In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, our students spent the day celebrating with crafts, green eggs and ham for lunch, and a very special visitor for story time!
BCCA is proud to announce the start of the new “ABC’s of Life” program in collaboration with Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) and Race Track Chaplaincy - New York (RTCANY)! This 10-week pilot program is focused on giving women the tools and knowledge necessary to lead healthier lives, both for themselves and for their children. Each week a professional in their field will come to Anna House to speak with the mothers and lead hands-on classes. Today’s class, “Know your Numbers”, focused on teaching the women about heart health. Thank you to the The New York Women's Foundation for making this amazing program possible!
Thank you to Rachel Wever from Center Stage Dance Studio for coming to Anna House to lead an early morning dance class for all our students! Since the inception of the Dance Program last year, our students have learned the fundamentals of dance in a fun and engaging way. Also, starting off their day being active has allowed them to better focus on their lessons throughout the day.
This year, our students celebrated the Chinese New Year by each creating their own Chinese lanterns and learning about the culture and traditions throughout the craft. The celebration was topped off by learning to use chopsticks at snack time!
INSPIRING A LOVE OF MUSIC AT ANNA HOUSE: When it came time to write her Christmas list last December, 10 year old Anna House student, Marleny had only one thing that she really, really wanted: A violin!
Marleny has been attending the Anna House child care center since she was a baby and developed a love of music through our music program. She began studying violin in Fourth grade at Stewart Manor School, but did not have her own instrument to practice on at home. Thanks to a generous donation last year from the community, Marleny’s Christmas wish came true and she received her very own violin.
BCCA Executive Director, Joanne K. Adams was touched when Marleny asked her to attend the Holiday Concert at her school. “Sitting in the audience and listening to Marleny play just confirmed for me that BCCA truly does inspire a love of learning and a love of music in our students thanks to our wonderful programs at Anna House, and most especially, the funding we receive through the Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation for our incredible music program.”
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO GIVE BACK: Anna House children made homemade Valentine’s Day cards for the young patients at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Ronald McDonald House volunteers, Jan and Sal Sanseverino, visited Anna House to pick-up the cards for the children and their families to be distributed on Valentine’s Day.
“When the children are given opportunities to help others, it brings them joy, warms their heart and teaches them life-long lessons.” said Anna House Assistant Director, Jennifer Rivera. "They have been given so much support from our community that we want to instill in them a sense that you can’t just take but you must also give back."
We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Long Island Cares. Long Island Cares was founded as the first food bank on Long Island in 1980 by the late singer, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and social activist Harry Chapin. The organization now provides nutritional food and support services for a network of more than 580 community-based member agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, child care programs, disability organizations, veterans’ services programs and more.
In the first, of what we hope will be many successful future collaborations, LI Cares donated brand-new, size-specific-coats to each of the 73 students of Anna House. The coats were distributed during the bitter cold spell of early January and could not have come at a better time.
BCCA thanks Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney for helping us connect with this amazing organization!
This past holiday season, each student sent their wish list to the North Pole and Santa delivered his presents just in time for Christmas! Thank you to Rachel Wever and all the parents and students of Center Stage Dance Studio and Kellenberg Memorial High School for helping BCCA make our students Christmas dreams come true!
On December 2nd, BCCA once again turned the Turf and Field Club at Belmont Park into Santa's Workshop as it held its 14th annual Holiday Shopping event. This year, we were able to provide more children then ever before, with presents for their families thanks to our most generous donors and from a wonderful donation from the U.S. Marine's Toys for Tots Foundation. Over 500 children from the backstretch families of Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack lined up to "shop" for gifts for their relatives. Assorted volunteers acted as "elves" taking each child around to pick out gifts for their loved ones. The Sugarplum Cafe provided treats for the entire family!
BCCA would like to thank: Long Island Iced Tea, National Charity League, Inc. (Garden City Chapter), NYRA, Sapienza Bakery, Toys for Tots Foundation, Westminster Nursery, our Chair Eloise Canzone, all of the amazing volunteers, and of course Santa, Christopher Chatterton!
BCCA thanks the Walter Kaner Children's Foundation for sponsoring our Annual Halloween Costume Parade and Party! Thanks to them, each child was able to pick out their own costume and parade around Belmont Park trick or treating!
BCCA honored our two Volunteers of the Year, Nick Aquilino and Susie Raisher, this past weekend at BCCA's Day at the Races for their outstanding contributions to BCCA.
All the Anna House families had such a great time at BCCA's Annual Fall Festival. The children were treated with an interactive performance from Captain Hook's brother, a master puppeteer. Some even had to walk the plank!