Adults and Children in Trust
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Throwback Thursday: Sherria Green shares some secret memories.
She started in ACT Afterschool, but her journey with us passed through Summer Camp and Vacation Camp to now being in her 3rd year as an assistant teacher with ACT Preschool. Sherria remembers her favorite counselors still: Brad who drew caricatures, Dottie who taught her gymnastics and cooking, Anna who worked at PS 75 Afterschool. And “Aiesha! I wanted to be her!”
ACT taught Sherria how to make friendship bracelets and lanyards. She learned how to swim and ice-skate, created macaroni picture frames and got homework help. But the most lasting gains were the actual friendships she started with other children at ACT and still has. Where school could sometimes have people who were unpleasant, ACT was always a nice and friendly environment. She was never left out, never felt bored. “There were always things to do,” she recounts.
Sherria laughs over stories of Marie, our Program Director, and her twin switching places in the summer to trick campers. She recalls Sleepaway camp being some of most fun she’s ever had. Sherria was an evil stepsister in an ACT rendition of Cinderella. She was so nervous during a song that she ran off stage, but she smiles about it now, saying that “they still clapped.”
Enjoy the pictures attached: Sherria as a 7 year old ACTor and on the far right as a grateful Preschool assistant teacher during one of her favorite times at ACT: Halloween.
High five to CBS New York!
ACT Playstation heads the list of Best NYC indoor playgrounds
CBS List of 5 Best Indoor Playgrounds in NYC
Get acquainted with A.C.T. history through Throwback Thursdays!
Today we are featuring Maya Weaver, a former inspired ACTor and now a full-time staff who wears many hats at ACT as both an assistant teacher and a school age group leader. In our Throwback picture, Maya is 7 years old. This picture was taken at PS 75, where A.C.T. used to hold an Afterschool program.
It is unbelievable that Maya used to be afraid of snakes! Staff remembers with a fond grin that Maya would shudder when she saw anything that slithers, even worms. Yet, at ACT, she confronts her fears and teaches Nature Classes to the children during the summer. At the Winter Family Festival 2015, we watched Maya brave snakes and crocodiles during the Reptile Show.
Maya has been involved here since she was 4 years old, attending our mini-ACT summer camp, and has been working in leadership capacities at ACT for almost 16 years. The warm nostalgia still lights up her face when she talks about her youth at ACT. Maya revealed that she loves ACT because it gave her a great foundation: developing social skills, learning arts & crafts and participating in sports with cool counselors and a diverse environment. Now she is excited to pass it on to a new generation.
We had a Blast at ACT’s Winter Family Festival 2015!
Thank you for sharing some memorable moments with us last Saturday.
ACT 1st Core Value: Learning
How do child learn?
Here are some secrets of retention: If a child simply reads some information, the child will remember 10% of the information. Hears it? 20%. Sees it? He or she will remember 30% of the data. If you incorporate hearing and seeing, retention is up to 50%. But if you ask children questions and encourage them to say what they have learned back to you, they will likely remember 70% of what they have been taught! If you combine that type of participation with an engaging learning experience, you have now set them up to remember 90% of what they have learned!
At ACT, children are taught about the world around them by being involved in hands-on demonstrations. You may be surprised to know that when children seem to be simply playing, they are actually compiling evidence and making rational deductions about their world and life concepts!
In harmony with our commitment to learning, we invite you and your family to experience the Reptile Farm from NY Wild that will be open to the public at our Winter Family Festival tomorrow from Noon to 4 PM. There will be neighbors and visitors: Your family will be introduced to a surprising variety of native New York animals and also go beyond our NYC habitat to meet some exotic guests. NY Wild presents animal science and global issues of conservation and endangerment in some unforgettable ways!
2nd ACT Core Value: Teamwork
'Unity starts with you!' ACT counselors invite students to determine their roles in events and encourage them to support one another. Our objective is to make sure each ACTor feels personally involved and then nurture healthy habits of patience and listening.
**Bring a friend or team up with new ones: our Annual Camp Reunion has exploded in a fabulous festival to celebrate community: ACT's Winter Family Festival! Unwrap the scarves and join smiling faces for ACTivities like playing 9 squares in the air, a game of the popular GaGa Ball or collaborating on a 44th anniversary ACT quilt. Even participate in some fun competition with our famous Whip Cream Eating Contest.**
3rd ACT Core Value: Diversity
** This Saturday, ACT keeps strong our commitment to diversity with a plethora of festivities from a Craft Station to a Games Arena at our annual community event from noon to 4 pm, The Winter Family Festival **
ACT classes and events shine with a range of cultures and ways of thinking. A diverse ensemble sparks creativity and blazes with innovation.
Fire up your family`s creative side by honoring their diverse personalities with an original play: invite each member to craft puppets and create their own character.
4th ACT Core Value: Fun
** Bring the family for a day of interACTive fun this Saturday from Noon to 4 PM! Blow-up rides and other excitement is free, courtesy of ACT at the Cathedral **
ACT recognizes that FUN means BEING INVOLVED!
Have you tried any of these ideas to sculpt a day of fun for your family?
• Try out some new board or card games to find everyone’s favorite.
• Create colorful totem poles from toilet paper rolls.
• Plant an herb garden (indoors or out!
5th ACT Core Value: Child-centeredness
** From Noon to 4 PM this Saturday, ACT will be showing appreciation for all of the children of our community with a range of free ACTivities from a GaGa Ball Pit and Toddler Area for younger ages to a Reptile Farm geared towards our older kids. **
We encourage ACTors to be hands-on and creative! How can we celebrate the wonder and the joy of youth within the awesome cacophony of our chilly city? Try these cold-weather options:
1. A.C.T. Playstation is an option for children under five years old to stay active during the cold winter months. It is open on select days from January to March. Please check calendar for closing dates: ACT PlayStation
2. Children use play to unravel the mysteries of physics within SciPlay at New York Hall of Science: http://nysci.org/
3. There are marvelous events for children, such as building your own robot and an introduction to graphic design at Sony Wonder Lab: http://www.sonywondertechlab.com/
4. Experience star-struck wonder while inside Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History: http://www.amnh.org/our-research/hayden-planetarium
5. Get inspired with hands-on activities at Children's Museum of the Arts: http://cmany.org/
6. Check the family option under events to browse performances from illusion to dance to melody at Symphony Space: http://www.symphonyspace.org/events/search
6th ACT Core Value: Organization
** Come and sample canteen selections at our event on Saturday, January 10th, the Annual Winter Family Festival **
With unique ACTivities, we invite children to practice an oft-overlooked way to improve their organization skills:
Cooking and baking involve time management, following directions, measuring ingredients, and planning. At home, choose a delectable option and work together to create a shopping list.
Here is an excerpt from the Garden to Table Cookbook our ACTors helped design and test during our August Camp:
EASY INDIAN STEW (serves 6 as a side dish)
3 cups Jasmine or Basmati Rice, cooked
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely shopped
2 TS turmeric
1 ½ TS salt
½ TS pepper
1 ½ TS fresh ginger, grated
1 28 oz. can chopped or ground tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
2 cups plain yogurt
Cook rice according to package instructions and keep warm.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper and freshly grated ginger. Cook until fragrant, a minute or two. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10-12 minutes. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Serve stew over the rice with yogurt on the side
Then check back and let us know how you liked it!
7th ACT Core Value: Safety
** Our Winter Family Festival is coming up on Saturday, January 10th, 2015! Staff will be keeping up with our traditional safety technique of ACTive communication via walkie-talkies **
A principle for ACTion: if you put fun before safety, you could lose both! ACTors are trained to be aware of their surroundings no matter where they are at. "Be responsible if you see hazards like a push-pin or pencil and pick them up." "Know where your guardian or buddy is!"
CHILD-PROOFING TIPS FOR YOUR HOME
Use Safety Latches on cabinets to prevent poisoning or injury. Child-resistant packages are not child-proof!
Safety Gates, as well as door knob covers keep children from dangerous areas. Older gates with “V”-style openings should be avoided since they can be a trapping hazard.
Cordless window blinds are the safe alternative. If your window blinds are from 2000 or earlier, we suggest replacing them yourself or contacting the Window Covering Safety Council at 800-506-4636 or http://WindowCoverings.org for a free repair kit.