April 2017

Baby Shower

The New York City Children’s Cabinet hosted their 2nd Baby Shower at the New York Hall of Science on Saturday, April 22nd. LYFE Social Worker Naomi Dechouden and LYFE Program Coordinator Nyesha Greene, along with several other support service agencies were in attendance to provide information to the Queens community. The First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray spent the day greeting guests and reading “Love Is” to children in attendance. It was a day filled with resources and fun for pregnant and parenting families! Check out this story on Facebook >

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LYFE Featured on Chalkbeat

The LYFE Program was highlighted on Chalkbeat, an educational news organization that focuses on improvements in schools for those who are underserved. Chalkbeat’s article places a spotlight on the intergenerational impact that LYFE is committed to making. Read about LYFE student parent Janiellah and her family’s experience in the LYFE Program! >

Jainellah

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March 2017

Social Worker Appreciation Month

March is Social Worker Appreciation month. LYFE sites showered LYFE Social Workers with many surprises from students and student parents. Creative cards and gift baskets were given to social workers on behalf of the LYFE families they serve daily. Check out the smiles as LYFE celebrated Social Worker Appreciation month. Check out the highlights on Twitter >

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Parent Conferences

Parent Conferences were a complete success at LYFE. Student Parents and their families met with LYFE teachers, social workers, and educational paraprofessionals to discuss their child’s academic and social-emotional development. Families were treated to artwork and pictures to highlight the productive and engaging environment in LYFE that fosters creativity! Over 300 LYFE family members attended March Parent Conferences!


Spirit Week

LYFE Celebrated Spirit Week! Spirit Week fosters an engaging environment between LYFE staff and LYFE families. Each day has a fun-filled theme- Monday’s Culture Day, Tuesday’s Twin Day, Wednesday’s Wacky Tacky Day, Thursday’s Throwback Day and Friday’s LYFE Day. Check out the fun on Twitter >

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Baby Shower

The New York City Children’s Cabinet hosted their first Baby Shower for 2017 at Monsignr Scanlan High School in the Bronx. LYFE, along with 24 other city agencies, provided information and resources to support expectant and new parents from the Bronx community. LYFE Principal Dr. Kara Ahmed, LYFE Assistant Principal Mr. James Williams, LYFE Social Workers Jodi Kaltner and Susan Farrell-Laplante and LYFE @ DeWitt Clinton High School Teacher Yvelisse Severino were in attendance and had the opportunity to meet with New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray. See more photos on Facebook >

babyshower

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February 2017

100th Day of School

February 17th marked the 100th day of school! The LYFE Program celebrated with creative and fun art activities with LYFE families. Check out the 100 days of school celebration on the LYFE Facebook page >

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Grandparent Appreciation

In the spirit of February, Grandparent/Guardian groups held at LYFE were all about self-care! Harlem Renaissance grandparents were treated to self-care gifts which included a journal, inspirational necklaces, gift card and of course chocolate!

GranparentAppreciation

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January 2017

Great work is done daily by LYFE staff on behalf of LYFE families. While most of it happens in the classroom, lots also happen outside of it. LYFE acknowledges the hard work and contributions made by LYFE staff –

Ann Topper, LYFE Educational Paraprofessional at Julia Richman, refuses to keep a little known resource to herself. Ann has been sharing information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Federal Aide Program (PSLF), a student loan forgiveness program for individuals who work for a qualifying employer. Ann, who never leaves home without a PBLF application, distributes information to LYFE families, LYFE staff, and any one in need of loan forgiveness support. There is no stopping Ann! Thanks to Ann’s collaborative spirit, students within and outside of the LYFE program, parents/guardians, colleagues, and countless others have gaininsight to a resource that will open the door to obtaining their post secondary degree. Anna, LYFE commends you for being an Effective School Leader/Collaborative Teacher!

Jodi Kaltner, LYFE Social Worker and Georgette Lopez-Rosario, LYFE Teacher at Jane Addams HS, coordinated an escorted trip to COOP Tech for two potential LYFE student parents on January 27th. During the scheduled tour the student father and student mother had an opportunity to visit the Building Maintenance, Cosmetology and Graphic Design programs. “Spending a day at COOP Tech gotus thinking about our future” shared the student parents. Jodi and Georgette, what an awesome way to enhance the students’ ability to identify potential careers goals and exemplifying Planning for Success!

Susan Farrell-Laplant, LYFE social worker at DeWitt Clinton HS played a vital role in helping a LYFE grandparent find employment at Bronxwood Home Health Care Agency. The LYFE grandparent, who recently immigrated to New York from Honduras, informed Susan that she had recently received her working papers in December. Finding it difficult to find employment, Susan and the Grandparent searched online and discovered Bronxwood Home Health Care Agency was in the process of training and hiring individuals for Home Health Aid services. Susan contacted the recruitment manager and obtained an interview date for the LYFEgrandparent. The recruitment manager was so impressed by Susan’s advocacy, that Susan was given the honor to share the happy news of the interview appointment via a conference call with the LYFE grandparent and recruitment manager! A few weeks later, theLYFE grandparent was hired by the Bronxwood Home Health Care Agency and since then has moved her family into a larger apartment. Susan, in regards to supporting families and removing all barriers, we salute you for your Relentlessness!

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December 2016

Multicultural Holiday Celebrations

LYFE was in the holiday spirit as sites hosted Multicultural Holiday Celebrations. Festive feasts and gifts provided by partnering agencies such as books and pajamas, New York City School Safety, New York cares and others. Check out the festive month on LYFE’s Twitter.

multicultural

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November 2016

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Fall Festivals

To kick off autumn celebrations, Fall Festivals were held across the LYFE program during the month of November! Families at Springfield Gardens Educational Campus were treated to a classroom pumpkin patch! Children picked a pumpkin to decorate with their family and have their picture taken. Children at the LYFE classroom at Brandeis created a Welcome Fall entry to their site! During neighborhood walks, children explored all things Fall, from pumpkins, to leaves, to the smells of warm cinnamon!

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LYFE at Springfield Gardens provided lots of fun for LYFE families with a pumpkin patch in the classroom!

Pumpkins

LYFE @ Brandeis students went pumpkin picking during their neighborhood walk!

Check out how Fall looks on LYFE’s Facebook page!


Farm Fun

Each year, Green Meadows Farm turns LYFE classrooms into a real-life petting farm!. Student parents and their children engaged with furry, slithery and feathery animals such as a chinchilla, a female toad, a Madagascar cockroach and more! Infants and toddlers were excited to learn about their new friends and turned out be more braver than many student parents, who were too scared to touch the animals!!

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LYFE engaging a student to meet a new slithery friend@ Beach Channel Teacher!


Parent Conferences

Parent Conferences were held on November 17th and November 18th. Over 500 students, student parents and family members attended Parent Conferences at LYFE. Parent Conferences provide LYFE student moms and dads, as well as their extended family members, the opportunity to obtain individual updates about their child’s progress, as well as their own. LYFE families at Springfield Educational Campus, Telecommunications and Paul Robeson High School had 100% attendance for their Parent Conferences. Borough-wide, Manhattan/Queens LYFE sites had the highest attendance for parent conferences!!

Portfolio

Each LYFE site celebrated parent conferences in a unique way. The LYFE team at Port Richmond High School created unique individual student portfolio’s to present to each LYFE families during their parent conferences.

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LYFE @ Performance Conservatory High School created hand collages during their parent conferences. The smiles tell how much LYFE student parents enjoyed talking about their children with staff!


Paper Tigers Documentary

On Tuesday, November 1st , Bank Street College of Education hosted a special screening of the documentary Paper Tigers, which addresses trauma-informed education. Following the screening, a panel discussion facilitated by Troy Pinkney, Director of Child Life at Bank Street with LYFE’s Principal Dr. Kara Ahmed, alongside Karina P Diaz, LCAT, ATR Clinical supervisor At Bonding Links Mental Health Clinic at the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, with a joint interdisciplinary appointment at the Sergievsky Center at Columbia, Wendi Williams Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bank Street and Psychologist was held. LYFE’s Principal Dr. Ahmed contributed to the rich conversation discussing the innovative and empathetic ways LYFE supports student parents who have and are currently experiencing trauma.

“Paper Tigers was extremely impactful. There was not a dry eye in the room after viewing the documentary. This entire experience, from participating on a panel with esteemed professionals, to viewing such a powerful documentary, has been inspiring and speaks volumes about the critical work that LYFE does daily.” ~ Dr. Kara Ahmed

LYFE staff were in attendance to support LYFE’s contribution to the panel and had the following to express about the message they received from the inspiring night:

LYFE Social Worker Barbara Hirschman stated: “The movie really resonated with me, as I was able to identify and associate the connections made between the students and teachers in the movie. Since we (LYFE) are a small program, I am able to form those attachments and build strong connections with my (LYFE) families. The key word is relationships. Building relationships with students and student parents is what supports their long-term success. I was truly inspired by the documentary.”

LYFE Educational Paraprofessional Betty Passik shared the following: “I had an opportunity to attend the screening of “Paper Tigers,” followed by a panel discussion that included our principal Dr. Kara H. Ahmed on Nov. 1, 2016. It brought the reality of what some of our student parents struggle with in their daily live such as unhealthy relationships, financial hardships and so much more. I was able to gain a different perspective about my own interactions with our (LYFE) student parents. It gave me a deeper appreciation of how, as a team, we can make a difference in student parents lives.”

LYFE Social Worker Jennifer Schwam shared her reflections: “In watching the film I was struck by how similar the issues of LYFE student parents are to the students featured in the documentary. Despite the difference that our student parents are part of a large, urban school community and those in the film are part of a small, suburban, rural school community, the issues faced by the students have so much in common. By taking into account the adverse childhood experiences of the students in their program, social workers, teachers, and nurses in this alternative high school were able to work with the students successfully in a way that mirrors LYFE’s own core values, particularly the focus on working relentlessly to ensure students’ goals by removing barriers to success. Watching this film provided extra validation that the kind, committed, individualized and self-empowering approach utilized by LYFE is truly effective. Seeing this play out on the big screen was personally empowering and meaningful to me as a LYFE social worker.”

Panel

LYFE Principal Dr. Kara Ahmed was a panel participant during Bank Street College of Education screening of the documentary Paper Tigers. Dr. Ahmed discussed the positive impact of LYFE’s high-quality early childhood education and advocacy services for students, student parents and their families.

To see more photos from the panel discussion, visit LYFE’s Facebook page!

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October 2016

October was all about Hispanic Heritage Month and College Application Week in LYFE!



Hispanic Heritage Month

Among the many different celebrations across the program, student parents and their children at LYFE at Louis D. Brandeis celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by making cultural flags. Student’s hands were busy engaging in the arts as they created their native flag, while learning about the many cultures that make up the LYFE classroom thanks to LYFE Teacher Yvelisse Severino and the LYFE team at Brandeis!

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LYFE toddler at Louis D. Brandeis High School discovering the different colors that are in a flag for Hispanic Heritage Month.

 



College Application Week

LYFE celebrated College Application Week October 17th – 21st. Senior student parents completed their college applications with LYFE social workers program-wide! LYFE student parents at Bronx Regional, Jane Addams, and DeWitt Clinton attended the 2016 college fair at SUNY Bronx Equal Opportunities Center with LYFE social workers Elijah Tax-Berman, Jodi Kaltner and Susan Farrell-Laplant. Student parents were connected with over 40 Colleges, Universities, and Equal Opportunity Programs which provided valuable resources for applying to higher education.

LYFE student parents Paola Pareja from Julia Richman Educational Campus and Zakia Taylor of Louis D. Brandeis are examples of the high achieving student parents enrolled in LYFE and evidence of the reasons why College Application Week is so important to support student success!

Check out Paola’s and Zakia’s journeys to college on LYFE social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lyfenyc
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/lyfenyc/

(left) LYFE Social Workers Jodi Kaltner and Elijah Tax-Berman with student parents from Jane Addams and Bronx Regional High Schools at the SUNY Bronx Equal Opportunities Center College Fair! (right) LYFE Social Worker Susan Farrell-Laplante with student parents from DeWitt Clinton High school at the SUNY Bronx Equal Opportunities Center College Fair!

(left) LYFE Social Workers Jodi Kaltner and Elijah Tax-Berman with student parents from Jane Addams and Bronx Regional High Schools at the SUNY Bronx Equal Opportunities Center College Fair! (right) LYFE Social Worker Susan Farrell-Laplante with student parents from DeWitt Clinton High school at the SUNY Bronx Equal Opportunities Center College Fair!

 



View More LYFE Happenings on Social Media

 

 

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September 2016

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Take a look at what happened at LYFE in September:



Family Day and Dad’s Take Your Child to School Day

LYFE has begun for the 2016-2017 school year! For September, LYFE sites celebrated LYFE Family Day and Dad’s Take Your Child To School Day. LYFE classrooms were filled with families, food, and fun as students were accompanied to school by their father, step-father, uncle, older brother and anyone else that may serve as a dad in their life! LYFE staff planned activities that kept families engaged in meaningful learning experiences for all! Student Parents and their children were given LYFE shirts to foster the LYFE spirit! It was a great day of smiles as LYFE celebrated the start of family engagement for the school year!

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LYFE’s Family Day and Father’s Take Your Child to School Day 2016 was a success. Family members were all smiles as they engaged in activities throughout the day at LYFE sites!

Check out more pics of LYFE Family Day on Facebook >

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June

LYFE-MonthlyHeader-June

Take a look at what happened at LYFE in June:


Superintendent Recognition Ceremony

District 79 recognized staff and students from each program for their success in SY 15-16.

LYFE Award Winners:

  • Sherell Parker-Marks, Rookie of the Year
  • Susana Tlapanco, Excellence Award recipient
  • Nathalie Lobo, Workforce Achievement Award recipient
  • Joely Aybar, Leadership Award recipient
  • Stephanie Lahens, Spirit Award recipients
  • Natalia Cortes, Advancement Award recipients


Chancellor’s Conference Day 2016

On June 9th, LYFE staff from all 34 sites came together for PD. Staff were treated to a BBQ hosted by the LYFE Central Office team.


Father’s Day

LYFE celebrated Father’s day in acknowledgement of fathers’ successes and contributions to their children.

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NYC Baby Shower for Spanish Speakers

On June 25th, LYFE participated in its final NYC Baby Shower for the school year. The successful event was held at El Museo del Barrio and tailored specifically for Spanish speakers. New and expecting parents, of all ages, from throughout the city, received valuable information regarding New York City services. In addition to being provided with resources, families were treated to a copy and reading of the book, “Love Is/ Amor Es.”

 

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