Friday, December 16, 2016
CUNY Hillel students meet with volunteers to create the "Perfect Pitch"
Posted by: Sam Schachter, Community Engagement and Career Development Coordinator on Friday, December 16, 2016 at 4:45:00 pm Comments (0)
On December 1st, twenty students from Baruch College, Hunter College and College of Staten Island met with a cohort of emerging and young leaders, who volunteered their time and advice as part of the CUNY Hillel Initiative organized by the Samuel Field Y and Central Queens Y. The volunteers came from a variety of backgrounds including advertising, public relations, healthcare, and government.
The program, titled "Pitch Perfect - Learn How To Make An Impression in 30 Seconds" was created as a way for students to discover the best practices on how to network and develop their best pitch for the professional world, or in other terms, learning how to best speak to their skill set. Students were paired with volunteers ranging in ages from 25-40, who then spent one-on-one time with the students going over how to engage with prospective employers and bosses.
Throughout the event, it was clear that both the volunteers and students were learning and connecting with each other. After the students were coached, they were encouraged to speak to the room with their new pitch. The students sounded confident, intelligent, and ready to have a conversation to impress.
We look forward to the next event at UJA and want to thank Karen Klein, Sam Schachter, UJA-Federation of New York, EL-P, and the rest of the staff that helped make this event happen.
If you are interested in working with this program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
at 718-225-6750 ext. 212.
Monday, October 10, 2016
Elected officials answer questions about ThriveNYC program
Posted by: Mark Hallum - Bayside Times Ledger on Monday, October 10, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Did you know that one in five adults living in New York City suffers from a diagnosed mental health disorder? Thanks to the help of Barry Grodenchik, the Samuel Field Y hosted a community forum, headlined by NYC Deputy Mayor Richard Buery (center) and NYC Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health Gary Belkin to discuss ongoing efforts to improve our city's mental health. For more information on the Mayor's new initiative, check out www.nyc.gov/thrivenyc. Special thanks to the Bayside Times Ledger's Mark Hallum for the following write-up:
To address the need for better mental health services throughout the city, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, Mental Health Commissioner Gary Belkin and Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) held a forum to discuss the ThriveNYC program and how community organizations can help support the nearly one in five New Yorkers experiencing psychological trouble.
The forum, which was hosted by the Samuel Field Y, informed listeners about what the program aims to do, attitudes toward mental health assistance that need to be changed and how organizations can get involved.
According to the city website, ThriveNYC is a health plan which will train 250,000 employees and shift the perception of mental illness from an issue which is misunderstood and stigmatized to an aspect of life New Yorkers can easily seek help for..
Some aspects of the ThriveNYC program are already in the works. According to Buery, hiring for a hotline has already taken place with language diversity in mind. About 100 mental health professionals have also been hired and each will be assigned to 10 schools where they will advise staff on how to build a healthy psychological environment for students.
Grodenchik led the conversation by explaining how mental illness had affected his family, causing one member to commit suicide. He spoke of the dangers posed by the stigma of mental illness and how it prevents people from seeking treatment or support.
“We see this as a problem that affects every aspect of our lives and every community,” Belkin said, and explained how different cultures face mental health crises. The white population, for example, suffers the least and is statistically less likely to take their own lives compared to black and Asian demographics. Suicide is the top 10 leading cause of death for Asian-American men, according to Belkin.
Buery said cultural barriers must be deconstructed so people can feel open to the treatment they may need. ThriveNYC will focus on investing in children and introduce them to the program early on. He explained that issues like depression should be treated with the same attitude as a broken leg; without shame, and without barriers.
Jeri Mendolsohn, executive vice president and CEO of Samuel Field Y, said the systems created for community outreach are often too complicated to accomplish their goals. A city program partnering with the cultural aspects that can only be found with community organizations is one way she sees the ThriveNYC working successfully within the diverse facets of Queens, but stressed the importance of simplicity between the city and groups.
Representatives from Korean Community Services and India Home also offered input from their experience serving their communities needs and expectations from people within their cultural group.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Over 300 Volunteers Help Build a Playground at Bay Terrace Center
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
More than 4,100 kids now have a new opportunity to get the balanced and active play they need so they can thrive. On Friday, September 23, the Bay Terrace Center of the Samuel Field Y built a kid-designed play space in less than eight hours with the help of more than 300 people from the Samuel Field Y, Disney, community members and organizers from KaBOOM!.
"The Samuel Field Y is thrilled to have been awarded a KaBOOM! playground build at the Bay Terrace Pool and Tennis Center,” said Jeri Mendelsohn, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Samuel Field Y. “We are so grateful to KaBOOM! who partnered us with the Walt Disney Company to design and build a state-of-the-art, inclusive playground that can support and provide fun, recreational and educational play opportunities for all of the children in our community. Today truly was an exhilarating day of creation, collaboration and camaraderie and we look forward to the play possibilities that lie ahead!"
A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special event in July. Their ideas were then incorporated into the final playground design.
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal of ensuring that all children get the balanced and active play they need to thrive because #PlayMatters. The new playground is one of many made possible with support from Disney as part of The Walt Disney Company Healthy Living Commitment, a long-standing commitment to create healthier generations by making healthy living fun and simple.
“Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a healthy and productive adult,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of community and engagement, Corporate Citizenship at Disney. “Disney is proud to join KaBOOM! and accelerate efforts that move every child to play every day—at home, in school and in the community. Together, we hope to make places to play more accessible, and inspire kids and families to stay active.”
KaBOOM! works to accelerate efforts that move every child in America to play every day. Together with Disney, more than 70 new play spaces across America give thousands of kids access to healthier lifestyles, along with a safe and fun place to play and grow.
By the end of 2016, Disney’s support will bring the magic of play to over 83,000 kids and families.
Aside from Disney, ABC, and KaBOOM!, this special day wouldn't have been possible without the generosity and selflessness of the following organizations and people: Cord Meyer, The Central Queens Y, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, The Grand at Queens, E. Gluck Corporation, Stop & Shop, Pietro's Pizzeria and Cafe, Queens College and the Queens College Athletic Department, Francis Lewis High School, Thomas Edison High School, MinuteMan Press of Bellerose, AgeWell New York, SUNY Farmingdale, Bayside Milk Farm, Consolidated Vending, ASA Vending, Dunkin Donuts, Barclays, QDoba, Slim's Bagels, Benny's Kosher Pizza, Alley Pond Environmental Center, Brandywine Assisted Living at the Savoy, Outback Steakhouse, and Jack's Pizza & Pasta.
To see pictures and videos from this special day for the Samuel Field Y, visit our Facebook page.
Check out ABC Eyewitness News' coverage here.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Bay Terrace Center of the Samuel Field Y to get new Playground!
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
We have incredibly exciting news to share!
Thanks to the Walt Disney Company, the Bay Terrace Center of the Samuel Field Y will be getting a brand new playground!
More than 200 volunteers from the Samuel Field Y and Disney will join organizers from KaBOOM! and the greater Bayside/Queens/Samuel Field Y community on Friday, September 23 to give our children the play-filled childhood they deserve by building a new playground at our Bay Terrace Center. The playground is based on the kids’ drawings from a special Design Day event in July.
As you might recall, KaBOOM! and the Warner Music Group helped to build a playground at the Central Queens Y just a couple of years ago, and it's been a huge hit for them.
We can't wait to share this great community resource with our families, and we're so honored and grateful to have been given this opportunity to help bring happiness to over 2,000 children in our community.
If you'd like to help us build this playground as a volunteer, you can reach out to Erica Tolentino at (718) 225-6750 ext. 207, or click here.
Friday, July 29, 2016
SFY's new KaBOOM! and Letís Play Imagination Playground
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Friday, July 29, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded the Samuel Field Y a $13,200 Let’s Play Improvement Grant to use toward the purchase of an Imagination Playground in a Cart™, an innovative playground equipment system, which arrived at the Samuel Field Y earlier this week!
The grant, which will allow the Samuel Field Y to install the system at their primary facility in Little Neck, also to be used at their various offsite programs with summer and after school programs, is part of Let’s Play, an initiative by DPS to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority.
Imagination Playground in a Cart™ is an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration in play. With a collection of custom-designed, oversized blue foam parts, Imagination PlaygroundTM provides a changing array of elements that allow children to turn their playground into a space constantly built and re-built by their imagination.
Thank you, Let's Play and KaBOOM!, for helping to bring play, creativity and fun to our community!
You can read the entire press release for this fantastic ocassion below, or by clicking here.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
SFY Volunteer Barbara Dodell Honored by UJA Federation of New York
Posted by: SFY on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 6:00:00 pm Comments (0)
We're so proud to share the news that longtime Samuel Field Y community member Barbara Dodell was honored at UJA Federation of New York's Celebrating Our Community Changemakers event earlier this week! Barbara has been a committed Engage volunteer since 2014, and has been involved in several programs at the SFY and in the larger Engage community.
Barbara has done a commendable job utilizing her skills as a special education teacher to work as a volunteer leader in the Samuel Field Y's A Time for Us program, which benefits adults with developmental disabilities. On top of helping out during the group's events, she's played a pivotal role in the program's annual bake sale fundraisers. Barbara also introduced and now coleads the New York Giving Dolls program at the Y, which creates handmade dolls for children locally and around the world who are going through challenging life experiences.
On top of her work with the Engage and A Time For Us programs, Barbara has ALSO advocated passionately to bring an anti-gun violence initiative to the Y, and with her leadership, and in partnership with our Partners in Caring synagogues, we were proud to have our first reducing gun violence meeting this past April. Additionally, she has assisted with our community food drives and participated in UJA-Federation's Engage day of service.
We are so proud that Barbara was selected to receive this well deserved honor at UJA's Live With Purpose volunteer recognition, and we're beyond lucky to have someone like her in our community.
To find out how you can give back to your community and volunteer at the Samuel Field Y, click here.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Heading Home
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
After ten wonderful days in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, our tour group has embarked on it's last day (and is actually back in the United States as I type this).
The last stop before we headed out to Ben Gurion Airport was Hadassah Hospital, where we were marveled by the Chagall stained glass windows inside.
It was a wonderful trip, with so many memorable stops and sights. On top of this once in a lifetime experience to visit our holy land, it was a great experience for the group to bond and learn together. Special thanks to Neighborhood Senior Center Director Ilene Yair for orchestrating and directing this trip, and taking the time out of her busy days to take pictures and send along notes to be posted.
To see our tour's photo album on Facebook, click here.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Second Shabbot/Weekend
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
After a delightful Friday evening, our tour group used Shabbot, a day of rest, to get back out to the Old City, as it rained miserably on Friday and hampered our day.
After entering through the Jaffe gate, several members of the group went on a walking tour of the Christian Quarter of the Old City. We went down the street of the Greek Patriarchs, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Christian pilgrims from all over the world were there, including groups from Ethiopia and Nigeria. We went on to the Market in the Muslim Quarter, and even though it was still quite foggy from the bad weather, it was a very unique experience.
The skies fully cleared up on Sunday, allowing us to enjoy a beautiful day in Jerusalem. We split up in the nation's capital, as half of the group was dropped off at Yad Veshem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the others went on to the charming neighborhood of Ein Kerem.
The group met back up for lunch, and ended the day at the Israel Museum, where we saw the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other unique antiquities and Judaica from the last 700 years!
We're so sad that tomorrow's our last day, but it's been a great trip and it's been an absolute joy sharing out pictures and experiences!
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Day Nine
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
We've been very fortunate to have great weather for the vast majority of our trip, but on day number nine, it rained, and rained, and rained, and....you get the point. As disappointing as the weather was, we still had plans to visit Jerusalem, specifically the Old City, and we saw some lovely sights.
While in Jerusalem, we visted the Burnt House, where the group was shown a short film about the Roman destruction of the second temple. We also went took the tunnels to the Western Wall, which was one of the most amazing things we saw during our trip.
The group stopped for lunch at a mall in the Talpiot neighborhood, but didn't leave Old City without visiting the Hurva Synagogue, pictured below.
We will be spending our second shabbat with an Israeli family, and will have updates for you after the weekend!
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Day Eight
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Day number eight began with a quick stop at the Ein Gedi waterfall, where some hiked to the top of the fall, but most decided to stay near the bottom to observe the fall.
From there, we went over to the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. During this stop, the group witnessed an archaeological dig, and we got to see workers unearth an ancient coin!
Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at Abraham's Tent, which is a re-creation of biblical times. This was really cool, as we were offered the opportunity to ride camels through the desert to get to the tent.
We ended our day by heading towards Jerusalem, where we'll be visiting/blogging about tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - It's Been a Week!
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Day Six
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
And on the sixth day...the Samuel Field Y Israel Tour Group visited the ancient city of Bet She'an, which was first settled 6,000-7,000 years ago! We explored the excavations from the Greco-Roman and Byzantium periods, and took LOTS of pictures of the historic sight.
From there, our group went to Masada, where we'll visit the dead sea tomorrow. Along the way, we stopped at the Jordan River at Qasar El-Yahud, which is historically known as the water in which Jesus was baptized. The group was moved by the amount of baptisms we witnessed while stopping at the Jordan River, and it was incredible watching how meaningful the act was to those who were baptized.
Our day also included a stop at Bayt Alpha, where we saw some incredible Mosaics. Stay tuned for more updates!
Monday, November 2, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Weekend Stay
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
Shabbat, and the two days following it, have come and gone, and we're at the halfway point in our trip to Israel!
Our group spent Saturday morning at the home of Chaim and Esti, at Moshav Givat Hen, and were told all about living on a Moshav, specifically the main differences between a Moshav (an agricultural community) and a kibbutz. The moshav was beautiful, and we enjoyed sitting on Chaim and Esti's deck and just taking in the view.
We went back south to Tel Aviv later in the day, and a portion of our group branched out to visit Neve Tzedek, a neighborhood in the south western part of the city, where they did a little shopping and stopped for delicious gelato.
On Sunday we left Tel Aviv to head to Tiberias, and stopped along the way at the beautiful Bahai Gardens in Haifa.
For lunch, we visited the town of Zikhron Yaakov, which was one of the first Jewish settlements in what was then known as Palestine. Not only did we enjoy a nice lunch, but we also shopped for more unique jewelry!
Monday began with a visit to the Hula Lake bird sanctuary, where the group took a ride in a large camouflaged vehicle pulled by a tractor. We spotted migrated cranes, herons, mallards, and various birds of prey, in addition to a wild boar and a jackal.
We also crossed over the Jordan River, from the Golan Heights to the Galilee. This was one of the most scenic moments of our trip, as we were able to see Quneitra in Syria. We were also educated on the history of the city of Safat, just before heading over to the magnificent synagogues of Rabbis Joseph Caro and Ha Ari.
And what would our day have been without some fruit? OK, maybe the grapes we consumed were fermented, but we also found time to enjoy ourselves at the Harei Galil Winery in Yiron Israel, on the Lebanese border.
It's been a great few days, and we'll keep you posted throughout the week.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel! - Day Two
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
After getting a nice evening's rest, our group convened this morning very excited for their first full day in the holy land! The group spent the day in Israel's second largest city, Tel Aviv, and had a great time learning about the history and culture.
The above photo is from Independence Hall, where our group was taught about the birth of the city of Tel Aviv and the state of Israel. We ate, and ate some more (the food in Tel Aviv is so good!), and then went on to the Ayalon Institute in Rehovot, also known as Haganah's underground ammunition factory. Our group was marveled by the history behind building this factor, which above ground looks like your typical kibbutz. You can read more about the Ayaloon Institute here.
We also spent a great portion of our day shopping at the Nachalat Benyamin Mall, which aesthetically, isn't what American's would consider a mall, more like what a street fair or even Canal Street would look like. Below's a picture of some of the jewelry available to us, oh yeah, lot's of good food!
It was an action packed day, which we cut short in observation of Shabbat, which will be observed with a family that's very excited to host us and teach us about Israeli traditions! We'll be back with more updates on Sunday or Monday!
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Live From Tel Aviv - SFY Senior's Go to Israel!
Posted by: Jared Mintz - SFY InterActive Marketing on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
After months of anticipation, our Neighborhood Senior Center's trip to Israel is finally here!
The group of almost 20 departed from JFK airport on Wednesday evening, and arrived in Tel-Aviv Thursday afternoon, where they'll be staying at the Dan Panorama Hotel. Below is a picture of several members of the group, with the group's tour guide Gil.
After arriving at the hotel in the late afternoon following a 12-hour flight, the group rested up for a little bit before reconvening for dinner, which took place at the Maganda Restaurant in the Yeminite quarter of Tel Aviv. The first dinner entailed a variety of Yeminite salads, chicken and turkey skewers, and a delicious baklava accompanied by Yeminite tea with fresh mint leaves.
At the end of a long day of travel, it was great to take in such a fulfilling and authentic meal. Our group also got to witness their first sunset over the Mediterranean Sea, which was just mesmerizing.
On the docket for tomorrow: a tour of the old city of Jaffe, lunch at a local eaterie, and at last, some open air market in Tel Aviv. We'll keep you posted!
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Volunteer Opportunities for Boomers at SFY
Posted by: Jordana Davidson on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 6:40:00 pm Comments (0)
At the Samuel Field Y adult volunteers have the opportunity to utilize their unique skills and talents to be of service to our community in powerful and innovative ways. These volunteers have a major impact on the wide range of clients that the Y serves.
Current volunteers assist and empower frail, homebound, elderly individuals to stay independent in their home through our Caring Calls program. Volunteers also assist staff in planning and implementing fun and safe activities for individuals with developmental disabilities for our A Time for Us program, and they even make dolls for children experiencing challenging life situations. These are just a few of the many opportunities that are available here at the Y for our adult volunteers and we are constantly working to form new partnerships and projects within the community that volunteers can take part in.
Most recently, Engage, UJA’s Jewish Service Corps for adults, is partnering up with Met Council for a new initiative to try to connect eligible community members with food assistance. Volunteers involved in this hands-on project will play a pivotal role in assisting individuals and families in need in Queens with much needed resources.
All over New York City personable, professional and enthusiastic volunteers are Engaging in combatting hunger, and now volunteers in Queens and Long Island have the opportunity to act as portals to these critical resources. Volunteers will participate in a training session to become benefits experts and will have the opportunity to sign up for hour and a half volunteer shifts located throughout our community, at three green markets in Queens.
To get involved and attend the training, or for more information on adult volunteer opportunities, please contact Jordana Davidson, LMSW at 718-225-6750 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
SFY Brings its Annual Senior Luau Poolside
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Every year our Neighborhood Senior Center hosts a special Luau themed lunch, where we play music, dance, and
come together to eat a unique Hawaiian themed meal. Some years we have special guests join us, some years its
a very special musical performance, but this year, we held our party in a special place.
For the first time ever, we were able to host a community-wide event at the Tanenbaum Family Pool, and the results
We were overwhelmed in the best possible way by how many guests, both Senior Center members and non-members,
joined us for the evening, as approximately 400 people were treated to a night of swimming, dancing, delicious food,
and groovy tunes from local musician Al Smith. We were also joined by NY State Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman
Ed Braunstein, and Assemblyman David Weprin, who have all played a big role in helping us renovate and re-open
the newly acquired pool club.
As much fun as we typically have at our Luau's - which are one of four different Cultural Awareness events that the
Senior Center annual hosts, so far this year they've also held a Greek Festival - it was incredibly special to be able to
introduce our community to the Tanenbaum Family Pool club, and show them that there's a great place in Little Neck
for them to beat the heat during the summer.
Special thank you's go out to our senior staff for organizing and carrying out such a fantastic and engaging, not to
mention well organized event. We're also thankful for our teen volunteers, who worked tirelessly despite it being
one of the hottest days of the year.
To see pictures from the event you can click here, and for more information on the Tanenbaum Family Pool, click here.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
SFY Board Member Michael Bizenov Given Camp Leadership Award
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 3:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Long time SFY board member and Teen Council mentor Michael Bizenov was recently honored for his dedication and support of Jewish day camp both through his work for the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, where he is on the board of directors, currently serving as treasurer, and his work for the Samuel Field Y.
Michael has a long history with HKC, as he was an SFY camper, as well as a site manager and caretaker of HKC-Long Island. He even lived on the grounds for a number of years!
Michael was presented the award by fellow HKC board member Jeff Solomon, and SFY Board President Larry Gottlieb was also in attendance.
Congratulations on this well deserved award, Biz!
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Tanenbaum Family Pool Dedicated on June 4, 2015
Posted by: Alina Suriel - Queens Courier on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 1:00:00 pm Comments (0)
The Tanenbaum Family, New York State Senator Tony Avella, and state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein joined us to celebrate the inaugural season of the Tanenbaum Family Pool, previously known as the Deepdale Community Pool, on Thursday June 4. Below is an article written by Alina Suriel of the Queens Courier, summing up the evening's celebrations. We'd like to thank the courier, as well as the Bayside Ledger, and the Queens Chronicle for covering this momentous occasion in our agency's history, and for more information on the pool, please call (718) 428-5050.
Members of the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck celebrated renovations to, and the renaming of, the former Deepdale Community Pool on June 4.
Now known as the Tanenbaum Family Pool, the Deepdale pool was acquired by the Samuel Field Y in early spring, and opened to the public in late May after renovations partially funded by the family for which it is named.
The entire renovations cost an estimated $850,000, with $400,000 coming directly from the Tanenbaums, $250,000 from funding requested by Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein, and $200,000 in funds allocated by state Senator Tony Avella.
The Tanenbaum clan has long ties to the Samuel Field Y, with Richard Tanenbaum serving as the organization’s co-chair and member of the board of directors for over 25 years. His father, Joseph Tanenbaum, is named as a lifetime trustee, and was one of the original founders of the Y since it was started in the mid-1950s.
The entire Tanenbaum family was in attendance for the ribbon cutting of their namesake pool, as well as local officials and Samuel Field Y executives. All attendees enjoyed barbecue food at the pool club, which is located across the street from the Samuel Field Y at 58-25 Little Neck Pkwy.
“The Deepdale Pool has always been a valuable resource for our community,” said Braunstein. “I want to thank the Samuel Field Y and the Tanenbaum family for working together to ensure the survival of this vital facility, not only for the present, but for future generations of Northeast Queens residents.”
The pool club facility includes a large swimming pool with a shallow end for children, a kiddie pool, basketball, handball, and tennis courts, volleyball, and a snack bar.
For information on joining the pool club as a member, call the Y at 718-428-5050.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Senior Center Volunteer Honored for Unwavering Commitment
Posted by: Jamie Cooperman - Director, Social Adult Day Care Family Respite Program on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 2:45:00 pm Comments (0)
Samuel Field Y volunteer Evan Fischer was recently recognized at the annual UJA Federation of New York Volunteer Recognition ceremony, which honors the wonderful work of volunteers in dozens of New York City communities.
An outstanding and dedicated volunteer, Evan is most deserving of this honor. Evan has been a wonderful asset to our Respite Program. Without hesitation, he readily assists in all areas of the program, enthusiastically agreeing to do anything requested of him.
And Evan truly does a bit of everything!
He accompanies clients who have difficulty ambulating, assists in dismissal, helps to prepare and serve snack and lunch, offers friendly assistance during program activities, supervises clients who wander (which believe it or not, happens!), cleans up from program activities, and has even been seen washing the walls! Evan also takes part in some of our more fun activities, as he calls bingo, challenges our clients with word and trivia games, and often leads an exercise routine with the group.
Whenever the program is short staffed, he always volunteers to fill in. Evan's work flexibility has been very valuable to our staff and to our program needs.
Evan has a very sweet way with our clients and treats all of our seniors in a friendly, warm and caring manner. He takes the time to acknowledge all of our participants, engaging them in conversation and offering positive reinforcement. His one on one involvement with our lower functioning population is incredible. He is patient, kind and attentive, and genuinely strives to make all of our participants feel good about themselves.
Without a doubt, Evan is one of the most dedicated volunteers that we have ever had in the Respite Program. His recognition by UJA Federation of NY is well deserved. We are very lucky to have him, and are so proud of him!
Here is UJA's official write-up of the ceremony, which also discusses the increase in boomer volunteers.
To find out how YOU can volunteer in any of the SFY's variety of programs, click here.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Single Parent Initiative Providing Meaningful Resources for Parents and Children Alike
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 1:00:00 pm Comments (0)
This week's SFY Blog is about one of our newest programs, The Jewish Single Parent Initiative, and it was written by the program's director, Rachel Hoffman. Rachel discusses the group's latest outing, and offers further details about the impact that the group is making already.
The Jewish Single Parent Initiative recently had a fun, exciting and meaningful day at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn. Families from the Central Queens Y and the Samuel Field Y joined together to take a Sunday bus excursion, with the theme revolving around Passover. As a group, we learned about some of the holiday's most significant foods, and then did our own food shopping! After we finished shopping, we split our group of families up into two teams, and played trivia games.
With children ranging from three years old to early adolescents, we had a blast as we took a journey through time, and learned about the history of Israel. The children also had the opportunity to visit Abraham’s tent, and climb on huge replications of Challah!
This fun filled day provided a chance for both the children and parents to socialize with one another in an educational environment. This is just one of the opportunities offered through the Jewish Single Parent Initiative. Other services include support groups, financial and legal consultations, individual and family therapy, job search and employment workshops and much more!
We can't wait for our next family trip!
For more information contact Rachel Hoffman, LMSW at 718-225-6750 ext. 248 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
SFY Embraces Diversity by Celebrating Greek Festivities
Posted by: Kallyope Glotsos, M.S.W. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 4:00:00 pm Comments (0)
On Friday, March 20, seniors and staff of the Samuel Field Y joined to learn about and embrace a little bit of diversity. Led by Kallyope Glotsos, one of our social workers at Deepdale Cares, the seniors celebrated Greek Day, as they were treated to traditional Greek music, dances, and yummy food.
Kally explains the origins behind the culture that was displayed, as she was kind enough to write us a guest blog feature summing up the special afternoon:
I couldn't believe the way the room erupted when I walked in dressed up in my great grandmothers attire, which has been passed down throughout many generations. After I explained the importance of the clothing, how it was made, when it was worn and the meaning to each piece, we got into the fun part, music and dancing! During the cultural celebration, in which live entertainment was provided by George Kontos, and Nicholas Nikolaidis, many of the seniors joined me in dancing, and some of them picked up the new moves they were taught really quickly! The celebration featured cultural music from different islands, including Karavia Chiotika, a song from the island of Chios, which are the roots of my ancestors, The Ikariotiko, a song and dance from the island of Ikaria, the Kalamatiano, a song and dance from the island of Kalamata, as well as many other traditional songs. Mr. Nikolaidis also took a moment to showcas the Bouzouki, a Greek musical instrument that looks and functions almost like a guitar.
For lunch, we served pita chips, Greek salad, and grape leaves, which in Greek are known as “Dolmades.”
This event displayed similarities between Greek and Jewish culture, as most dances were circle dances. Circle dances serve a purpose, as they form a sense of community and allow people to feel united. It was a great afternoon for the seniors and for the the Samuel Field Y in general, as this celebration summed up the way our agency encourages and embraces diversity.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
How to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
Posted by: Jillian Panzella - Health and Fitness Expert on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 2:30:00 pm Comments (0)
With the holidays now upon us, many of you may be feeling slightly nervous about the potential of weight gain with all the parties, events, and dinners you have scheduled. You’ve worked hard up until now and the last thing you want to do is see all that hard work go to waste.
We're going to be offering some healthy lifestyle snacks and tips at our Chanukah Festival on Sunday, December 14 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, but we also are fortunate to have health and fitness expert Jillian Panzella guest blogging for us this week with a few smart tips, so that you can avoid suffering the typical holiday weight gain this season. For more health and fitness help, visit Jillian's website, and don't miss her Dealing with Picky Eaters workshop at CAP Connects on January 22, 2015.
If there’s one thing that you absolutely must do, it’s plan ahead. Nothing will help prevent weight gain than always having a game plan.
For instance, if you know you’ll be indulging at the work Christmas party coming up, cut back slightly on your total fat and carb intake earlier on in the day. That way, you build in some ‘leeway’ room for the extra calories you’ll consume.
And always remember, there’s nothing wrong with indulging a little every now and then, but when that indulgence turns into a full out food binge, that is a problem.
Never Go Hungry
Next, make sure that you never go hungry. Some people will get it in their mind they should starve themselves going into their dinner and even skip eating altogether. Not a wise move.
When you’re ravenous, all will power and self-control will go out the window. Eat lighter, sure, but don’t starve. Focus on protein packed snacks with some veggies for added fiber.
Squeeze In Activity Where You Can
With the busy holiday season, time to hit the gym may be hard to come by. You’re rushing around with a million things to do and this can make it very trying to squeeze in fitness.
Get creative with this. 10 minutes of working out is better than no minutes, so always keep that in mind. Get out on your lunch break, take a walk after dinner with your significant other rather than crashing on the couch. You can wake up 10 minutes earlier and do a quick circuit training program. All of these options are simple strategies to squeeze in more exercise and it will make a difference in the long run.
Position Yourself Wisely
Finally, when you do attend an event, make sure you position yourself wisely. Don’t stand right next to the buffet line. Doing that will just make it more tempting to go in for more food.
As much as possible, stand as far away from the food tables as you can and engage in conversation. Focus on the company – not the food – and you’ll not only keep your bodyweight stable, but you’ll find you enjoy yourself more as well.
If you need to take this one step further, consider chewing some gum as well. Minty gum will put you off eating other food and keep your mouth busy so you can’t.
So there you have some fast and easy fixes to avoid holiday weight gain this season. Plan ahead and you shouldn’t be starting up on the typical ‘New Year’s Resolution’ weight loss plan that the vast majority of people do.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Teen Camper Sydney Gives Thanks to Her Favorite Counselor/Role Model
Posted by: Sydney - Teen Camper on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 1:10:00 pm Comments (1)
Countless girls have older sisters. They take them shopping, lend them their stuff, and help them out. Unfortunately, my sister is younger than me. I have always longed for an older sister, but my camp counselor Perri is just like one. Perri makes me feel good about myself and influences me to be a better person.
I have known Perri for a million years. I had her as a counselor three years – two of which were in a row. I thought I would have her again, but she was snatched from under my nose. She is barely taller than me, and she’s almost 10 years older than me! When I last saw Perri, she had long, luxurious, silky hair to about her shoulders and is waiting for it to grow back. She has really pretty, dark brown eyes. Perri reminds me a lot of myself. She often refers to me as her “mini me” because we look and act alike. Perri is barely taller than me. Perri is always positive and upbeat. I don’t think I’ve ever been around Perri unhappy. She has a really goofy, playful , energetic laugh that I love. It’s not hard to hear, a laugh with Perri is a dime a dozen. She also smells fresh and lovely, like flowers in the rain. Perri represents everything you could ask for: beauty, kindness, charm, brains – although not that last one all the time. One thing I love about Perri is that she went against the camp counselor status quo: instead of teaching us camping skills, she taught us where to apply perfume.
Last summer, we went on two long trips. On my last trip, Perri woke us by barging into our hotel room (letting the door bang shut behind her), tearing open the curtains, and screaming like a cheesy talk show host: “Gooooooooooooood morning!!!! It’s a beautiful day in Ocean City, Maryland!” The sunlight was urging me to wake up. All of my roommates (including me) were super tired. I had to drag myself out of bed to get dressed. However, Perri was acting like me when I found out my favorite John Green book, ‘Paper Towns’ (it’s amazing please read it) was being made into a movie: highly energetic and excitable. We had to get dressed at the speed of sound and rush down to breakfast. Perri is a morning person (in case you couldn’t tell).
Perri is influential to me because she is really supportive. Sometimes, when new girls join camp, they feel like fish out of water. Perri is there to welcome them with open arms. At our camp, we have a 12-foot diving pool called the Icebox. I’m afraid to dive in it. When I was supposed to, Perri was right next to me. Perri has been there for me from when I first learned to swim without holding my nose to when we had our first overnight trip in a hotel without a counselor. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, well you’ve obviously never met Perri. She is witty, sarcastic, sophisticated, loving, and all around amazing. So, while I only see her in the summer, she is still my older sister. No matter where she is.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Jewish Teen Funders Network and CPLV Join Forces to Support Local Organizations
Posted by: Julie Gold - Head of Girls, Camp Poyntelle on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 3:00:00 pm Comments (0)
For our latest SFY blog post, Camp Poyntelle - the half of Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village for children in grades 2-7, Lewis Village provides programming for children in grades 8-10 - Head of Girls Julie Gold talks about the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) project she led with her 7th graders this past summer:
This summer, I had the pleasure of running a Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) program with the 7th graders of Camp Poyntelle. Throughout the summer, the oldest inters did various programs in order to learn about philanthropy and values. This culminated with trips to non-profit organizations and the allotment of $1000 to the organization of their choice. This whole program was about consensus. The children had to all agree about how to spend the $1000.
Some of the program we did this summer were a values auction to explore the values that resonate most with the campers, making a tzedukah quilt with images of past and future philanthropic efforts, and learning about mission statements. The campers then explored grant proposals of 5 different non-profit organizations. They narrowed them down to the two organizations they chose to visit, the Hillel Academy of Broome County and the Magic Paintbrush Project.
About 2 weeks ago, we all visited those two organizations and learned a bit about their mission and what they would do with our grant. The Hillel Academy wanted more funds to keep up their Ganeinu pre-school program free of charge after a large storm that collapsed their previous location. People with special needs and their families come to the Magic Paintbrush Project to learn various skills through art in a different way than art, occupational, or physical therapies.
I was very impressed with the oldest inters as they made their decision. As expected, they did not all agree right away about where to give the money. They were extremely passionate about the causes, and it was awesome to see them really fight for what they believe, in a remarkably respectful way. After long discussions, it was decided that the 7th graders would give $660 to the Hillel Academy and $340 to the Magic Paintbrush Project, a decision that everyone was pleased with.
I would like to thank all of the campers and counselors that participated in the program this summer, and I hope that JTFN can continue to be a meaningful part of the oldest inters’ summers for years to come!
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
SFY Afterschool Programs Getting a New Look
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 3:30:00 pm Comments (0)
With the start of the 2014-15 school year underway, our off-site afterschool programs have resumed this week. And while the Beacon programs - which are hosted at multiple middle schools in Queens - are back for their second decade of programming, a change has been made to the programs that we host in their respective elementary schools.
For almost ten years now, the Samuel Field Y - with funding from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Department - has offered Out of School Time (O.S.T) programs at several elementary schools in Queens. This year, those programs will be offered at eight different sites, but they'll be offered as COMPASS NYC and SONYC programs instead of O.S.T. programs.
So what's the difference?
According to the DYCD's website: "The Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS NYC) integrates the best Out-of-School Time (OST) practices with the unprecedented expansion of SONYC (School’s Out New York City) afterschool programs serving the City’s middle school students...COMPASS NYC aims to help youth build skills to support their academic achievement, raise their confidence, and cultivate their leadership skills through service learning and other civic engagement opportunities. SONYC serves as a pathway to success for youth in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Structured like clubs, the model offers youth choice in how they spend their time; provides rigorous instruction in sports and arts; and requires youth leadership through service. NYC becomes the classroom through trips and opportunities for instruction beyond the traditional facilities."
To be clear, the COMPASS NYC programs are being offered to elementary school students (grades K-5), while SONYC programs are being offered to middle school students (grades 6-8), and if there's a program that has students in the same school that offers both elementary and middle school, they will be in two separate programs, located at the same school.
So for instance, during the 2013-14 school year, we offered O.S.T. programs at P.S./I.S. 178 and P.S./I.S. 266. This year, we're offering both COMPASS NYC and SONYC programs at both of those schools (and at P.S. 169/Bell Academy in Bay Terrace).
And again, to be clear, Beacon programs are still Beacon programs.
We couldn't be any more excited to be a part of the unveiling of these 'new' programs, which we're proud to announce we have full registration for. There are still some spots available in the majority of these programs, which if you're interested in, you should contact that programs' director immediately.
To see a list of Samuel Field Y directors and accompanying schools that will be hosting COMPASS NYC/SONYC programs, click here. To see a list of schools in New York City that will be offering these programs, click here.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
ISY - Creating Opportunities for Tomorrow's Leaders
Posted by: Shannon Cook - Coordinator of Workforce Initiatives on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:30:00 pm Comments (0)
This week we have another special guest feature, this time from the Samuel Field Y's Coordinator of Workforce Initiatives, Shannon Cook. Shannon oversees the In School Youth Program, which will begin its sixth year of programming this Fall, and aims to help better prepare our community's high school students for future success academically and professionally. For more information about this great program, you can contact Shannon at (718)225-6750 extension 202, or by emailing email@example.com.
"The Samuel Field Y’s In School Youth (I.S.Y.) program offers career and college readiness to high school juniors and seniors. Entering its sixth program year this Fall, ISY has taken on new goals and directions by incorporating leadership and team building, along with the typical work readiness curriculum and academic support. In addition, each teen that is enrolled receives a part-time job working in one of our Beacon or O.S.T. (Out of School Time) after school program where they become young leaders and role models. We have provided services for hundreds of teens since the program’s inception in 2009, and have been able to be a part of incredibly positive outcomes both during and after their involvement. The ISY program is supported by federal funding received from the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Workforce Investment Act.
Cynisha Johnson, known by her peers as CiCi, graduated from ISY in 2013. She has just completed her freshman year at SUNY Brockport, where she is pursuing a career in Nursing. CiCi enrolled in the ISY Program in September 2011 for the start of her Junior year as an incredibly quiet and self-contained teenager, even going as far as calling herself “a bit harsh” at times. Looking back now, we can laugh and joke about the shy and attitude driven teen that she used to be. Mid-way through her Junior year, Samuel Field Y staff and peers began to see a different side of CiCi that few had witnessed prior. CiCi began participating more, voicing her opinions, and best of all, smiling. CiCi said that because of the ISY Program she learned to be comfortable in her own skin and learned to advocate for herself. “I think I was able to adjust so quickly away at school because of the ISY Program. I learned how to get along with people quickly and how to become comfortable in new situations where I knew no one. Living in a dorm with a difficult roommate, my job as an after-school daycare counselor prepared me for that. I’ve worked with difficult supervisors, coworkers and children, ISY really taught me how to be patient and understanding of different situations.”
Over her two years as an ISY participant, CiCi learned to open up and engage with those around her, and eventually began to plan and facilitate her own activities working with children. “I used to be scared or nervous to talk to people, whether it was co-workers or a supervisor. Now, I feel much more comfortable speaking with my college professors because I spent so much time having to communicate with so many people in a given day.” CiCi also attended regular workshops in the course of her two years, where she learned how to prepare for interviews, make her resume stand out, and effectively manage her money. “I didn’t even know what a debit card was before ISY, or how to use it. I used to spend so much money on food each week. ISY taught me how to budget each paycheck I earned, and how to save for college.”
As a collective, the ISY graduating class of 2014 has had an incredible impact on the agency. They have initiated community service projects, participated in the first-ever ISY leadership retreat, and have proven to be some of the most amazing role models for children in our after school programs.
Timothy Blackwell, one of our recent graduates, attended our leadership retreat last November, and quickly demonstrated a natural ability to lead his peers through all activities while keeping them motivated with his natural calming demeanor. Upon the return from the weekend, Timothy’s fellow seniors nominated him as ‘Senior of the Month’ for his incredible leadership qualities, as well as his dedication and motivation to reach any goals he may set. “I feel I have really been able to develop my social skills. I used to be shy and afraid in large groups; now I feel like I can talk to anyone,” says Timothy. I don’t want to work a typical 9-5 job in my future, I want to be the one creating jobs for others. I’ve realized through ISY how important it is to communicate and network.”
Timothy will be starting college in the fall, where he will begin his journey in the field of business. For Timothy, college used to seem unattainable and scary, but after attending various college tours with his ISY peers, he has become more confident and has his sights set on opportunities he didn’t always consider realistic. “I feel like ISY has really taught me how to balance life in general. I feel very prepared for whatever comes next, and I feel I have really matured over the last two years. I’m just grateful that I had someone there to guide me through the process, and really help me make the difficult decisions regarding my academic future.”
Each year the staff of the ISY Program say a tearful goodbye to our seniors as they move on to accomplish bigger and better things, while our juniors advance to the madness of their senior year. Dekendra, one of our incoming seniors reflected back on her first year with ISY and what she envisions for the new program year, “I feel like I learned how to handle many different situations, whether it be with the kids at Beacon or with my friends.”
ISY case managers play a vital role in the success of our teens. They work daily to set attainable and realistic goals in every area of our teens lives; between work, school and coping mechanisms to handle the whirlwind of their teenage years. Sabirah & Afia, Abedah and Shanaiya all have the same case manager, Natalie. “I feel like she just is always there to support me,” says Abedah. “I feel like she really cares about what happens to me and is there to talk about school, family, friends, whatever I need,” says Sabirah. Shanaiya states, “I just feel really comfortable with Natalie, and I know that she cares and will always give me helpful advice.”
The upcoming school year will see the enrollment of a new group of juniors with a fresh set of goals, attitudes and initiatives. We are looking to expand our internship placements to provide opportunities in our teens desired career industries, in addition to our After School Program placements. You also can’t forget our 3rd Annual Career Fair, 2nd Annual Leadership Retreat, and numerous community service projects and team-building events that are on the horizon. We can’t wait for another great program year!"
Monday, July 14, 2014
SFY, New York City honor Volunteers at Special Luncheon
Posted by: Anita Swerdin - Volunteer Peer Advocate on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 11:00:00 am Comments (0)
This week we have a special guest entry from Anita Swerdin, one of our volunteer peer advocates for our CAPE Mental Health Clinic and for Connect To Care. Anita was presented with a City Council Award for volunteer work, along with three other volunteers, on June 25th.
To find on more information on how YOU can volunteer at the Samuel Field Y or any of our 30-plus off-sites, visit our volunteer page or contact Marisa Plotkin at (718) 225-6750 extension 345.
"I wondered what I would do for the rest of my life after having worked full-time for 28 years at Leviton Manufacturing, which was across the street from Samuel Field Y on Little Neck Parkway.
And then it hit me, all I had to do was remember the wonderful times that our sons had both as campers and counselors and the many after school programs they participated in with the Samuel Field Y. I wanted to give back to our community, and where better to do that than a place that played such a positive role in our son’s lives, not to mention that some of our grandchildren have been going to Camp Poyntelle for a few years now.
I met with Jeri Mendelsohn back in 2009, and she shared with me the need for volunteers in our early childhood program, which I did for two years and what a joy it was for me to see these precious happy faces every time I walked into the room.
My husband and I are currently volunteers at Sam’s Senior Café and we get the pleasure of working with Karen, Ilene, Heather from the Senior Center, as we continue to meet so many wonderful people who put smiles on both our faces on a daily basis. What a great feeling it is when someone thanks you for serving them a meal when it is such a win/win situation. Burt and I hope we make their day because they certainly make ours!
On June 25, the SFY held its Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Burt and I were amongst four to receive the City Council Award for our volunteer work along with Conrad and Linda. We are humbled and proud to receive this recognition.
I speak for both of us when I say; we are privileged to work with a group of people who give so graciously of their time and of themselves in giving back to our community."
Monday, June 23, 2014
Basketball Bringing a Winning Attitude to O.S.T. at P.S./I.S. 178
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 1:00:00 pm Comments (0)
As I walked into the gym at P.S./I.S. 178, I could’ve sworn I was walking into the Knicks practice facility mid-season.
With five players standing in a circle around the top of the key, and the rest of the players standing on the baseline watching and listening intently, I walked in amidst a lesson on floor spacing, and making the right decision on when to split the defense.
If you’re sitting there asking yourself “what does that even mean?” think about how impressive it is that about 35 children ages 8-13, who have never played any form of organized basketball before, ate up every second of this.
For the next half hour the middle school students who were in this practice session were taught how to make cross court passes and how to get into the triple threat, not a single shot was taken.
“Do not shoot!” is shouted as a reminder from a deep, but calming voice. Coach Wilfred Kirkaldy only joined the team several weeks ago, as he just began working at the O.S.T. Program at 178 in April, but the presence he’s had on the team has been amazing so far.
“He teaches me new stuff every day,” says Christian, huffing and puffing. When I walked into the gym Christian was working on getting into triple threat position, and wasn’t having the easiest time. Coach K, as he’s referred to by the kids and fellow staff members, was reinforcing what he had been teaching Christian over and over to the point that it might have gotten a wee bit frustrating. But what really stood out to me was the way the sixth grader later on chased down a ball that went out of bounds, and out of the gym, running full speed back into the gym with the ball to continue drills as if it had never happened.
“I know I’m getting better with his coaching, and I want to get better.”
Christian’s attitude and hustle seems to be shared by the rest of his teammates and fellow aspiring ball players, and that’s exactly why Coach K is in the position he’s in. A former Division 1 college basketball player at West Virginia, Coach K also has experience working for the NBA, and wants to give back some of his greatest life lessons to the youth in our community.
“I’m here to help get their minds right for the future,” starts Kirkaldy. “I’m teaching them basketball concepts and skills, but in reality these are skills that translate to the rest of their lives. If you hustle on the court, you’ll hustle in life, and the way you practice is the way you play.”
While Coach K is instilling a winning attitude, the kids he’s coaching aren’t doing too shabby on the hardwood. Through the first week of June, the hardworking staff at 178 had scheduled six games between the elementary and middle school teams, in which the students have traveled to other Beacon and O.S.T. sites like M.S. 216, M.S. 172, and P.S. 115, and they’ve also played against the children in the Samuel Field Y’s Speisball program. Through these games they're sporting a 3-3 record.
These co-ed teams are obviously focused on winning their games, but win, lose, or draw, they’re having a blast.
“I’ve been playing basketball forever, and I’m having fun playing more often with my friends,” says Irene, an eighth grader who admits she’s learning more from this experience than she’s ever learned about the sport.
As I mentioned, Coach K’s only been around since April, so it’s not fair to give him all of the credit for the basketball culture being celebrated in this after school program. Program Director Ricky Gunzel and his two assistant directors David DiTrapani and Mike Tepper have been major advocates for the basketball program being as active and growing as rapidly as it has, and have enlisted a coaching team consisting of counselors Demetrius, Devon, and Wesley, who did a great job before the addition of the seasoned Coach K.
“I’m not going to be able to play forever, I have to give my talents off to someone,” says Devon, jokingly. “It’s awesome just watching how much these kids are growing, and how much more they want to learn. It’s inspiring.”
DiTrapani shared plans with me for the children who are in the program during the summer to be able to continue to practice every day, with hopes for a JV and Varsity team for next school year.
In the meantime, just seeing basketball develop from an afterschool activity into a mini hoops clinic with accompanying travel teams has given the children in this O.S.T. program as unique of an experience as you’ll find in any of the Samuel Field Y’s after school programs.
And this is just the beginning.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Central Queens Y Builds a Playground, Giving back to Community
Posted by: Samuel Field Y on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 6:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Programs for adults with Alzheimer’s, and support groups for their families. After school day care programs for children ages 2-16. Swim lessons. Basketball tournaments for all, and I mean all ages. NORC’s. Camp trips. Senior trips.
As you more than likely know by now, the Samuel Field Y does a lot to try and build community, and with this being our first blog post, we’re beyond thrilled to share our latest community building experience with everyone.
The Central Queens Y in Forest Hills, an affiliate agency of the Samuel Field Y, was selected as part of a competitive process to be the home of the fourth playground built by a partnership between KaBOOM! and Warner Music Group. Children – along with volunteers, both vendors and individuals - from the CQY came together for a Princess Party fundraiser in April to design the playground that they wanted to see built, and hundreds of volunteers came together to make their design a real thing on Thursday, May 29.
Volunteers from the CQY and SFY, Warner Music Group, KaBOOM!, Forest Hills High School and Senior Services worked for six hard hours to saw wood, mix cement, draw and paint murals, lay mulch, and do everything else that you could imagine goes into building a brand new, state of the art playground.
And as much as all of the volunteers each deserved their own MVP trophy for their hard work and commitment to this project, none of this would have been possible without donations from several local vendors, including Home Depot, the New York City Department of Parks, and Jiggawatt Electric, as well as the delicious food donations that we received from A & A Gourmet Food, Benjy’s Kosher Pizza, and Trooper Foods.
On top of the obvious community building that this project stands for, providing nearly 1,200 children with opportunities to be more physically, mentally, and socially active, it was beyond amazing to see dozens upon dozens of people who had never met before interacting and physically working together to give something incredible back to the community.
The CQY anticipates that each day during the school year, 345 children ages 2-12 will access this brand new play deck and new outside play area as their main source of recreation and outdoor play. The CQY will also open these areas to the community on Sundays; during school breaks; and in the evenings during spring and summer (when the number of children almost doubles with camp programs).
Maybe it’s because I was in the trenches during this project – mulch team captain, woo woo – but the way that everyone from KaBOOM!’s energetic staff, to people who work behind a computer 40-plus hours a week, to high school students, to parents of children in early childhood programs showed passion, enthusiasm, and dedication to not just a construction project, but to the work that we do in out communities, was as rewarding as the ribbon cutting ceremony after the final pieces were put in place.
We owe such a tremendous thank you to KaBoom!, Warner Music Group, our volunteers and gratuitous vendors, all CQY/SFY staff members who collaborated to make this happen, and a special thank you to New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, for joining us on this special day.
It was great to see so many people from so many different places come together for one greater cause, but then again, this is what we do in so many different ways, every single day, at the Samuel Field Y.
To check out pictures from the event, you can click here. We were also featured on NY1 (note: you need a Time Warner Cable login to view the video)!