Please read this letter submitted by the mother of one of our Early Childhood Head Start programs who writes: “This is how love is really shown as acts. This is what I experienced in [the] Astor Program.”
The Astor Blog
Healing With Mosaic gives insight into one of our integral programs– mosaic, led by Roberta Anderson and Kathleen Gavin. Children who are interested are encouraged to take part in the process. The art speaks for itself!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
In commemoration of Mental Health Awareness Month and Children’s Mental Health Day on May 7, 2015, Astor wants to draw attention to reducing the stigma around mental health, especially for children.
For too long, the stigma surrounding mental health has prevented many needing treatment from receiving it.
Astor also recognizes the importance of early intervention and diagnoses in reducing the severity of mental illness.
Did You Know?
1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder. -National Institute of Mental Health
Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. -Center for Disease Control and Prevention
40% of child abuse and neglect victims, receive no post-investigation services …
Laura Pensiero, the founder, owner, and creative force behind Gigi Hudson Valley, is a constant reminder that healthy food does not equate to less tasty food. Read more about Gigi Hudson Valley and their relationship to Astor in our blog and in the upcoming issue of Astor Family Magazine.
Jeniffer Rivera is just one child who has had a positive experience with Astor’s Early Childhood Programs. A year and a half ago, Jeniffer was introduced to Astor’s programs through the home-based component of our Early Head Start Program. The home-based program consists of a weekly, 90-minute home visit by a Parent Infant Educator (PIE) who supports the parents and child with information and activities on child development, parenting skills, nutrition, and health.
After a year of home visits, Jeniffer began school at our Wingdale location, where center-based nurturing rooms offer small groups of children ranging in age from six weeks through three years opportunities for individualized development through primary care giving, one-on-one routines, and exploration of interesting, safe materials in a child-focused environment.
“School has made Jeniffer blossom. …
“The children imagine someone they don’t even know enjoying their coffee or cocoa in it later on, so they put a lot of heart into each one.”…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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. When goodness, caring and warmth are shared, we are all the better for it.
Bringing together as they did last year, Laura will be donating a freshly cooked locally sourced turkey dinner with all the trimmings so that the children (and staff) who cannot be with their families this Thanksgiving can share in the abundance of the Hudson River Valley. And, we’ll be happily joined by Gigi’s supporter and partner, Sean Eldridge of Hudson River Ventures.
Sharing of course, is what Astor is all about. Sharing a healthy meal and …
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.
The environments we provide for our clients and our staff can either increase the effectiveness of our work, or make it more difficult to create the kinds of impacts we want for our kids and families.
Photos © 2012 Joel Weisbrod & jwArtWorks Photography