NYC-Filter/ Children
April 21, 2005 8:27 PM   Subscribe

What would be good services/organizations etc to help young children in need, here in NYC?

Since my hubbie and I had our two children, we've been experiencing an urgent desire to help/assist/comfort other kids who might really need our attention and care.
Honestly, quite unbelievable thoughts for guys like us who've had pretty individualistic and carefreelifestyles (before family life, that is.)

I am thinking about real interactions with kids, not just cooking for them or buying them toys. Anyone here doing this sort of thing? What's there in New York City where we live and work?

We would totally appreciate advice, hints and opinions on your experiences....
posted by carmina to Human Relations (4 answers total)
these all sound good

I had a friend who "big brother"ed for ages, and loved it. there's a enormous need for male mentors.
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on April 21, 2005

I was a Big Sister when I lived up near Boston, and I loved it. I'm hoping to start up with it again in NYC once I graduate.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:38 PM on April 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

Last Saturday I saw David Sedaris give a talk. He's rather funny, but he did stop at the end of the talk to mention a short-story compilation (for which he wrote a forward) where all proceeds go to 826NYC a non-profit learning center for children on the subjects of reading and writing.

There's a 826NYC center in (obviously) NYC and San Francisco. The best part about these places is that they dress up the front of the place as if it's a fantastic shop that would draw the kids right in. I believe the San Francisco location is a Pirate Supply Store (i.e. eye-patches, parrots, etc), and the NYC location is a Superhero Supply Store (i.e. capes, anti-matter, etc).

All of the people that work the place are volunteers, and occasionally they get published authors (even Pulitzer Prize winners) to speak with the kids.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:08 AM on April 22, 2005

I am familiar with the circumstances of many children with learning disabilities in the Bronx public schools. It is so frustrating to see children who work so hard to overcome their disability but who do not have access to the resources that would enable them to succeed.

By resources I mean after school tutors or specialized instruction programs or even an "available" adult (many parents and guardians work long hours) who could sit with the student to help with homework.

Seeing your question I thought of the Fresh Air Fund. Every November when the Times runs the Neediest Cases Fund I always read about a host family that has provided a Summer vacation for a child. Sometimes the article will detail how the host family was able to help the child during the year with school related issues.

Please consider a program where you could become an "advocate" for a student - meeting with him/her, helping with homework, perhaps hiring a tutor. There are federal laws that mandate schools provide certain services for students with learning disabilities - unfortunately, parents do not always know the details of the laws. People who are savvy about such matters could ensure that the school is providing a student with all of the services a learning disabled student is entitled to.
posted by mlis at 8:33 AM on April 23, 2005

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