Public Awareness Campaign on Childhood Adversity
Pictured (L to R) City Council Member Wilson Terrero, Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio, Lorelei Atalie Vargas, Brian Farragher, Mayor Mike Spano, Jim Bostic,City Council President Chuck Lesnick and Nancy Woodruff Ment.
In a press conference yesterday at Cedar Place School, ANDRUS launched a new public education campaign in the City of Yonkers. The goal of the campaign is to raise community awareness about the far-reaching effects of childhood adversity. An accompanying White Paper, based on findings from a landmark public health Adverse Childhood Experiences study conducted in California, and replicated in other areas, estimated that 66% of Yonkers' 45,000 children will have experienced at least one of ten forms of adversity including parental divorce, family substance use, and physical abuse by the age of 18.
The multi-year effort seeks to educate teachers, parents, social service providers, religious leaders, first responders and others in the community how to recognize adversity in children so they can receive the support services they need to overcome their experiences. To increase awareness in Yonkers about the lasting effects of adverse childhood experiences, ANDRUS is organizing a series of town hall-style meetings with high-level stakeholders in the community, including school principals, business leaders, social and human service providers, clergy and other local leaders.
"Understanding that how we treat children today will impact our society tomorrow is very important to the overall wellness and future of our City," said Nancy Ment, President and CEO of ANDRUS. "ANDRUS is committed to working with our many partners throughout Yonkers to raise awareness of this issue, and we're honored to have the support of Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools Bernard P. Pierorazio and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano as we launch this important initiative."
The new White Paper by ANDRUS, entitled The Public Health Crisis Facing Yonkers Children, estimates that 30,000 children in Yonkers have likely experienced some form of adversity, and that 23% of them have likely experienced chronic adversity.
Other key findings of the report include:
- Approximately 11% of children in Yonkers have or will experience physical abuse
- An estimated 26% of children are growing up in homes with substance abuse
- An estimated 13% of children in Yonkers are witnessing domestic violence
- Approximately 22% of children will be sexually abused
- 3% of children will have a parent who is imprisoned
"Community organizations like ANDRUS provide an immeasurable service to the children and families of Yonkers," said Mayor Spano. "It is vital that we counter childhood adversity with awareness, education and guidance. ANDRUS is taking the necessary step to ensure the well-being and future of our children, and the City thanks them for their commitment."
To view the White Paper, click here.
To view the Executive Summary, click here.
Open House in Tuckahoe
Launches Early Learning Center
On Saturday April 28, ANDRUS will host a community celebration - 'Kick Off for Kids'- to introduce our friends and neighbors to the Andrus Early Learning Center in Tuckahoe's Village Hall. We invite you to tour our magnificently renovated space and hear about the host of new programs planned for children and families. We promise a spirited morning of family fun featuring face painting, clowns and balloons, a movie screening, music and family yoga. Join us from 10 am to 1 pm!
The doors to the long-anticipated Andrus Early Learning Center will officially open on April 23 . The new site marks an expansion and rededication of the longtime Eastchester Child Development Center, most recently housed temporarily in Father Fata Hall. Ninety infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers will soon be thriving under the care of creative and nurturing teachers in colorful, light-filled classrooms filled with enriching materials. If you would like to give us a hand with moving and set up before our big first day, let us know. Or come to witness the Ribbon Cutting with Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond on April 26th at 4 pm.
Our excitement about this new venture and the Andrus Family Programs that will also be offered in Village Hall has been matched by loyal friends of ECDC and ANDRUS. The John Mack Carter family has made a leadership gift to create an Arts Wing at the Center complete with a children's theatre, fine arts studio and lots of creative programming. Generous gifts from the Raffiani Family Foundation and Marty & Lois Schulman will support two signature initiatives of Andrus Family Programs that will begin this month. "Before the Stork" is a pre-natal workshop series for expectant parents, and "Mommy/Daddy & Me" classes promote play and engagement for new families. Stay tuned for more announcements on new activities in Village Hall.
KIDS GIVE BACK THROUGH ART
The students at the Orchard School have been studying the work of artist Wayne Thiebaud, an American painter associated with the Pop Art movement. Thiebaud's most famous works are of cakes, pastries, toys and lipsticks.
The students sketched their own versions of Thiebaud's work, then used acrylics and oils to bring their creations to life. Our student artists' enthusiasm for their projects inspired them to take one more step --to give back to the community.
Working from their creations, they decorated real cakes and cupcakes to sell at a school-wide bake sale. The result? Over $200 which they voted to donate to The Food Bank of Westchester. In this school year, our students have supported the Food Bank with canned food drives and holiday collections. We are so proud of them for the creativity and effort they invested in showing others how much they care. Enjoy "feasting" on these samples of their artwork.