January 20, 2009
January is Mentoring Month
At The Cottage Schools (Pleasantville and Edenwald), the two-year-old mentoring program is thriving. Thanks to New York Life Foundation, we were able to hire coordinator Stacy Connell who supervises the program in which dedicated volunteers work with our youth throughout the year. Mentors commit to spending a minimum of four hours a month, one-on-one, with residents. This year, there were 15 matched pairs in the program. We are also grateful to Big Brothers Big Sisters who provided funding for individual coaching and assistance in mentor recruitment, screening, supervision, curriculum, and training.
After training and orientation, mentors begin getting acquainted with their mentees by spending at least four visits on the Pleasantville campus, so that staff members are available to supervise and help them. Depending on the needs of the youth, they play board games, make arts and crafts, visit the recreation center, have picnics, or just spend time in the cottage talking, watching movies, or sharing a meal. Later, when pairs go off campus, they enjoy movies, museums, miniature golf, bowling, dinner, and reading together at the library.
Our youth are responding. Ms. Connell speaks of a young girl whose behavior and attitude changed markedly as a result of mentoring. “She became more respectful and her interactions with staff and peers really improved. She matured a lot and began to take responsibility for her actions. It was great to see.”
The Cottage Schools (Pleasantville and Edenwald) will be celebrating their mentors with a special “Mentor Appreciation Day” on January 28th. Mentors will be presented with awards and handmade souvenirs, and regaled with songs, poems, and readings by their mentees.
Another of JCCA’s programs, Two Together, which provides free individualized tutoring to New York City schoolchildren, is also celebrating Mentoring Month. To become a volunteer tutor, no teaching experience is necessary. Volunteers, trained and supervised by learning specialists, assist children with their homework and reading, math, and writing skills. Tutors meet with their students for 90-minute sessions on a weekly basis.
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or tutor for either program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-558-9969.
A Tree Grows in Pleasantville: 2010, The Best Ever!
JCCA’s fifth annual fundraiser, "A Tree Grows in Pleasantville," was our most successful yet. With more than 300 generous movers and shakers in attendance, the event featured good food, beautiful décor, and a palpable buzz — which made it “the place to be” in Westchester on Saturday, January 9th. And the best news of all is that we raised more than $300,000 — a record-breaking amount. All donations go directly to The Cottage Schools — Pleasantville Cottage School, Edenwald Center, and Pleasantville Diagnostic Center — the residential treatment programs of Jewish Child Care Association.
A big thank you to our volunteer co-chairs, Marcia Appel, Wendy Frieder, and Lory Gilberg, and to the 46 volunteers who worked on the Tree Benefit Committee. We also want to extend our appreciation to the Tree founding co-chairs, Stephanie J. Speigel, Stacy Hochfelder, and Andrea Soloway. And of course, we are enormously grateful to all of our JCCA supporters. The Cottage Schools care for 325 youth who have been abused or neglected, lived in poverty, and endured traumas almost impossible to imagine. These programs provide residents with a safe and supportive environment until they can return to their families or find a loving home through adoption or guardianship.
Right, top: (L-R) Event co-chairs Marcia Appel, Wendy Frieder, and Lory Gilberg with JCCA CEO Richard Altman.
Middle: Pleasantville Cottage School resident Jade J. gave a moving speech about her experience on Campus.
Bottom: JCCA Trustees Daun Paris and Peter Hauspurg had a wonderful time at the event.
Don't Miss the 2nd Annual Reelabilities Film Festival!
The second annual Reelabilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival will present award-winning films in 12 locations throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester from January 28th to February 2nd, 2010.
Presented by the JCC in Manhattan, with the support of UJA-Federation and more than 40 partnering organizations, the festival will feature nine films celebrating the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with various disabilities. Discussions and engaging programs will bring together the community to explore, converse, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.
Films include Mary & Max by Adam Elliot, Beeswax by Andrew Bujalski, Henry O! by Ziad H. Hamzeh, among others. JCCA’s Compass Project, a vital resource for Jewish teens with special learning and social needs facing high school and college transitions, is a proud sponsor of the festival. Tickets and more information are available online at www.realabilities.org and 646-505-4404.
Shop/Search for a Good Cause
What if Jewish Child Care Association earned a percentage of every purchase you made online? Or if every time you searched the internet, JCCA earned a penny?
GoodShop.com is an online shopping mall that donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause. Hundreds of great stores, including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's, and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop.com, so every time you place an order, you’ll be supporting the youth and families we serve.
GoodSearch.com is a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up! Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Jewish Child Care Association as the charity you want to support.
iGive.com is another search engine and shopping site that will donate a penny per search and a portion of each purchase to JCCA. Register with iGive, select JCCA as your cause, and shop at more than 700 brand name online stores through the iGive Mall. You will have access to exclusive coupon codes, free shipping deals, and sale alerts. You shop and JCCA wins. Go to iGive.com to register, select Jewish Child Care Association, and start shopping to make the holidays brighter for our youth and families.
Be sure to spread the word!
JCCA is on Facebook! Become a fan of Jewish Child Care Association and show your support for our incredible organization! Keep up to date with event photos, news clips, and much more! Click here to become a fan!
We need your support! Consider a generous donation to JCCA so that every child can grow up hopeful. To make a contribution, please click here.