of LSA’s Advocacy/Food Pantry team were presented with a founding member award for our 35-year partnership!

Beyond food, our partnership with Food Bank for NYC has taken many forms to improve the quality of life for families at LSA. We are proud to count Food Bank as one of our strongest partners.

Lucia Russett, Director of our Advocacy/Food Pantry program, received the Founding Partner Award on behalf of LSA Family Health Service.

Lucia Russett, Director of our Advocacy/Food Pantry program, received the Founding Partner Award on behalf of LSA Family Health Service.

 

 

08 Feb

Nutrition & Literacy Make a Delicious Dish

A 7-week cooking course at LSA combined nutrition guidance and language lessons, with delicious results!

Along with preparation of a nutritious recipe, the group participated in discussions based on weekly themes ranging from eating healthy on a budget to using traditional healing practices. For children participating, arts and craft ideas emphasized healthy eating and language preservation. The course targeted speakers of indigenous languages, such as Nahuatl, Mixteco and Mam, and ran from November 2017 through January 2018.

“The nutrition class was of great benefit to our families,” said Inginia Garcia, Parenting and Child Development Supervisor.  “It not only demonstrated a healthier method of cooking well known meals that the parents usually make for their families, but also how to increase vegetables and decreasing meats. We were also able to discuss natural remedies that are often used, while creating an environment for increased socialization and communication in which we learned from each other.”

The program was offered in partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Endangered Language Alliance. The Endangered Language Alliance (ELA) is an independent non-profit based in New York City that documents underdescribed and endangered languages, educating a larger public and collaborating with communities.


“The cooking-language group provided a space where speakers of indigenous languages of the Americas could share cultural experiences, traditions, and their linguistic ties while learning more about healthy eating and nutrition.”

Wendy Miron, Director of the Parenting and Child Development program


Irwin Sanchez was one of the lead instructors of the group.  Learn more about how he combines cooking instruction with teaching others about the Nahuatl language & heritage:

https://www.wnyc.org/story/saving-endangered-language-one-tamale-time/

http://remezcla.com/food/tamales-nahuatl-cooking-class/

http://citylore.org/event/more-than-maize-mole-nahuatl-language-through-food/

Nutrition & language class

Participants in the class discuss both the nutrition and vocabulary around various ingredients included in the evening’s recipe.

Irwin Sanchez, one of the class leaders, prepares some nopales for a salad by cutting off the needles. “Nopal” is a word of Nahuatl origin for the pads of the prickly pear cactus. Nopales are highly nutritious and available at some grocery stores in East Harlem.

Before: ingredients for a nutritious salad, featuring nopales.

After: a salad of quinoa, nopales, kale and tomatoes is paired with stewed chicken and rice and pigeon peas (gandules).

 

06 Feb

BIG Thanks to Holiday Donors!

Each holiday season, a number of generous donors give presents, warm clothing, and groceries for holiday meals for families in our programs.  These gifts embody the spirit community, connecting families, warming hearts, and making the season brighter for everyone!

Our heartfelt thanks to:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Brearley School
The Brownstone School
The Buckely School
Catholic Charities
Church of the Heavenly Rest
Convent of the Sacred Heart
Convent of the Sacred Heart families
Disney Corporate Citizenship
Epiphany School
GenNx
Horace Mann
Julia Koch
LSA Community Service Parent Committee
Brenna Moore & Friends
Mount Sinai Postdoc Executive Committee (PEC)
Robin Poulos
Prosek Partners
Riverdale Country School Senior Class
Robin Hood Holiday Drive
Scott, Leah and Charles
St. Frances de Sales Church
St. John Bread and Life
St. Luke’s Giving Tree
St. Monica’s Church
St. Thomas More
S’well
Cecilia Vonderheide
and the many donors who gave through our Amazon Wish List.

AND special thanks to these donors, for their contributions all year round!

The Accessory Collective
**Bottomless Closet**
Cancer Care Thrift Store
Google Express
The Ritz Carlton Hotel
holiday presents

Two girls receive holiday presents and winter clothing

PCD Holiday Party

The Parenting & Child Development team went all-out for the holiday party, where children received presents.

 

 

 

 

 

17 Jan

Art by LSA Students on Display

Former LSA/Free Arts Students at the Heckscher Foundation

January 10, 2018 — The Heckscher Foundation for Children held a reception to honor students whose artwork was selected for display at their headquarters. Among these is a large installation made in 2005 by children in the Free Arts NYC program at LSA Family Health Service.

Brandon and Arisdelcy were in elementary and middle school, respectively, when they participated in the 2005 Free Arts workshop that resulted in the work on display.  Arisdelcy, now a Head Start teacher, described the process, saying that the children were given fluorescent lights and asked to move them around.  The exposed light created striking abstract photographic images which portrayed the students’ movement.  The artwork, which is entitled “Urban Energy,” and spans the first and second floors of the Hecksher Foundation headquarters.

Brandon, a Dreamer and a senior at Hunter College, spoke passionately about the way his involvement with LSA and Free Arts broadened his horizons:

“Little Sisters opened up a sense of diversity in terms of what it really means to have an education. When we were kids, there was a lot of funding for math and science, but there wasn’t really a huge amount of funding for the arts. It was through [LSA] that I really got to do a lot of art, and it helped a lot with forming who I was. That would not be possible had my mom not found her way to Little Sisters of the Assumption.”

Free Arts empowers underserved youth through art and mentoring programs to develop their creativity, confidence, and skills to succeed. For many years it was an important part of the after school programming at LSA.

 

Other artwork on display included photographs selected through the 2017 Heckscher Foundation for Children Art Competition. Learn more about the artwork here.

Former LSA staff and Free Arts students at the Heckscher Foundation for Children

At the Heckscher Foundation in honor of students whose artwork is displayed at their headquarters. (l-r) Martha Andrade-Dousdebes, former director of the Education and Youth Services at LSA; Arisdelcy, former LSA/Free Arts student; Trish Gough, Director of Volunteer Services at LSA; Brandon, former LSA/Free Arts student; Liz Hopfan, Executive Director of Free Arts NYC

"Urban Energy" 2005. On display at the Heckscher Foundation for Children

“Urban Energy” 2005. Artwork created by children at LSA, on display at the Heckscher Foundation