There have been many remarkable developments for Children of Promise, NYC over the past few months and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share them with you.
In May, CPNYC received an NYS Office of Mental Health Article 31 License to operate a Child & Adolescent Out Patient Clinic at our current program site. It was an arduous process, taking over a year to complete, but one which now allows the agency to employ a comprehensive team of mental health professionals comprised of psychiatrists, psychologist and licensed clinical social workers. The new CPNYC Wellness Center will co-locate with our after-school program and summer day camp to increase child/family access and service capacity, improve quality evaluation and provide more holistic care. This innovative model provides opportunities for wrap around preventive services and fewer long-term negative consequences by combining the best practices of both youth development & mental health services in one location.
CPNYC also received the surprise of a lifetime when we were selected to appear on the hit television show “Secret Millionaire”. The show aired on ABC on the evening of August 12th and we held a fabulous screening party at the Green house Terrace in Soho. Co-sponsored by Scholastic Books, the event was attended by 150 guests which included many of our children, board members, staff and donors. We all watched the program live and were thrilled to see our work and mission showcased on national television, highlighting the challenges facing children of prisoners to an audience of over 14 million viewers.
The Secret Millionaire, Sean Belnick, generously donated $60,000 which allowed CPNYC to purchase a 2012 16 passenger van. we subsequently launched a transportation service that provides comfortable, affordable and high quality bus service to various Federal & State Correctional Facilities. Open to the public, the new CPNYC Shuttle Bus Company offers convenient indoor pick-up and drop-off locations, provides breakfast before the early departures and administers mental health support before and after prison visits. On every shuttle bus trip seats are reserved for CPNYC participants free of charge.
On the heels of “Secret Millionaire,” CPNYC was invited to air a promotional video for 45 days on the CBS SuperScreen (located on 42nd street & 7th avenue), and to visit the NASDAQ Market Site in Times Square to ring the closing bell on Friday, August 10th. Both of these opportunities allowed CPNYC to gain national exposure and create public awareness for the silent victims of incarceration.
It has truly been a time of growth, expansion and heightened visibility for CPNYC. As the only after-school program, summer day camp and mental health clinic in NYC devoted exclusively to addressing the needs of children of prisoners, it is meaningful for us to shed light on the struggles, hopes and dreams of our children. With each opportunity has come the possibility of raising awareness of our work, reaching an even broader audience and sharing the experiences of the children and families we serve.
Keeping the Promise,
Founder & President