Individuals seeking adult services for disabilities and their families learned about what is available at the Family Resource and Transitions Fair, this past October 5. The gathering of service providers, sponsored by the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council, was held at the College of Staten Island for families of people transitioning from school to adult programs. Emphasizing the rights of individuals to stand up for themselves, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is shifting towards more person centered services, which were a major topic of interest this year.
Our crew covered the event with interviews and photos at the College of Staten Island.
-Written collaboratively by Steven Filoramo and Eddy Gregory.
Reporters: Gregory Perosi, Andrew Moszenberg, Antonio Pabon, and Steven Filoramo.
Photos: Aaron Bialer, Meredith Arout, and Antonio Pabon.
Volunteers from across New York descended on Rochester to share their ideas at the Kiwanis Aktion Club statewide conference this October. Lifestyles’ own Kiwanians were among the groups represented who talked about leadership, their club activities, and why they give their time.
“Kiwanis Aktion Club members serve their communities,” explained Eric Schwacke. “We’re here to serve. What can I can say – it’s a family.”
“With all that the Aktion Club members do, it’s a great feeling,” said Dennis Gable, advisor to the Staten Island contingent. “I’m very happy to be a part of it and to be involved with Lifestyles Aktion Club.”
Lifestyles was represented by Eric Schwacke, William Bush, Michael Cilmi and new member Kenneth Tobin, along with staff advisors Paula and Edward Gregory.
This year, the Lifestyles group collected toys for children, raised money at a 60’s dance to send people to Kamp Kiwanis, and gave clothes and holiday gifts to residents of Project Hospitality. Other Aktion Clubs at the conference included Ontario County, Newark, Waterloo, Brighton, Brockport, and Gates. The state clubs also conducted bake sales, clothing drives, arts and craft supply collections, car washes, disaster relief packages, and more.
The Gregorys made the most of crossing 300-plus miles of the state. They guided the four young men to some of the highlights of Central New York, taking in Lake Ontario, the Rochester Museum of Science and the Corning Museum of Glass.
The Aktion Clubs are Kiwanis groups of people with disabilities volunteering to support others. There are more than 500 Aktion Clubs with more than 12,000 members worldwide.
- Article by Eddy Gregory with Eric Schwacke and Meredith Arout.
- Photography: Eric Schwacke
- Video: Michael Cilmi, reporter, Eddy Gregory, producer.
More than twenty scholars of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders from countries all over sub-Saharan Africa spent the month of July learning what they could about nonprofit organizations and how they serve people here. Fellows Omo from Nigeria and Jerrat from Cameroon shadowed a few programs within Lifestyles for the Disabled.
Life-Wire reporters Michael Cilmi and Joseph Jones had an opportunity to interview Omo and Jerrat. They interviewed the pair about their work with the disabled community and their experience in the U.S. Please listen at the link below and online at Lifestyles Radio.
Here are some images of their visit by our photo crew:
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Tuesday was a wintry day but life was popping at Blue Heron Park. It was all happening at the bird feeders. Because contrary to popular belief, not all birds go south for the winter.
And even though it was cloudy and cold, with temps in the mid 30s, we didn’t even have to be that adventurous. The Annadale preserve has a spacious Nature Center, so in its warmth and comfort the Media Department members were able to watch the birds come and go and get quite a few photos displaying the beauty of the feathered creatures. (Check out the slide show below.)
The field trip was part of a new activity sponsored by Friends of Blue Heron Park, called the Jack Baird Bird Identification Program. It provides youngsters (and the young at heart) with binoculars, books and charts to ID the birds and chart to record the observations. Oh and a friendly ranger to help too.
“The birds come to the feeders because it is winter time, and they don’t have food, especially when the ground is frozen and covered with snow,” said Meredith A, explaining what Park Ranger Andrew told us.
“He also told us deer sometime visit,” said Kevin D.
The birds we saw included the red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker, male and female cardinal, black-capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, house finch and the mockingbird.
“I got my first photo of a cardinal,” said a beaming Meredith.
When we first got there, things got a little quiet. Then a feeding frenzy broke out and binoculars and cameras were moving among the nearly dozen feeders. As you can see by the photos, when things get quiet at the feeders, there is plenty to look at in the center, from bones and fur to turtles.
The goal is for this feeder project to become a true scientific research project for the young and curious budding scientist. By recording this data about the birds here in Staten Island, the information collected will help students, naturalists and other interested people.
The program is named in honor of the late Jack Baird, a native Staten Islander who helped create Blue Heron Park. It extends from now through April 30.
Check it out this weekend. Blue Heron Park Nature Center is at 222 Poillon Ave., Annadale.
Kathryn Carse wrote this with Meredith Arout, Kevin Distefano, Aaron Bialer and Anthony Kefalinos. Photos by Meredith Arout, Kevin Distefano, Aaron Bialer.
While Hurricane-turned-Tropical-Storm Jose is making its moves in the Atlantic, it’s making its presence known along the coast with high surf and riptides.
It won’t be coming here, Andre Fitzgerald assured us. It’s going north and turning east. Rain here, but more in Long Island tonight.
We decided to go to the beach and see for ourselves what if any effect it was having on Staten Island. We headed for Gateway National Park Area at Great Kills. We drove past the harbor and down to the last parking lot between the beach house and Crooke’s Point.
“The breeze is right into your face. It’s what I like,” said Kevin DiStefano who spread his arms and let out a hoot when he arrived.
“It’s not a day for a book and a flask of tea. This is a hold onto your stuff for dear life day,” observed Anthony Difato who nonetheless had book in hand.
Joe Maturi, Media Dept. supervisor, started to head down to the water with Kevin and Tim Fauske. They didn’t get far before a mini sandstorm arose.
“A bunch of sand started blowing hard,” said Tim. Through the fuzzy scene we could see a pair doing yoga at the water’s edge. “It was hard to take a picture,” said Riki Garcia.
Luckily the sand whipping around didn’t last long. But Jose’s reach could be seen in the choppy water and white caps, the dramatic clouds and the blowing leaves and grasses.
“That looks really rough. I wouldn’t go out in that water,” said Joe Trischitta when he saw the photos back in the Media Room. He does quite a bit of boating. And in fact, there were no boats out, even the gulls were hunkered down on shore for awhile. The rain hadn’t moved in yet though, so the sun, clouds and grey and silver water made for a beautiful and relaxing place to be.
We weren’t the only ones. In addition to the yoga pair, there were a couple of dog walkers, a cyclist and a rollerblader to name a few.
All in all it was a good nearly end of summer day. Enjoy the breezes and the clouds, which have been joined by the rain now as Jose passes by.
Kathryn Carse with Anthony DiFato, Kevin DiStefano, Tim Fauske, Andre Fitzgerald and Riki Garcia. Joe Trischitta and Joe Jones who were not with us at the beach also helped shape the story. Photos by Riki, Harry Rodriguez and Jenn Romano
Sal DiBenedetto talk about Tony Orlando and shares is photos of the singer from a live appearance.
PHOTOGRAPHY “MOTXILA 21” -PAMPLONA
Mila Barricarte and Daniel Muñoz told us about us their experience:
On Thursday, March 23, Mila and Daniel went to photograph Motxila 21 [a band from Pamplona that includes many musicians with Down Syndrome]. “We arrived at 7 a.m. They rehearsed in the district of La Chantrea. Roberto and María José were waiting for us. ” On entering, Daniel says he saw several soccer buddies and Mila who noticed that there were many instruments (drums, a bass drum, a drums, a bass …) and photos of the group: “it was a very cool place.” Daniel also told us: “We were a little nervous, because it was the first time we photographed people we do not know. They played several songs while we took pictures of them. ” Mila says that the camera did not work well, that it tried to shoot but it did not obtain it. Daniel did not dare to approach so many people and so many cables. “We took several photos and stayed for a while to listen as they played. In the end they took a picture of us all together. We had a great time and we would like to repeat. ”
Many thanks to the components of Motxila 21 for giving us the opportunity to photograph them and make us a gap in their calendar that we know they have very tight.
- MILA BARRICARTE AND DANIEL MUÑOZ Students of the school E.E. El Molino,
- Photos and text, courtesy of NWN Photo.
FOTOGRAFIAMOS A “MOTXILA 21”
Mila Barricarte y Daniel Muñoz nos cuentan su experiencia:
El jueves 23 de marzo, Mila y Daniel fueron a fotografiar a Motxila 21 [una banda de Pamplona que incluye a muchos músicos con síndrome de Down]. Quedamos a las 7. Ensayaban en un local de la Chantrea. Allí nos esperaban Roberto y María José”. Al entrar, Daniel dice que vio a varios compañeros de fútbol y Mila que se fijó en que había muchos instrumentos (tambores, un bombo, una batería, un contrabajo…) y fotos del grupo: “era un sitio muy chulo”. Daniel también nos contó: “Estabamos un poco nerviosos, porque era la primera vez que fotografiábamos a personas que no conocemos. Tocaron varias canciones mientras les hacíamos fotos”. Mila cuenta que la cámara no funcionaba bien, que intentaba disparar pero no lo conseguía. Daniel no se atrevía a acercarse con tanta gente y tantos cables. “Hicimos varias fotos y nos quedamos un rato a escuchar como tocaban. Al final nos hicieron una foto a todos juntos. Lo pasamos muy bien y nos gustaría repetir”.
Muchas gracias a los componentes de Motxila 21 por darnos la oportunidad de fotografiarles y hacernos un hueco en su calendario que sabemos lo tienen muy apretado.
- MILA BARRICARTE Y DANIEL MUÑOZ Alumnos del colegio E.E. EL MOLINO
- Fotos y texto, cortesía de NWN Photo.
The Staten Island Disabilities Council held its Mourning Breakfast to lament the cuts in services. The March 3 event was one of five breakfasts held in each of New York City’s boroughs to appeal to Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore services, increase salaries of care workers and to open more assisted living facilities for those with developmental disabilities. Several Staten Island lawmakers were there to pledge their support including Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, State Senators Dianne Savino and Michael Cusick, and Assemblyman Matthew Titone.
Life-Wire Reporters Meredith Arout, Laurence Oliveri and Samuel Stone were on hand to photograph and report on the event. Voice over: Salvatore DiBenedetto.
Danza Down, Compañía Elías Lafuente, Troupe de Baile Español Demuestra Inclusión
Danza Down Compañía Elías Lafuente es una compañía de bailarines que tienen síndrome de Down. Muestra que tener una discapacidad intelectual o física no debe impedir que usted haga lo que quiere hacer. Las fotos muestran cómo se sienten las personas cuando bailan. Vemos que no importa qué tipo de discapacidad tiene, puede hacer lo que quiera hacer. Cuando te sientes bien acerca de lo que haces, te hace sentir mejor contigo mismo.
Santos dice de sus imágenes: “Me gusta ver cómo Danza Down Compañía Elías Lafuente trabaja con bailarines con discapacidades, es hermoso y curioso ver cómo profesionales de diferentes artes se dedican a este mundo, un mundo que a la mayoría de la gente no le importa”.
Disfrute de la fotografía de Santos y deje sus comentarios a continuación. Visite Danza Down, Compañía Elías Lafuente en línea para obtener más información.
-Escrito en colaboración por Anthony DiCostanzo, Anthony DiFato, Steven Filoramo, Joseph Jones, Gregory Perosi, y Dolores Palermo, con la edición de Edward Gregory por Life-Wire News Service.
-Fotos: Paco Santos, NWN Photography por Life-Wire News Service.
Everyone was a celebrity at a Night to Shine this past Friday, February 10th at The Staaten in West New Brighton. The annual dinner hosted by the Tim Tebow Foundation is a festive prom-like atmosphere were people with special needs celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. The fete was posted locally by Calvary Chapel of Port Richmond. Life-Wire News Service’s own Eric Schwacke was on hand to capture the evening in photography.