Santa & NYPD Visit our Main Site – Students Give a Great Performance!

We had a great Holiday celebration today at the Main Site. Detective Irene Santana-Rivera of the Community Affairs Bureau came with presents for all our kids at the Main. Santa came to help us perform “The Night Before Christmas” and Peggy Currelley’s Chorus performed some amazing songs. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, especially Skip Teasdale, Kristy Rosen, Tina Ventre, Elena Seminara, George Romano and John Ferrannini.

Letter from the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council

STATEN ISLAND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES COUNCILC/O The Elizabeth Connelly Resource Center930 Willowbrook Road – Building 41A

Staten Island, New York 10314-6316

(718) 983-5276

December 18, 2009

On January 7th, family members, self advocates and staff from providers across the state will visit their local legislators with a singular message:  Cutting our essential services will endanger New York’s most vulnerable citizens.  As we have previously said, the upcoming 2010/11 New York State budget promises to wreak havoc and we must get families of people with developmental disabilities – out to educate their elected officials. Remember that no one’s message is more effective than a family member who can speak from personal experience!!

Although teams comprised of a family member, person with a developmental disability and a direct support professional have been identified to make the visits on January 7th, 2010 all are invited and strongly encouraged to attend the advocacy briefing on January 6th at 10:00 a.m. in the Elizabeth Connelly Center (bubble).  The briefing will give people updated additional information as well as future advocacy strategies. 

We need to remember that services to individuals with developmental disabilities are NO LONGER viewed as being safe from cuts. In fact, the reverse is actually true! Several people in government and the legislature have stated they believe our field can be the source of substantial state savings by reducing appropriations.

We are counting on each and every one of you to respond to and support our advocacy efforts over the next few months.  Please keep informed and spread the word to others to protect our service system and the people who depend on it!!!

Right now, we are focusing these efforts only on OMRDD services because we have evidence from the Governor’s recent Deficit Reduction Plan that they are being targeted for cuts.

 If you have any questions, please call Donna Long at 718 983-3800 or Kathy Nowak at 917-376-1201.  We are all in this together and we are committed to not giving up without a fight.


Elizabeth Fromkin, Chairperson SIDDC

Donna Long, Co-Chairperson Advocacy Committee

Kathy Nowak, Co-Chairperson Family Support Services Advisory Council

Teddy Atlas and Everlast Come to Spread Holiday Cheer at PS 373R!

We had a terrific holiday celebration for the kids on Monday, December 21, 2009 when Teddy Atlas came to visit our school. We first got to know Teddy three years ago when he established a partnership with our school. Ever since then, he has been extremely generous with his foundation. He got every single student (with the help of Santa) a holiday gift. Even the children at the off-sites received a gift. Then he came on Monday and brought Santa to help distribute the gifts at our Main Site. He brought Everlast, a company which manufactures boxing gear, and they are going to all work together to get our kids outfitted and enrolled in his free afterschool boxing program run with the Police Athletic League. He and his friends are strong positive role models for our kids, especially the ones struggling to make the right choices.

Teddy gave a great speech to our older kids about improving behaviors and being positive leaders at school. He promised 50 Nets tickets and transportation to a Nets game for the students who demonstrated the best positive choices at school; with good attendance, respect for others, and positive attitudes. We really commend him for being such a great role model for our kids!

Brothers Care, Inc. 2009 Christmas Toy Drive a Great Success!

Brothers Care Inc Christmas Toy drive was a success with the help of the Shaolin Ryders, There To Care, Teddy Atlas Foundation, PS 373 Staff, FDNY Explorers, and The S.I. Merchant Marines. They would also like to thank Ms. Bonner and the NYC Housing Authority for letting us use their facility for this event. They gave an abundance of toys to over 200 children, they also gave away 10 bikes a XBox 360 and a PSP. This was a great event, they would like to thank all who donated toys and all who helped make this event a success.

Things to Do on Winter Break – Staten Island 2009 – from

Go to for a great list of resources in Staten Island!! The following calendar is from their website:

Saturday, December 26
• Crazy Composters. How to make your own rick soil for your garden. 10am. Blue Heron Park. Urban Park Rangers, 718 967-3542

Sat & Sun, December 26 & 27
• Happy Kwanzaa: African Mud Cloth. A tribute to heritage & togetherness. Design & stamp African Mud Cloth. 1, 2 & 3pm. SI Children’s Museum, 718 273-2060

Sunday, December 27
• Kid’s Open Mic ” Future Idols ” Play an instrument, sing along to your favorite CD, recite a poem, tell a joke or a story .. or just come and enjoy the show. Featuring the bands: Defunked, E.J.J.J. and lil Mike Butler !!! Free. Refreshments available. 5-8:30pm at The Cup Coffee House, 388 Van Duzer St, 917 741-2524.
• 10,000 B.C.E.: The Remnants of the Wisconsin Glacier. How the Wisconsin glacier brought huge boulders from hundreds of miles away. 11am. High Rock Park, Urban Park Rangers, 718 967-3542

Monday, December 28
• Northfield Foundation Cool School Holiday. Free admission on this day, 10am-5pm. SI Children’s Museum, 718 273-2060
• Dinosaurs and More. Amazing fossils, three-dimensional models & more. Make a craft. 1:30pm. SI Zoo, 718 442-3101
• Movies at the Library. Ages 3-8. 2pm. Port Richmond Library, 718-442-0158

Mon & Tues, December 28 & 29
• Winter Vacation Earth Camp. Join camp for a winter adventure through Staten Island. Visit Wolfe’s Pond Park & Long Pond Park. Ages 8-13. Prereg. SI Museum, 718 483-7104

Tuesday, December 29
• Afternoon Films. Ages 5+. 2:30pm. Great Kills Library, 718 984-6670
• Wii Gaming for Preschoolers. Ages 3-5. Prereg. 1pm. Prereg. Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 718-494-1642
• Wii Gaming. Ages 6-11. 2:30pm. Prereg. Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 718-494-1642

Wednesday, December 30
• Careers with Animals Workshop Series: Learning more about careers working with animals. 1:30pm. Grades 6-9. SI Zoo, 718-442-3101
• Storybook Theater. Films of your favorite picture books. 11am. Huguenot Park Library,718 984-4636
• Teen Program. Free open computer time. Bring friends and snacks. Prereg. 3:30-5pm. Richmondtown Library, 718 668-0413
• Doll & Teddy Bear Party. Bring your favorite doll or teddy bear. 1:30pm. Historic Richmond Town, 718 351-1611
• Wii Gaming for Preschoolers. Ages 3-5. 1:30pm. Prereg. Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 718-494-1642
• Wii Gaming. Ages 6-11. 2:30pm. Prereg. Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 718 494-1642

Thursday, December 31
• Read Aloud. Ages 3+. 4pm. Dongan Hills Library, 718 351-1444

Recycle Your Holiday Tree January 2010

Saturday, January 9th and Sunday, January 10th, the New York City Parks Department will host the annual MulchFest from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day at locations citywide. Bring your holiday tree to one of 80+ designated parks to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city or your own garden! This year, we hope to encourage thousands of New York households to help the environment and the community by bringing their trees to our nearest collection site – there will be over 30 chipping sites and about 50 drop-off sites throughout the five boroughs.

Remember to remove all lights and decorations before bringing the tree to a MulchFest site. You will have the opportunity to take home your mulch at designated chipping sites.

For more information about MulchFest and a list of sites in your borough, visit

Treecycle and help NYC grow!