As we get ready to say goodbye to spring and hello to summer, we’d like to share some special moments from our family residences and Center for Culinary Education & Employment and a sneak peek at preparations for the 2024 HFH Summer Camps season.

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Celebrations, Connections, and Community Empowerment

The AAA Yonkers Branch hosted an egg hunt at Williamsbridge Family Residence where kids of all ages searched for eggs filled with prizes while their moms connected. The Allerton Branch of the New York Public Library also visited to sign up children and adults for library cards and tell them about free workshops and passes for cultural activities throughout the city. Over at Clinton Family Residence families appreciated the blend of magic and comedy during a performance from Silly Billy Magic.

"[Silly Billy Magic] was amazing for my son. He’s on the spectrum, and he doesn’t like being around other people, but Silly Billy brought him out of his shell." — Mother at Clinton Family Residence

The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority stopped in to Saratoga twice: to host a job prep workshop for parents and for a baby shower where new and expecting parents received essential items and learned about resources available to them.

Afterschool = Arts + Science + Sports

Saratoga’s Afterschool & Rec program staged “The Evolution of Hip-Hip” production as an homage to Black culture and music, featuring spoken word, choir, and choreographed dances. The multimedia team supported behind the scenes, putting to practice what they learned on a field trip to BRIC Arts Media. Volunteers from the Lufthansa Group created the 2024 Saratoga Olympics. The young athletes teamed up as countries, competed in games, and learned what to expect this coming summer in Paris.

Allie’s Gators are dabbling in performing arts as they tackle improv, build confidence, and spark creativity through drama. They also completed a month-long hands-on study of animals featuring visits from furry and scaled friends from Greenburgh Nature Center. Their “Teen Night” is becoming popular as it engages an influx of older youth in the program.

Pivot the microscope over to the Prospect Panthers where all eyes are on science. The students learned about spacecrafts as they built models that mirrored real-life NASA rockets, and when Mad Science popped in for a visit, the young scientists explored chemical reactions. For World Book Day, the Prospect Afterschool & Rec students were surprised with a new library space with books for all interests and cozy seats to curl up in. With March Madness came the Panthers own dive into the arts—students designed logos and created unique team mascots.

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Little Learners' Big Adventures: Exploring, Creating, and Growing

The Early Ed curriculum this year kicked off with a clothing unit. Children at each site discussed how clothes are made, “sewed” paper mittens, and built a mini washing machine to incorporate into their play station.

Saratoga Early Ed continues to embark on a linguistic adventure as Bilingual Birdies teaches the kids Spanish. In their Buildings Unit, the class learned about different types of buildings and what they are used for and made of. On Earth Day, the kids worked together to craft a classroom collage as a daily reminder to be kind to Mother Earth.


In light of the solar eclipse, Saratoga & Allie’s Place Early Ed learned about “totality” and the different phases of the eclipse and painted their own eclipses. Allie’s Place Early Ed has been mastering the art of Tai Chi with weekly classes with NY Enrichment Group. They have also been enjoying independent reading time, which they have dubbed “book buddies.”

Prospect Early Ed has been honing their storytelling craft; at the classroom library station, kids worked together to bring characters from their favorite stories to life on a felt board. Through Mad Science, they are exploring the science of sounds—chiming triangles and rattling maracas as a hands-on way to learn how sound is created. They spend their free time at sensory stations building fine motor skills exploring the elements at the water table and molding masterpieces with Play-Doh.

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Whisking Up Success at Allie's Place Culinary Center

Allie’s Place Center for Culinary Education & Employment launched an additional five-day intensive—Pastry Arts—taught by Chef Jayda. A new Employment Workshop led by Culinary Employment Coordinator Julissa Barillas covers topics from tailoring resumes to standing out in today’s job market.

The Culinary team continues its outreach and recruitment at HFH family residences through food demonstrations by Chef Gregorio while they answer questions about the job-training opportunities available. The Culinary team created and is testing a Hospitality and Food Service Operations course that will be added to the curriculum this summer. Students and graduates also gained kitchen and front-of-the-house experience during two luncheons they catered and hosted—one to celebrate moms from several of our shelters.

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In the News ...

Bronx Times recently featured the Mothers’ Day luncheon that Allie's Place Culinary hosted for mothers across HFH family residences.

Read the full article: "Students in shelter-based culinary program serve Mothers’ Day luncheon for homeless moms."

Summer Fun Awaits: Keeping Up with the Camps Team

Recruitment for HFH Summer Camps has been in full swing at our family residences with Q & A sessions for parents and outreach events monthly. The Camps team attended the American Association Tri-State Camp Conference to learn and share innovative ideas with other camp staff from around the U.S. They’ve also been busy hiring another great group of counselors and leaders for the upcoming season, as well as coordinating orientation and trainings on topics from nature and outdoor safety and supporting the emotional and social well-being of campers to behavior management and understanding family homelessness in NYC.

Spring cleaning, cabin set-up, and camp beautification is underway as the team gets Camp Wakonda in tip-top shape for staff and campers.

Get Involved

Congratulations to our Staff Spotlights!

Veronica Cubano, Administrative Assistant at Williamsbridge

Michael Lewis,

Porter at Saratoga

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