On June 23, 2014 Sinergia took seventeen children with disabilities and families and several adults from our Day Program surfing at Long Beach, Long Island. The event was hosted by a non- profit organization, Surf For All that promotes surfing for children and adults with developmental disabilities. It is truly inspiring to see how the children and adults benefit from this activity.
The instructors were led by Cliff Skudin. All the surfing instructors are first rate and lovingly took out people on the surf boards, including one child who uses a wheel chair and an individual who is blind with intellectual disabilities.
Thanks also to lifeguard chief Paul Gallespi and Bryant Brattish. The trust that the participants exhibited as they faced and felt the waves is remarkable and a tribute to the fine instructors of Surf For All. The participants all received caps, sweatshirts and wrist bands.
The citizens of Long Beach have opened their arms and hearts to Sinergia. After the surfing, the group was led to Gino's Pizza by police escort and patrolwomen Kelly Graham presented toy police badges, coloring books and crayons to the children.
We thank Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Len Torres, all the instructors and the police Department of Long Beach for making this a memorable occasion.
There will be two more surfing events in July 21 and August 18. If your family is interested in attending either date, please contact Godfrey Rivera, 212-643-2840. First come first served.
In May, the Metropolitan Parent Center had a special series of workshops that concerned parenting skills. The series was called Common Sense Parenting provided by the organization known as Boys Town NY. Common Sense Parenting is a practical, skill-based parenting program that focuses on strategies and easy-to-learn techniques that address issues of communication, discipline, decision making, relationships, and self-control and school success. The workshops were very interactive and allowed parents to learn, practice and demonstrate new parenting skills. Workshops included instruction by a professional parent trainer, watching and discussing video scenarios of parent and child communication and behaviors. Parents also had the opportunity to practice techniques and strategies by engaging in role playing to help parents understand and how to use the tools that were being offered. There were two sessions offered, one was held on Thursday evenings for English speaking parents and the other session was conducted on Friday mornings for Spanish-speaking parents.
The trainer, Ms. Gonzalez was very competent and engaging, she displayed a good sense of humor and conveyed the workshop content fluently in both languages. In addition, materials (including a book and a workbook on parenting and food) were provided free of charge to the parents. The program was considered highly successful as indicated by parent feedback and program evaluations. Some parents were practicing some of the techniques they learned and stated that they were seeing positive changes in communicating with their children. The Metropolitan Parent Center will discuss with Boys Town the opportunity to offer this parent training program again during the upcoming school year. Please visit our Facebook page or the Sinergia calendar in the Fall to learn about the next scheduled parent training workshops.