Adults and Children in Trust
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February 2015

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February 24th


Green Meadows

Get-A-Way Vacation Day - February 19th: ACT and Green Meadows Petting Farm!

“Can you bring it down lower? ‘Cause I’m only 5.” – Noah

All senses were engaged! Green Meadow Petting Farm traveled into ACT for Get-A-Way Camp last Thursday. Jason brought chinchillas, parakeets, a Bearded Dragon, Book Worms, exotic frogs and more – even a Tarantula! After an interesting and humorous lesson, the kids were able to fortify their knowledge with touch.

With buckets of creatures and supervised independence, children had the chance to explore a room of live animals, learning safely at their own pace with their peers. Descriptions lining the buckets also taught fun facts. Feathers, the Silky Chicken, nearly stole the show! So what better to conclude with than the chicken dance?

 

February 19th


Kris Perez

Throwback Thursday: Kris Perez (Part 2 of 2)

A Foundation of Teamwork!

Kris Perez started his relationship with ACT the way that most people do: by word of mouth. Kelly Whiten (highlighted in last week’s Throwback Thursday) recruited Kris Perez to be a Camp Specialist at ACT Summer Camp. But their friendship started at 7 years old at another youth organization: Kelly’s father was Kris’ Cub Scout leader.

Brainstorming sessions are a regular part of program development. Counselors and specialists gather together to bounce ideas off each other, set or review goals and make sure activities are instructional as well as fun. Although Kris admits that he was apprehensive about taking on the responsibilities of safety and lesson-planning when he first came into the Swim Instructor position, with the support and guidance of experienced supervisors and colleagues, he was able to master these assignments. ACT programs are specialized with age-appropriate groups so Kris learned how to gear his plans based on his audience, which at times included communication with parents too.

Kris kept coming back to ACT every summer for 4 years, from his senior year of High School to his senior year of college. He loved the interactive environment that allowed him to explore new interests, discover unique talents, and value teamwork.
Kris appreciated the social focus of ACT: co-ed programs with boys and girls, men and women getting along together. Diversity is treasured in both campers and staff here. Learning how to develop communication across cultures, economic classes and genders is a valuable skill for any age! That cooperative environment seven years ago set the foundation of a loving relationship: Kris Perez and Kelly Whiten Perez joyfully tied the knot last year.

Now Kris shares his skills with others as an Apple Genius, just as he was proud to share his skills with our ACT campers years ago.

February 17th


Mardi Gras

Vacationing with ACT!

It’s Fat Tuesday and we are filled to capacity! We are bursting with face-painted, fun-loving ACTors, including some revealing their inner princess and superhero, releasing their creativity inside and delighting in the snow outside. We wanted to share some of their shining moments: decorating colorful crowns, planning masks for the parade, practicing hoop tricks, sledding at the Cathedral campus and rigging LEGO bungee jump toys like little engineers! After lunch was their own vibrant Mardi Gras parade. Cheers for beads and chocolate coins!

February 12th

 

Kelly Whiten

Prep to Pioneer, CIT to Coordinator

Throwback Thursday: Kelly Whiten Perez (Part 1 of 2)

Kelly Whiten Perez started her voyage through ACT at 7 years old as a camper in the Preps division, traveling the neighborhood and beyond on camping excursions and dressing up for Medieval Times-themed events. She remembers Festival Days and cotton candy as a kid in ACT camp. She also remembers not liking swim class in school, barely making into the deep end of the pool.

But José V. Torres, ACT’s insightful Executive Director, looks a bit deeper to chose the right people for the right jobs. Placing Kelly in the Summer Swim Staff and encouraging her to work at something new opened up a silent skill. By her fourth year as a Camp Specialist, she had moved up to an even stronger leadership position: Swim Coordinator. Kelly says she enjoyed learning and teaching Red Cross swim levels and developed pride in ensuring the safety of the campers. In college, she even joined the Boston University Synchronized swimming team!

Today, Kelly is an attorney, always exploring new avenues in her career and staying out of her comfort zone!

Next week, we reveal our humble part in the one of the happiest moments of her life...

February 10th

 

Preschool Hersheys

CT Preschool celebrates Hershey's 100th Anniversary with tasty lessons that connect our mind and our senses!

This week we are transfixed by chocolate education: playing math games and reading Hershey math books (the Hershey's Kisses Addition Book and the Hershey's Kisses Subtraction Book).

ACTivities of the week:
Math:
~ Using a numerical hand puzzle, the children learned the concept of counting up and counting down.
~ Using hershey kisses, the children learned the concept of addition and subtraction.

Science:
~ If you hold on to a Hershey's kiss too long what will happen?

**Friday Celebration**
We will be celebrating Valentine's Day with an Ice Cream Party, decorating with a variety of Hershey treats.

 

February 5th

 

Polar Bear Nest

It’s a polar bear nest!”

- ACT Preschoolers, January 26th, 2015

Our Preschoolers reimagined a snow mound in our backyard into a Polar Bear Nest and enjoyed some post-snowstorm fun. For this Throwback Thursday, we are delighted to share 4 photos of our 2015 Preschoolers in their “Polar Bear Nest” and 2 of 1980’s ACTors sledding, enjoying playtime at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine campus. (Anyone recognize Jesse Nankabruce? He's on the red one!) Watching our ACTors play, we realize that much of our lives may have changed in the last 30 years, but snow day activities have not. The Cathedral’s 11-acre oasis in New York City continues to serve as a backdrop for the unique experience ACT offers: a diverse, fun, child-centered community.

We hope the heavy storms of 2015 have already come and gone, but if Punxsutawney Phil is right about 6 more weeks of winter, we must stay alert. Be aware that if public schools are closed, that this means A.C.T. Programs will be closed. Yet, when a storm is raging, and public schools are in session, as in the case of last Monday, ACT will do all we can to remain open to serve the working families that depend on us

February 3rd

 

Teamwork

Passion and Teamwork!

Kayin Bann scores during an enthusiastic moment of the ACT Afterschool Program. Kayin’s father reveals that Kayin has been playing soccer avidly for 2 to 3 years. “He has great sportsmanship and is passionate about soccer,” says his counselor. We look forward to Kayin expanding and sharing his skills in our gym over the following years.

Orissa Woods, our School-Age Coordinator, believes it is important to encourage children to participate in activities that involve Teamwork and to play with new friends that they do not see at their school. In addition to sports, ACT Afterschool counselors also plan other team-building activities, such as Scavenger Hunt Challenges, to develop social skills and break up cliques. Children can exercise independence in choosing between a range of clubs on Fridays, like Lego World, Karaoke and 9 Square in the Air, allowing them to mix with other grades and work with different counselors. January’s Afterschool theme was Winter Olympics: kids enjoyed bobsledding, marshmallow “snowball” fights, paddle hockey and Obstacle Courses! Kindergarteners even got Badminton lessons.

 
 
 
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