On Friday, May 20, the beautiful new offices of Cabrini Immigrant Services of NY at 701 Fort Washington Avenue were blessed by Fr. Tom Faiola, OFM, Cap. The ceremony was followed by a picnic on the lawn with the Missionary Sisters and staff from CIS-NYC and St Frances Cabrini Shrine.
Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY, hosted a course entitled “Terrific Toddlers.” The class was taught by Donna-Marie Lasco, a certified teacher and the owner of Terrific Twos©.
Pre-schoolers and their parent/caregiver were invited to the program. They met once a week from September 2021 through May 2022. The purpose of the program is to prepare children for the start of school and to help the parent/caregiver work with the child at home. Another important piece is to teach the children routine.
Each week the children would learn a color or a shape. The children wore clothes to match the color that was being learned in the class. Their clothes, the tablecloths, napkins and the snack also matched the color. When class started, everyone would create different shapes using Play-Doh. After that, they would play with a puzzle or matching colors game. When finished, the children would wash their hands, say a prayer and have a snack. There was a different activity every week. The toddlers would either paint, glue different materials, etc. Each activity chosen had to do with either the color or the shape they were learning. Following that activity was reading time. Then the children would either play rhythm instruments, march, match shapes or play games such as ‘Ring Around the Rosie.’ Of course, everyone left with homework. It was usually an art project, which would follow-up on the lesson taught.
An extra special gift was that at the end of each semester, the toddlers received a copy of the books that were read during the program.
We saw a beautiful transformation in the toddlers. In the beginning, they would come in and tend to be quiet and stay close to their caregiver. It didn’t take long before the children would walk in, go directly to their seats and begin their work. They are certainly prepared to begin Pre-K.
A special thank you to Mrs. Lasco for all her hard work in preparing for the class and teaching the class. We are looking forward to welcoming our next class in September.
Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY, completed its second Nutrition Program.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing, we were not able to accommodate all the students this past Fall 2021. On May 11th, after an eight-week program, our participants received their Certificates of Completion from Lucy Diaz, a Nutrition Program Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County. The course, ‘Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program’, taught the participants about how to read and understand labels on different food and drink items, food safety, reducing salt and sugar intake, etc.
In addition to receiving a Certificate of Completion for the course, everyone received an insulated bag filled with many goodies such as a meat thermometer, refrigerator thermometer, hand sanitizer, etc.
Congratulations to all our ‘graduates’ of the nutrition program.
We are so proud of you!
Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC has finally moved to our new location!
We opened our doors on the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine property on Monday, May 2nd.
After almost 23 years at 139 Henry Street, we saw the need to move our offices to the upper side of Manhattan. We believe the services we offer are also needed by the community of Inwood and the surrounding neighborhoods. The big difference is that our food pantry needed to be relocated at 207 Street at the Good Shepherd Parish to share the space with their food pantry however, it will continue to be under our care.
The legal services are now offered at our new location.
As we opened our doors we welcomed our clients with joy and a sense of newness since the place is brand new to all of us. In our new surroundings, sometimes we get lost searching for someone’s office – but, we just laugh about it.
Now we are able to offer to our clients a better space in which to visit and to receive the services they need.
All of us are happy for having a place where we feel at home.
After months of deliberation, we have decided to relocate our office to another part of the city to continue the mission of bringing God’s love to vulnerable communities. On May 2nd, our office will officially open at the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in Washington Heights (701 Fort Washington Ave, New York, NY 10040). Our Food Pantry will also be located nearby at the Church of the Good Shepherd (608 Isham Street, New York, NY 10034). We will be forever grateful to the Lower East Side/Chinatown community for welcoming us and allowing us to be of service. We will not forget the gestures, both big and small, that made us feel welcomed and at home in this neighborhood.
We are looking forward to continuing our work, strengthening existing relationships, and building new relationships in our new neighborhood. All of our programs will continue to operate and serve clients from all over New York City, as they have for many years. This new, larger space will provide more opportunities for growth for our organization, and the possibility of exciting new projects as we continue to expand.
Thank you for supporting us through many transitions, moments of growth, and challenges over the past two decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever the importance of community, and we are grateful to have you as part of ours.
Should you have any questions about our move or need additional support, please feel free to reach out to us! Thank you again for your support through this transition.
The Christmas Spirit was alive and well at Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY. Everyone brought in different dishes from their home countries. After tasting so many delicious foods, we then enjoyed many scrumptious desserts.
The Moms had a Secret Santa. Each person said beautiful words about the person for whom “Santa” brought a gift. It was a wonderful evening and the Moms enjoyed having some “Mom time” to share with friends during the holiday season. There was so much joy and laughter among us. One thing for sure, was that it was great to be back together in person, celebrating such a special time of the year.
Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY, was filled with a lot of excitement as nine of our clients were preparing to complete their 8 week nutrition program. On December 6th, our participants received their Certificates of Completion from Lucy Diaz, a Nutrition Program Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County. The course, ‘Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program’, taught the participants about how to read and understand labels on different food and drink items and the importance of looking for the ‘hidden sugars’ and sodium.
She also offered suggestions of alternatives to certain foods such as whole milk vs. skim milk. They also learned about the effects that food has on diagnoses such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The importance of refrigeration, sanitizing food areas to prevent cross contamination was also discussed. The participants were so happy with all that they learned. In addition to reading materials they also received an insulated bag filled with many goodies such as a meat thermometer, refrigerator thermometer, hand sanitizer, etc.
Because of social distancing, we had to limit the number of attendees. We had so many people interested in attending that we will be offering the nutrition program again in January.
Congratulations to all our ‘graduates’ of the nutrition program. We are so proud of you.
On July 23rd, a group of 50 Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC members and staff attended the Immigrants are Essential Rally in New York City. CIS-NYC and over 1,000 New Yorkers marched through Chinatown and shut down the Manhattan Bridge as part of a nationwide day of action to demand a pathway to citizenship be included in the next federal infrastructure package.
Recently, Congressional Democrats announced that their infrastructure package would include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders and Essential Workers. This rally was part of ongoing efforts to pressure Congress to show leadership and take action to ensure that a pathway to citizenship becomes reality now, after decades of empty promises.
Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS) Dobbs Ferry, NY, offered a workshop, via Zoom, to some of our parents. The workshop was held once a week for 4 weeks. CIS, wanted to help the parents work with their children when they arrive home from school as well as preparing their younger children who are still at home.
Donna Marie Lasco, a NYS certified teacher, created this workshop to help some of our CIS Moms. Each week, the Moms would come to CIS to pick up the needed supplies for each workshop. The first week, everyone received the book, Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina. Mrs. Lasco showed them how to ask questions of their children while reading the book. This skill would help them improve their reading skills as well as help them in their schoolwork. They also received crayons, beans, sidewalk chalk, play dough, etc. All these items were used to show how learning can be fun. It also allowed the children to not be on a computer but rather learning by doing. For example, the beans help the children learn to count, the play-dough helps them to create a letter or a number.
The workshop was presented in English and Spanish. Thank you to Cindy Ambrosio, MSW, a former social work intern at CIS, who translated into Spanish. We are grateful that she was able to assist.
The participants were very happy with the workshop and asked that we continue to offer programs that help them, help their children.
On May 8th and 15th the Justice for Immigrants (JFI) Program at Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC held a popular education leadership training for our community members. Ten members graduated from the program, where they learned and engaged in dialogue about a range of topics, including: the history of immigration in the U.S.; systemic oppression; the historical context of white supremacy and xenophobia; how immigration intersects with other social movements; tactics for community organizing; how to tell your story; methods of self-care; and more.
The ten graduates included both long time participants and new members who have been participating in our JFI membership meetings and organizing committees. Two of the graduates were recently selected to serve as the first member fellows for the JFI Program and will be supporting JFI’s outreach, community education, and organizing efforts.
We look forward to seeing how each of the graduates use their skills to advocate for their community as members of JFI and beyond!
If you’re interested in learning more about our community education and organizing work, follow CIS-NYC on social media where we post frequent updates, resources, and opportunities to engage. Facebook: www.facebook.com/cisnyc, Twitter: @cisnyc, Instagram: @cis.nyc