The Astor Blog

Success Stories

Early Childhood Programs Help Families Blossom

Jeniffer Rivera playing in the sandbox early last summer after attending school. Photo by Joel Weisbrod.

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. …

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The Ugly Stick

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…

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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.

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Astor Memories: Connecting Our Past with Our Future

Do people my age self analyze their past and their future, while applying present circumstances, and ever feel completely satisfied?

Mr. Harry Brown

My answer is of course we do—constantly!
Personally, I find most things in my present and future connect to the past. Over time, I have experienced how these connections make themselves known, how as they unfold or envelope the present and reveal just who I am now.

I was only slightly aware of my self-worth at age eight, when I arrived at Astor, but I was quite aware of whom I was when I left! My youthful confusions gave way to education, my experiences secured my confidence, and my accomplishments validated my self-worth.

Keeping my emotions aside, I can connect each high and low stage to my past because I have always kept Astor as a touchstone in almost every moment of my best achievements and joy, as well as …

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An Astonishing Gift: Christmas Memories from Harry Brown

One Christmas morning at Astor, I was opening gifts retrospectively, donations that included a baseball mitt, model car, model plane, paint by numbers, etc. Nice things! I opened yet another gift box and found an unbelievable treasure.

Inside this Christmas present was a book, a fountain pen and a Timex watch that glowed in the dark (the book remains my singular reminder of this moment in my life at Astor). Also there was a card with a very long letter written inside; my mother introduced me to my family!


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Tools I Learned At Astor

Life Lessons Learned At Astor Still Resonate

More than fifty years have passed since I was a boy residing at Astor Home. The tools I learned and that have been with me throughout my journey since I left Astor have provided me with support, resource and a moral code to live by.

These tools included: patience, practice and a love for learning. The same tools it takes to master many subject areas and to become master in a profession (i.e., Astronaut, Doctor, Engineer, etc.). I became confident, open to learning, open to new things and respectful of wisdom.

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Life Lessons Learned At Astor: Exercise Patience

I Learned Appropriate Responses To My Emotions
While I Was A Young Student At Astor.

While at Astor, I learned a lot of lessons and skills that have served me well over the past several decades since I was a student in the residential program. One lesson that I thought appropriate to write about today, especially in light of the infamous shooting death of a young Black man in Florida, has to do with reactions and how we should control them as individuals and as a group.

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