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: Jared Mintz 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"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."
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Basketball Bringing a Winning Attitude to O.S.T. at P.S./I.S. 178
Posted by: Jared Mintz on Tuesday, July 1, 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: Jared Mintz 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)!