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Astor’s Head Start Programs: Support Students in the Classroom!

First Day of School

This I have never understood:

How can anyone, anywhere not want to support a program that gives those who are most defenseless, who are without a voice, without a constituency, without a lobby, a chance?

Head Start works. By all the metrics it has an immediate effect on the kids. On IQ scores, academic achievement, crime, and poor health.

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What Really Prevents School Violence?

School communities are the most critical factor in the prevention of school violence.  The more inclusive and welcoming the school community, the more connected most youth in that community feel.  The more connected youth feel, the more likely it is that any youth contemplating violence will be revealed to caring adults early in the path toward an actual violent act.

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Giving Back – An Answer to Tragedy

Giving Back

Last week, JoAnne Bacon, a Newtown mom whose 6 year old daughter, Charlotte, was killed in the Newtown shootings one year ago today, asked that the caring citizens of our country mark this anniversary by practicing acts of kindness in our own communities.

In the communities that Astor serves, there are so many opportunities to act as an agent of hope for children who need your help.

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From Lava to Dating Alicia Keyes

Malik G, Lava

Sure, it was in the spirit of the season and we could just as easily tell you he had learned the lesson of giving, but we think there was something else going on here. This child was giving back to Astor, telling us how important the school is to him. It was his humble way of saying thank you.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving-Turkey

I was rather taken by something Laura Pensiero owner of Gigi’s Trattoria in Rhinebeck said the other day: “Food tastes better when it’s shared.” That goes right to the point of the Pilgrim holiday we’re about to celebrate.

And it goes right to the heart of all that they’re trying to accomplish with the annual Thanksgiving feast for the children and staff of Astor.…

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How to Help your Child Grieve

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Over 20 years ago, I discussed theses seven steps of grieving in a book called “Bereavement: Counseling the Grieving throughout the Lifecycle” and while some are self-evident others require more explanation.

It is important to stress to a child what you keep after a death.

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Thank you. Gracias. Much appreciated. Grazie. Danke.

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September 28th Employee Mixer at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie

We recognized employee milestones from five to forty years, and celebrated in a culture of value, appreciation… and gratitude.

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Astor Wind Chimes and the Changing of the Seasons

Wind Chimes

I can only imagine how its making, or rather how the entire arts program at Astor calms, soothes and encourages the children. It gives them a voice, rouses their creative spirit and ensures that the mission of Astor – that every child deserves a childhood – is fulfilled.

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Focusing on Children’s Strength Will Yield High Returns

family-dinner-table

Mental health treatment providers and educators must work collaboratively with children and families to identify their unique skills, talents and interests.

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Strive to Thrive: Train Your Toddler’s Brain, Part 3

Pre school

Last fall, I wrote about self-regulation, the important “brain training” that is needed for children to be competent and confident.   Parents can help their babies develop this important skill with warm, responsive, and predictable parenting.  When your children are toddlers, you can continue to train their brains by developing your own calmness, telling your toddler what to expect, and teaching them how to behave.

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