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Pet Therapy Incorporated at Astor

Lina and kids

For eight years now, volunteer, Pat Cortese, and her Labrador retriever, Angelina, mostly known as Lina, have worked with the children at the Residence in Rhinebeck. Lina is a therapy dog who provides comfort and a sense of safety, and helps keep the children keep calm.

Now nine years old, Lina forward to her visits at Astor and the children count on their Tuesday afternoon visits with Lina.…

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Magee Hickey – Continuing a Legacy of Giving

Photo by Joel Weisbrod.

Magee Hickey, the accomplished news reporter with decades of experience at major television networks, including, NBC and CBS, and most recently at PIX 11 and NY1 has chosen to follow in her parent’s footsteps by supporting Astor.

“I was always extremely proud of my parents,” says Hickey, who describes having parents like Larry and Jean as “winning the lottery.” She does not mean in terms of money, but in terms of having great parents who set wonderful examples for her and her siblings… Read more »

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The Ugly Stick

Griffin and his favorite fishing pole.

It’s not what you think.

Griffin showed us his Ugly Stick the other day with all the excitement only a kid can muster for an extruded piece of plastic. But in his hands it’s a wand to tame the Landsman Kill, lure the rainbows from their eddies and claim his small chunk of a Huckleberry Finn summer.

He told us about his love of fishing and the catch he had snared. And we realized he was telling us and showing us something we too often forget… Read more »

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Family Counseling When You Need It

Virginia Hayes Sibbison (1)

In 2013, over 1,400 families came in to our Mid-Hudson Valley Counseling Centers to receive assistance. They arrived with an array of challenges which afflict families during difficult times.

Astor’s team faces a tremendous challenge that they hope to overcome: opening the eyes of parents to the role stress plays in their lives and the lives of their children. Read more »

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Family Advocates Give Back to Astor


Lisa Flynn, a Family Advocate at Astor Services for Children & Families, recounts her experiences as both the caregiver of a child helped by Astor and her subsequent employment at Astor as a Family Advocate, where she can now help others as she and her family were helped before.

Now I get to work with struggling families and help them, the way I had been helped.  My experiences at Astor as both a client and an employee have been life changing.

Read more »

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Supporting Children and Families’ Mental Health Year Round


For many families, facing ten weeks of summer with fewer supports and services for their children is a time of significant stress, because good educational programming for at-risk youth can sustain youth and family through times when a child’s behaviors are more challenging or more risky.

Let’s make every month in our communities a month that provides meaningful support so that children can be healthy, happy and productive, and families can receive the support they need to thrive. Read more »

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Annual Chili Fest: A Group Success

Mike DelGiorno, Astor resident and potter, speaks to staff about crafting ceramic chili bowls for the annual Chili Bowl Fest

Thanks and heartfelt appreciation to everyone who supported the Annual Chili Fest this year that took place at the Residential Programs, in Rhinebeck on April 10th.

The children poured their creativity into crafting and glazing bowls for the sale. The staff came out to buy the handmade bowls and enjoy some home cooked chili… Read more »

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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.

Read more »

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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.

Read more »

Posted in Education, Mental Health | 2 Comments

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.

Read more »

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