LEASE SIGNED FOR NEW PROGRAM IN TUCKAHOE!
Last night, ANDRUS signed a lease to relocate and expand our child care program in a new location in Tuckahoe's Village Hall. Andrus Family Programs will offer a range of exciting classes, family support and early childhood enrichment activities designed to help children and families explore, learn and grow. Village Hall will also be the new home of the Andrus Early Learning Center (formerly Eastchester Child Development Center), our award winning childcare program. The space will allow us to double our enrollment, and begin to serve infants, as well as the toddlers and preschoolers who already attend. Look for more information in the coming weeks!
Dear First Lady...
Responding to First Lady Michelle Obama's interest in health and fitness and her Let's Move campaign, many Orchard School students have written letters inviting her to visit. We want to share two of their letters here....
Dear First Lady,
I am a fifth grade student at the Orchard school in Yonkers, New York. During Women's History Month, I learned how you are a socially responsible woman who began the Let's Move program. We discussed how you are interested in helping kids like us make better food choices. We also watched videos of you playing all different kinds of sports and activities with kids just like us! Our school has been trying to do many of the same things. We were given some money by a charity to help us create The Hope Space. Right now, the Hope Space includes greenhouses, a garden, a labyrinth, fitness trails, a tree farm and a chicken house- all right here on our campus! We use these areas every day. We have horticulture class in the greenhouse and garden. Here we plant fruits and vegetables and get to eat them. Sometimes, we even go into the woods!! We often go right into the garden and pick apples off the trees, wash them and eat them! We have also hatched many different kinds of insects, such as ladybugs, preying mantis and butterflies. We have also watched baby chicks hatch from their eggs and develop into adult chickens that lay eggs themselves! I think you should come to our school so you can see everything we do here. I would love to show you around and think you would be very happy to see how well we are trying to MOVE!
A student from the Orchard School
Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,
I'm writing you this letter to invite you to my school. Our school has a nice pond and most of the kids are allowed to go fishing. We also have a fitness trail . One of the really fun programs our school offers is Horticulture. The students get to learn about ecology and plant life. We get to plant fruits and vegetables, harvest them and even eat them. I think you might find this program interesting because I learned that you are very involved with promoting nutritious food in our country's schools. I also heard that you have a garden at the White House. Maybe you could get some ideas about having horticulture programs in other schools. Our school also has a program called CHAMPs. In this program students earn money (but not real money) for staying in program and behaving appropriately. We can save up our money and buy things at the CHAMPs store. The bottom line is that it would be a downright honor to have you tour our school, look in our classes, and talk about eating health foods, which is something you seem to enjoy doing.
A student from the Orchard School
Meet Maggie --
Pet Therapy Dog at Bourne Hall
A dog is said to be a "man's best friend" but here at ANDRUS a dog can be anyone's friend, as well as a confidante, a helper or even a shoulder to cry on. Our girls' cottage, Bourne Hall, is fortunate to have a French Bulldog named Maggie volunteer once a week. Since Maggie herself can't do interviews, we sat down with her owner Nancy Clarke to talk about their work with Bourne. Here are some excerpts from our conversation. To read the complete interview on our website, click here.
Tell us about Maggie.
Maggie is a mellow, easy going six year old French Bulldog. She has been certified for three years, which includes basic obedience training and four weeks of pet therapy training. The dogs and their owners are exposed to different noise settings and learn to cope with many distractions. Maggie graduated with top honors!
Many people are probably wondering what exactly a pet therapy dog, the owner and the children do during the hours you are here at ANDRUS.
Maggie does all the work! I am just happy to spend time with the girls and witness the effect of the dog on them. Sometimes it is five or six girls and other days one girl may need her own 'Maggie time'. The girls like to take her for walks, dress her up, and play games with her. It is very non-competitive and every girl has a chance. They enjoy learning how to care for a pet and help provide the basic necessities. By being around Maggie and learning to care for her, they learn boundaries and responsibility. It's alot of fun but there's no doubt, when Maggie leaves- she is TIRED!
What do you think the girls have gained from Maggie and yourself?
As simple as it sounds, some of these girls have never had a pet and I am able to give them a little taste of that. Maggie has the ability to sense when people need her and she will simply lean on someone's leg and let them know she is there for them. When one resident was having a particularly tough week, staff suggested she get some extra one on one time with Maggie. The girl later told me, "This is the only medicine that works".
To read the rest of our interview with Nancy & Maggie, click here.