At only three years of age, Precious had already lived in three different homes. She was placed in foster care, along with her six year old brother, after her mother and her grandmother were not able to care for her. In April, Precious’ foster mom enrolled her in the BCS Atlantic Avenue Early Learning Center. The Center provides a high quality early childhood education and prepares each child for kindergarten and elementary school.
Despite instability in her life, Precious is thriving at the Center, benefitting from an approach that nurtures a child’s individual growth and development. At our program, Precious eats two healthy meals per day and a snack, a menu selected by a nutritionist. After breakfast during circle time, the kids learn about their world. Lessons include the days of the week, colors, and how to describe the weather. Typical daily activities include language development, music time and light exercise.
One of Precious’ favorite activities is the community walk, which introduces children to their surroundings and to pedestrian safety. Precious is one of the center’s most confident walkers. Her teachers say she is a bright student who loves playing with the other children. Our early childhood education program helps kids like Precious reach their full potential.
Donna is a proud member of the BCS Community for All program, which helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live independently and participate in the community. Donna is an avid volunteer, dancer and music fan.
When she started at our program, Donna was unable to travel by herself or identify information such as the time and date. She was also very shy and did not engage with the other clients. Donna’s mom passed away when Donna was a child and although she now lives with her loving grandmother, the trauma of losing her mom left Donna withdrawn and timid.
Our staff worked with Donna on verbal exercises and role play activities to help her come out of her shell, taught her travel skills, and how to tell time and read basic signs. With the help of BCS, Donna now enjoys socializing with others, taking trips, and volunteering with children at a day care center. Donna even has a new goal—to make a difference for the elderly. She hopes to become employed in a nursing home and has started working on her job skills.
Neldon & Jahyem
Neldon is a single father to Jahyem, an energetic 11 year old boy. Neldon and Jahyem came to New York City from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia in 2012, and currently live in a family shelter. Since their arrival in the US, Neldon has struggled to find steady employment. To support his son, he relies on freelance work assisting with electric jobs. In St. Lucia, he worked for a telephone company for over 15 years. He hopes to obtain his electrician license here in New York.
Neldon also struggles to care for his son, who has developmental delays and ADHD. One day in church, Neldon met a BCS social worker and shared his story. BCS helped connect the family to free legal services to assist Neldon in obtaining full custody of his son, helped Neldon find an appropriate school for Jahyem, as well as linkages to organizations with services for kids with special needs. BCS also helped Neldon stay afloat financially, by providing funds for groceries, a birthday present for Jahyem, and medical fees.
Neldon is a very patient and caring father. His dream is for his son to attend college one day. Jahyem reports that he wants to be a doctor or a police officer.