Opening Doors Winter 2010
Transcript of 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:
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
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
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
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
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:32 AM Page 3
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
Vice PresidentsJohn R. Cannell, Esq.Jonathan A. KneePatricia S. LevinsonAndrew P. Mezey, MD, MS
SecretaryBarbara R. Rauch, LCSW
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
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
NAC Alumni at the Benefit Event.
O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 2
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:32 AM Page 4
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
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:33 AM Page 5
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
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.
’ 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.
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
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
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:33 AM Page 6
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.
a, da e 5.
4 O P E N I N G D O O R S P A G E 5
Photography by: Steven Freeman
All voluby Stetalent
H O L I D A Y P A R T Y
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:33 AM Page 7
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
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:33 AM Page 8
Above: NNYS Sen
Above: Band Boa
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!
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:32 AM Page 1
nts A T W O R K
h A N N I V E R S A R Y G A L A
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!
D O N O R S
roupsit as and.
lidayNotal thankLifeers, dtheir
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
190882_NAC_Winter_R3.qxd 2/18/10 7:32 AM Page 2