JULY 2012

In This Issue:
Graduation Day!
Summer at ANDRUS
Sanctuary Travels

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It's Backpack Time! 

Each year, with the help of many generous friends, businesses and donors, ANDRUS launches a Backpack Project to collect brand new, fully stocked backpacks for the children in its care at 14 sites throughout Westchester. Last year, a record amount of 936 were collected!! We are kicking off the collection soon, if you or your group/business would like more information on participating contact Genna Federico at 914.965.3700 x1200 or

ANDRUS Fall Gala

 Light Up the Night

Save the Date: Friday, October 12

Yonkers Campus

Congratulations to Our 2012
8th Grade Graduates 

Please join ANDRUS students, families, staff and Board in celebrating the accomplishments of 25 proud Orchard School students who graduated from the 8th grade on June 15. Spectacular sunshine graced this special day for the Orchard School when we honor all of our students for their perseverance and determination to succeed. Faculty distributed promotion certificates for all grades and bestowed special honors on students whose performance in reading, math and citizenship were especially remarkable.


Jenny Dobell, mother of a former Orchard School student, inspired everyone with her deeply personal guest speech. Holding up an enormous jaw breaker, she told the children that they, like the candy, have layers of color and beauty inside. She described the appearance of those layers in her own son who found success in the Orchard School after years of struggling in other schools. "The people here, the staff and teachers, helped him change and encouraged him year after year." She concluded by predicting that the graduates would come to appreciate the role ANDRUS has played in their lives. "Maybe you won't realize how much you have changed until you meet a big challenge and something inside you bubbles to the surface. I hope, as you graduate today, you remember everything that you have been taught here. And I hope you know that the most important thing that has happened at the Orchard School is that you have changed." 


This year's Valedictorian provided living testimony for the possibility of change. She described her past deep fear of the outside world that kept her from attending school. She credited the Orchard School with making it possible for her to grow and change. "It was not always easy but with the help of my teachers and friends, I was able to overcome and succeed." In September, she will begin high school in her home community. She, and all of our students, can be assured of our continuing love, pride and support!  

Summer at ANDRUS! 

Summer is not a time to kick back and relax at ANDRUS. We are busy 12 months of the year. Here is a sample of what's on tap in July and August:

  • Orchard School Olympics: Each summer, the Orchard School chooses a theme to focus on for the six week academic session. Past themes have included Renaissance art, future careers and Sanctuary values. This year, what could be more topical than the 2012 Olympics! Summer school begins this week with a robust curriculum organized around Olympic themes. Each class is choosing a country and will explore its history, culture, food, geography and more. We will hold our own opening and closing ceremonies featuring a "parade of the countries" complete with flags, music and handmade costumes. We would rather be here than in London for sure.  


  • Community Promotes Efforts through Baby Showers: Our Community Division has been holding a series of 'Baby Showers' to promote Healthy Families NY... and more of these three day educational programs are planned for the summer. The first "Baby Shower" was held at Hudson River Health Care on South Broadway where our expectant parents had a splendid time.  Staff shared the importance of a healthy pregnancy for a child to capture a healthy start in life. Other program elements addressed information about Healthy Families NY services, a father's role in the breastfeeding relationship, supportive acts during labor, soothing a crying baby, Shaken Baby Syndrome, safety planning and stress management. At another shower, held at the YWCA and sponsored by Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Partnership, our Fatherhood Advocate, with help from some of the Dads in the program, shared information about our Healthy Families NY Fatherhood program. Our Early Recognition Specialist conducted behavioral health screenings.  Every pregnant parent who completed a Healthy Families NY screen was entered into a raffle for a baby stroller.  The baby shower helped to increase screens (a total of 39 for the three days!) and enrollment for our Healthy Families NY and Project LAUNCH home visiting programs. 


  • Mental Health Division Encourages Self Expression Among Teen Girls:  This summer, the Yonkers mental health clinic will be running a creative arts group promoting self expression in pre-teen girls. In this eight week program for girls ages 9-12, pre-teens will be engaging in a creative arts activity (they can try scrapbook making, clay manipulation, puppet making, song writing, drama and poetry) to help them look in new ways at the problems they are trying to resolve. Our intention is to offer the girls an opportunity to build bonds around common issues and to increase their self esteem through accomplishments and meaningful connections. Elizabeth Stillman, one of the ANDRUS clinicians guiding the group, reports "The group just started today and we are looking forward to seeing what these bright young  girls teach us and each other."   


  • Alumni "Come Home": On June 30, 25 ANDRUS alumni gathered on campus for an informal brunch to reconnect with the place they once called home. The attendees, some going back 30-40 years, as well as young alumni, reminisced about their time here. They loved the tour of recent additions and renovations with special attention for our three new goats!
Sanctuary Travels to Tasmania!


In early June, Lorelei A. Vargas, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Tito del Pilar, Director of Workforce Development and Brian Parchesky, Senior Faculty of the Sanctuary Institute, flew all the way "down under" to Tasmania, the small heart-shaped island state at the tip of Australia.   Anglicare, a large social service provider with locations throughout Tasmania, reached out to ANDRUS for Sanctuary training in its growing children's residential program. The completion of Anglicare's training makes them the 51st Australian organization to be trained by ANDRUS in the Sanctuary Model.  Please join us in welcoming Anglicare to the Sanctuary Network!



ANDRUS provides support and treatment for 2,500 children and their families throughout Westchester suffering from emotional illness and trauma. The agency offers prevention, assessment, educational, treatment and research programs that help children and families achieve healthy, stable lives.  ANDRUS has grown from its origins as an orphanage into a premier non-profit mental health, social service and special education provider and resource for Westchester.