At HeartShare St. Vincent's Services, we believe in keeping you aware of news and events throughout the agency. Be sure to visit our Events Calendar for important upcoming dates that may be of interest to you.
Approximately 50 children from HeartShare St. Vincent’s COMPASS Program attended an annual tour and holiday party at the U.S.S. Intrepid on Saturday, December 9.
“We actually have a waitlist for this event! Everyone wants to go,” said Nada Arkadan with a smile. “We rotate who attends each year, so that each student has a turn,” said the Director of the HSVS after-school and summer camp program, which has nearly 250 enrolled students grades K-5. The students kick off their holiday season with the Intrepid visit, which includes a tour of the museum, as well as lunch and face painting. Each child receives a toy and a photo with Santa.
“This field trip is a perfect example of why our community programs exist,” said Brooke Rosenthal, Vice President of Youth Development at HSVS. “We are offering our children opportunities they ordinarily wouldn’t have. Many of these children are visiting The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for the very first time.”
The program continues to develop those opportunities, like its participation in Inside Broadway, a program sponsored by Councilman Vincent Gentile. About 35 children participate in a class with a Broadway instructor and in the springtime, will be taken to a Broadway theater to see the real stage, lighting and other behind-the-scenes technology.
The holiday tradition started thanks to the former crewmembers of the U.S.S. Intrepid, who were introduced to HeartShare through its former tree-trimming event in the 1990s. One of those tree-trimming celebrations was hosted aboard the Intrepid.
“They fell in love with what HeartShare did and they’ve been giving back to our children ever since,” shared George Cincotta, a HeartShare Executive Vice President, who coordinated the first years of the outings and connected the crewmembers to the P.S. 102 program.
Cincotta, a Navy veteran, explained that the holiday celebration has its roots in a military tradition dating back to World War II–whatever port servicemembers were in on Christmas Day, they would give to the children of that city. “The members of the U.S.S. Intrepid, forever stationed in NYC, continues to give back to our children,” said Cincotta. “Thank you for your generosity and putting a smile on so many faces,” added Arkadan.
The HSVS Cornerstone Programs offer tutoring, recreational activities, creative arts and sports. HSVS has four other Community Programs in Brooklyn, including the McKinley I.S. 259 Beacon Program and P.S. 102 One World COMPASS Program in Bay Ridge, as well as the P.S. 288 Shirley Tanyhill Beacon Program and Surfside Gardens Cornerstone Program in Coney Island.
HeartShare St. Vincent’s Youth Development and Community Programs educate and nurture over 3,600 youth into successful adults. Through the delivery of innovative services, we encourage the participants in our community programs and our youth in foster care to make positive connections, expand their experiences and achieve their dreams.