On Saturday, March 16, 35 children from two City shelters joined teen volunteers from Temple Sinai of Roslyn Heights, Long Island for an afternoon of fun at 300 New York− the luxurious bowling alley at Chelsea Piers on Manhattan’s West Side.
Sponsored by Temple Sinai’s Teen Leaders Program, the event enabled children to be matched with young adult mentors, and enjoy an afternoon of complimentary bowling and snacks. Temple Sinai’s program, which teaches teenagers the value of community services, has now hosted several outings with DHS shelter groups, and the latest trip only further illustrates the flowering relationship between the agency and this outstanding community partner.
“My teens have been begging me to arrange another day with the kids,” said Alison Stamm, who serves as Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai.
Coordinated by the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) Office of Communications & External Affairs, the event exemplifies the outstanding results of partnerships between the public and private sector.
“This is a terrific example of how DHS works with community partners− including religious organizations of all denominations− to provide positive experiences for families in shelter,” said DHS’ Director of Special Events, Antonio Rodriguez. “Each and every one of these opportunities serves to create a sense of sharing and community, and send a strong and powerful message to children in shelter that other New Yorkers truly care.”
Launching in the spring of 2013, the partnership commenced when teens from Temple Sinai treated children from shelter for a day of sports and games in Prospect Park. Because the experience was so positive for both parties, Temple Sinai then invited a much larger group of children from three City shelters to Camp Jacobson− a summer camp in the beautifully-wooded area of Old Westbury, New York. There, away from the hustle and bustle of the City, the children enjoyed a range of activities− including baseball, basketball, hiking and arts projects− alongside their new teenage buddies.
The Teen Leaders Program is open to teens in grades eight through 12. More information about the program can be found here: http://www.templesinairoslyn.com/new_teen_programs.htm