Opening Doors Winter 2010

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TO CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL HEALTHCARE NEEDS OPENING DOORS Congratulations to these NAC children and parents on their recent adoptions! Davonna was adopted by Francesca Herrera Brown & James Brown on August14, 2009. Theodore was adopted by Shanell Carter on September 24, 2009. Evonna was adopted by Thomas Manos on September 25, 2009. Lynwood was adopted by Arnet Richardson on December 2, 2009. Jaylene and Jose were adopted by Betzaida and Carlos Roca on December 22, 2009. If you know a family who can give a loving foster/adoptive home to a medically fragile child, please encourage them to go to: www.nac-inc.org/recruitment or call: NAC’s Homefinding Department 212.696.1550 or 646.352.9047 INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2 Letter from the Executive Director 3 NAC Activities 4 How you can Help Adoption Party Artists’ Corner Special Thanks 5 NAC Holiday Party 6/7 Thank you Volunteers 8 Benefit News Grants at Work ThankYou Donors Adoption News Close Scrutiny Reveals Successes 37 West 26th Street New York, NY 10010 T 212.696.1550 F 212.696.1602 15 West 26th Street New York, NY 10010 T 212.994.7940 F 212.994.3003 www.nac-inc.org New Alternatives for Children, Inc. NAC took advantage of Veterans’ Day to hold our second annual book fair, with Scholastic providing 1,000 new books to more than 200 children and their parents. The local McDonald’s restaurant provided lunch vouchers; Puppetry Arts Theatre held a work- shop; and NAC’s food pantry supplied a bag of groceries for each family to take home. We were particularly delighted to hear our children read to each other. As NAC expands, it is increasingly complex to examine the progress of our families and the successes of our programs, and to supply monitoring agencies and funders with extensive data that gives an accurate description of this agency. Two key positions at NAC were filled in 2009 that greatly increase our capacity to monitor our programs and to track and analyze data. Mark Woltman, MSW, is our new Director of Quality Assurance, and John Encandela, PhD, is Director of Research and Evaluation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Volume 3 Issue 2 Winter 2010 1,000 Books!

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New Alternatives for Children newsletter

Transcript of Opening Doors Winter 2010

Page 1: Opening Doors Winter 2010

T O C H I L D R E N W I T H S P E C I A L H E A L T H C A R E N E E D S

O P E N I N G D O O R S

Congratulations to these NAC children and parents on their recent adoptions!

Davonna was adopted by FrancescaHerrera Brown & James Brown on August 14, 2009.

Theodore was adopted by ShanellCarter on September 24, 2009.

Evonna was adopted by ThomasManos on September 25, 2009.

Lynwood was adopted by ArnetRichardson on December 2, 2009.

Jaylene and Jose were adopted byBetzaida and Carlos Rocaon December 22, 2009.

If you know a family who can give a loving

foster/adoptive home to a medically fragile

child, please encourage them to go to:

www.nac-inc.org/recruitment

or call:

NAC’s Homefinding Department212.696.1550 or 646.352.9047

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E

2 Letter from theExecutive Director

3 NAC Activities

4 How you can HelpAdoption PartyArtists’ CornerSpecial Thanks

5 NAC Holiday Party

6/7 Thank you Volunteers

8 Benefit NewsGrants at WorkThank You Donors

Adoption News

Close Scrutiny Reveals Successes

37 West 26th StreetNew York, NY 10010T 212.696.1550F 212.696.1602

15 West 26th StreetNew York, NY 10010T 212.994.7940F 212.994.3003

www.nac-inc.org

New Alternatives for Children, Inc.

NAC took advantage of Veterans’ Day

to hold our second annual book fair,

with Scholastic providing 1,000 new

books to more than 200 children and

their parents. The local McDonald’s

restaurant provided lunch vouchers;

Puppetry Arts Theatre held a work-

shop; and NAC’s food pantry supplied

a bag of groceries for each family to

take home.

We were particularly delighted to hear

our children read to each other.

As NAC expands, it is increasingly complex to examine the progress of

our families and the successes of our programs, and to supply monitoring

agencies and funders with extensive data that gives an accurate description

of this agency. Two key positions at NAC were filled in 2009 that greatly

increase our capacity to monitor our programs and to track and analyze

data. Mark Woltman, MSW, is our new Director of Quality Assurance, and

John Encandela, PhD, is Director of Research and Evaluation.

C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 2

Volume 3 Issue 2 Winter 2010

1,000 Books!

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Dear Friends,

By the time you read this, I hope there will be signs of spring. We are now heading

toward the end of another school year and we are determined that our children receive

the education that they deserve – engaging, challenging, and effective. NAC’s Education

Department works year round to ensure that each child is in a class that meets these

criteria, and is learning to his or her maximum potential.

As you learned, pages 1-2, John Encandela, PhD, NAC’s new Director of Research and

Evaluation, recently presented us with statistics that document what we have suspected

all along – our amazing NAC students succeed in ways no one imagined possible when

this agency opened 27 years ago! Dr. Encandela compared data for NAC children in

school – both those who are medically fragile and their siblings – with citywide averages.

Our analysis shows that, whether they are in Special Education or General Education,

for the most part they are in age appropriate placements and on track for high school

graduation at a rate that exceeds citywide averages! Although a next step will be to

analyze exactly how our educational services affect these outcomes, it is important to

know that our comprehensive services keep children on track.

This is news that points to bright futures for our families and warms our hearts in

the midst of winter. I hope all of you share our pride in these children and our gratitude

for the successful work of NAC staff.

C O N T I N U E D F R O M P A G E 1

Close Scrutiny Reveals SuccessesMr. Woltman oversees all NAC programs to maintain the appropriateness, effectivenessand efficiency of their services. NAC will be audited by various government entities overthe next year and Mr. Woltman has been confirming this agency’s compliance with allpolices and regulations. Mr. Woltman will also help to assure best practices at NAC.

Dr. Encandela has completed an analysis of NAC’s Educational Services Department. Of 240 school-age students in general and graded special education programs who were served by NAC Education Staff in the past year, 74% were at age-appropriate grade levels – an encouraging statistic, given that some NAC children may be delayed in starting school because of their disabilities. The more important outcome is keepingchildren on track with their education. In the last school year, 90% of these same students were promoted to the next grade – an excellent statistic! We are greatly reassured by the work of Mr. Woltman and Dr. Encandela that NAC families – and theagency – are in good hands and succeeding.

New Alternatives for Children, Inc.

B O A R D O F D I R E C T O R S

PresidentVirginia Aaron

Vice PresidentsJohn R. Cannell, Esq.Jonathan A. KneePatricia S. LevinsonAndrew P. Mezey, MD, MS

SecretaryBarbara R. Rauch, LCSW

TreasurerLouis Lipschitz

President EmeritaElizabeth S. Pforzheimer

Diane AbbeyTerri D. Austin, Esq.Bryan BellerPascal DesrochesVivian Farah Alan R. Fleischman, MD

Robert L. FriedmanJill Sabin GarnerSusan G. GevertzCarol GutmanPeter R. Haje, Esq.Joseph R. IannielloRonald IervolinoThomas A. JareckiMark N. Kaplan, Esq.Meryl R. Kaynard, Esq.Fern June Khan, MSW

Sandra E. LernerJennifer Goodman LinnRobert D. MarcusAdam L. MillerEugene A. PinoverSanford B. PraterEric J. RosenGlenn RufranoMeryl ShermanSusan M. SlaterAlma T. Young, MSW, Ed.D.

Advisory DirectorsMargaret Grey, Dr. P.H.K.D. Hendricks-Muñoz, MD

Cecily Truett

Directors EmeritiIris AbronsDale G. BergerMichael P. GaertnerLouis Maloof Wayland M. Mead, Esq.Stephen Richardson, Ph.D.

Lorraine Tregde, MPA

Duncan WhitesideMary C. Wolf

Executive DirectorArlene Goldsmith, LCSW, Ph.D.

Arlene Goldsmith, LCSW, Ph.D. E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

2010

NAC Alumni at the Benefit Event.

O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 2

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Our children and youth manage to attend a lot of NAC activities, even though they are back in school. Along with fun in the community – going to the Kips Bay Day for Kids Festival, for instance, to say nothing of the scary (in a cool way) Halloween Party at NAC – we offered our teens a Career Discovery group, Mentoringand AdoptMent, and a Girls Group to discuss issues involved with becoming adults. There were also the usual creative therapy groups, always popular with our children.

A special thanks goes to Variety of New York for hosting fourteen of our NAC children at their annual HolidayParty on December 12. The children were treated to the 3D movie A Christmas Carol, and a party at the VarietyChildren’s Charity headquarters, where the children had a chance to meet reporter Ernie Anastos.

O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 3

N A C

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Editor Marcia Scanlon

Contributors Pam Adams, Robert Cruz, Stephanie Gardner,Jessica Lutzke, Carleen Miller-Verna, Linda Peck, Brian Schatz,Carolyn Synol, Jenny Traslavina,Anthony Williams

Distribution Lydia Roman

Designer Shari Finger Design LLC

SPECIAL THANKS

NAC sends special thanks to

a couple of close friends who

assisted with the Book Fair

on November 11: Rick Cisneros,

manager of the local McDonald’s

restaurant, donated vouchers

for a free lunch on the day of

the Fair. Mr. Cisneros has also

supported NAC in securing

funds for our camp scholarships

from Ronald McDonald House

Charities. Tim Young, Executive

Director of Puppetry Arts

Theatre, sent puppet creator

Michael Karras to make puppets

with NAC children. NAC’s

Recreation Department has

enjoyed frequent collaborations

with Mr. Young’s Theatre, includ-

ing free tickets to a WNBA New

York Liberty game, a movie

premiere, and puppet shows for

the younger NAC children.

NAC’s annual Adoption Party is always a deeply moving celebration for NAC familieswho have completed an adoption in the past year. On November 7, fifteen families came together to celebrate. Each family receiveda family photo and enjoyedlunch, entertainment, games,and a free raffle, with the kidsdrawing the winning numbers.Twenty NAC children wereadopted into permanent, loving homes in 2009.

New

FAMILIES

Art

ists

’ C O R N E R

The Seasons of NAC

This skillfully fashioned quilt was created for NAC’s 2009 Benefit Event by two alumni of NAC’s Young Independent Women group. This is the group’s 6th quilt. We send thanks to Carleen Miller-Verna,LCSW who works with the youngwomen in designing quilts. The group is inspired by knowing that their quilts will bring in support for NAC.

The women stitched the first squarewith falling leaves; this evolved intosquares for the four seasons, withLisa’s title The Seasons of NAC. The quilt’s center holds Carmen’sgraphic arts design of Thinking Outside the Box “to make people realize that even though we are disabled we are not different.”

The background features clocks and the words “time won’t wait.” Time – the years these artists havespent with NAC – has seen thembecome young women who are creative and caring. NAC honors the commitment of our quilters: Carmen, a graphic design college student, has spina bifida and has been with NAC since age 13. Lisa, a college graduate, has spina bifida and has been with NAC since age 5.

3

NAC client Shenay Amponsahwas the lucky recipient of aSong of Love written just forher. As well, her wish to be a star and sing on stage cametrue. Hundreds of employeesfrom Northwestern Mutualsang along with John Beltzer,President of Songs of LoveFoundation, to record herspecial song at the MarriottMarquis in January. Go tosongsoflovefoundation.org for more information.

O P E N I N G D O O R S S T A F F

N A C A D O P T I O N P A R T Y

O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 4

Jewelry Sale

Members of the Parent Open ArtStudio held a sale of their fabulousjewelry creations on December 3 –in time for NAC staff to buy Holidaypresents. The artists proved to be asgifted in helping customers choosejust the right pieces as they were increating necklaces and bracelets, andalmost all the jewelry was sold.Proceeds from the sale will go towardthe purchase of new materials.

NAC recognizes Megan Lukas,Director, Community Outreach

at The Estée Lauder Companies,

for her years of dedication to

NAC. Estée Lauder has been

one of NAC’s most generous

supporters, donating products to

our families, sponsoring holiday

party activities, and organizing

teams of outstanding volunteers.

Celebrating Megan Lukas

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A Mexican Fiesta was an excellent theme for the NAC Holiday Party on December 19, with the snow startingoutside the Jacob Javits Center as the party ended. There were Mexican musicians, Mexican food, games, craftactivities, a visit to Santa, of course, and the teen game room. There was special time with therapy dogs and their trainers. We send particular thanks to Eileen Beetar of AAA, NY who helped us again this year by supplying convertible, booster and infant seats for ambulettes and NAC vans to ensure safe transportation. Thanks also to Roy Schoenberg, who unfailingly provides complimentary parking. Our gratitude also goes to John andEvelina McNally, who operated a photo booth that transformed NAC kids into super heroes, pop icons and cartoon characters. The McNallys volunteered their labor to produce thrilling photos that were later mailed to each family. As always, the Holiday Party could not have been possible without the enthusiastic assistance of corporate volunteers and the NYC Fire Department. Our thanks to all of you.

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4 O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 5

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H O L I D A Y P A R T Y

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O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 6

There are many ways to support NAC. We welcome financial gifts and in-kind

donations. We invite you to volunteer for

NAC activities and to attend our benefit

events. The rewards of getting to know

NAC children and families are extraordinary.

For more information, please contact

Jessica Lutzke, Director, Volunteers and

Community Relations, at 212.696.1550 x230 or [email protected].

Many Holiday Party volunteers generously

shared their special talents and expertise

with the children. The New York City

Fire Department provided educational

materials about fire safety, and brought

their furry mascot, Hot Dog. New Yorkers

For Children sent their Youth Advisory

Board who were talented face-painters.

Tira Bluestone brought her guitar and

played her original and engaging children’s

music. Canine volunteers and their human

partners from Angel on a Leash made

party guests of all ages smile.

All volunteer photos were taken pro bono by Steven Barall, who donated his time andtalent to NAC.

E N T H U S I A S T I C E S T É E L A U D E R V O L U N T E E R S

O U R V O L U N T E E R S

H O W Y O U C A N H E L P N A C

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GO P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 7

The annual NAC Holiday Party for all our children andfamilies on December 19 was made possible by thesupport of wonderful volunteers.

Volunteers from the community and corporate groupsshared their enthusiasm and energy to help make it avery special day. We thank them for their kindness anddedication to improving the lives of NAC children.

Corporate philanthropy is crucial to the NAC HolidayParty, and we are grateful for corporate support. Notonly did companies provide volunteers, but several generously sponsored activities. We send a warm thankyou to The Estée Lauder Companies, New York LifeFoundation, Credit Suisse, Société Générale, TheWalt Disney Company, Accenture, Allen Partners, and nycTIES. Our appreciation, as well, to ArvindSingh and Alexis Farah for organizing a group of theiracquaintances as volunteers.

Celebrating our Volunteers!

Photograp

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NAC held its Annual Benefit on October 20 at the enchanting Pierre Hotel.

For the first time there was a table reserved for NAC alumni, all college and

graduate students, who shared the celebratory spirit and fine dining with more

than 500 guests. We were fortunate to have in attendance as Dinner Chairs

Steven Brill of Journalism Online; Robert Dyson of Dyson-Kissner-Moran

Corporation; Mark Gallogly of Centerbridge Partners; Jeffrey Leeds of Leeds

Equity Partners; and Elliot Stein of Commonwealth Capital Partners. We thank

Peter and Helen Haje, along with Jonathan Knee and Chaille Maddox, for their

efforts as Benefit Committee Chairs. We were pleased have Leo Hindery, Jr.,

Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners, LP as our Honoree, and to present

Outstanding Public Service Awards to NAC’s good friends NYS Senator Thomas

A. Duane and NYS Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner.

O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 8

Above: NYS Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner,

NYS Senator Thomas A. Duane,

Arlene Goldsmith, and Leo Hindery, Jr.

Above: Board Chair Virginia Aaron

and Board Member Jonathan Knee present

Honoree Leo Hindery, Jr. with art work

by NAC artist Tamara Morgan.

Above: Board Member Carol Gutman,

Arlene Goldsmith, Steve Gutman, and

Board Member Vivian Farah.

NAC is pleased to acknowledge the following corporations and foundations

that have made grants to us since September, 2009:

BJ’s Charitable Foundation, Harry S. Black & Allon Fuller Fund, Florence V. Burden Foundation, J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation,Frank E. Clark Charitable Trust, Frances L. & Edwin L. CummingsMemorial Fund, DaPuzzo Family Foundation, Fuchsberg FamilyFoundation, Gurney Foundation, Helen Hoffritz Charitable Trust,Kenworthy-Swift Foundation, Marble Fund, Carl and Lily PforzheimerFoundation, Wahrsager Foundation.

We acknowledge funding from the Manhattan Borough President’s Office,

and the United Way’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program.

We thank Chartis for sponsoring the 2009 NAC Holiday Party, and the

following organizations for donating holiday gifts for NAC children and families:

Cravath, Swaine and Moore, Skadden Arps Meagher and Flom,Bertelsman, Inc.,The Today Show,The Walt Disney Company,The Estée Lauder Companies,The Robin Hood Foundation, The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, The Knit Wits.

A note of thanks to Caroline Loomis and Sarah Booth at Bloomberg for

the herb garden kits – the families love them!

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A N N I V E R S A R Y G A L A

N A C ’ S 2 7 T H

The moment when a child is freed for adoption is pivotal for both the childand the adoptive family. After reaching this point, NAC’s goal is to completethe adoption as quickly as possible. The next steps are complex, however, withmuch required paperwork. NAC relieves our Social Workers of this paperwork –they are focused on working with the family to resolve clinical issues, and toensure that the adoption will result in a bright future for all involved.

NAC has received generous funding from Hedge Funds Care for our ExpeditedPermanency Project, which supports rapid adoption of children in NAC fosterhomes. NAC welcomes Pam Adams as our most recent Permanency Facilitator;Ms. Adams now handles all adoption paper work and serves as a liaison toNAC’s legal counsel.

We have a track record of achieving permanency in substantially less timecompared with citywide averages among other foster care and adoption agencies.The median length-of-stay for children at NAC, from entry into foster care toadoption finalization, is now as low as 37 months. Private funding is needed to support various expenses associated with timely adoptions in addition tomaking the position of Permanency Facilitator possible.With vital support fromHedge Funds Care, we are assured of maintaining our level of success withtimely adoptions as we move into the new decade.

Photography by: Steven Freeman

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