Monday, November 9, 2015

Early Child Education Center Series: Sheltering Arms

There are so many wonderful childcare and education centers throughout NYC that are striving to provide quality education and services to as many New York families and children as possible. We wanted to spotlight a few of our favorites. Next up in our Early Childhood Education Center Q&A series is Sheltering Arms NY.

Sheltering Arms is in the business of hope, strengthening the education, wellbeing, and development of vulnerable children, youth, and families so that everyone has the support and opportunity needed to maximize their potential. Helen Davis, Director of Early Childhood Education, shared some insights into Sheltering Arms with us. Check out the Q&A below!

Is there a moment - or story – from your life or career when you knew you wanted to get involved in early childhood education? 

When a family member was experiencing some challenges with drug addiction, I adopted her 5 month-old baby boy at a time when my 2 birth sons were in their teens. Needless to say, this totally transformed my life and my career goals. I became involved as a new parent in a community Head Start program as a member of their policy council.

My involvement opened up the world of Early Childhood Education to me and I decided to make a career change from my work at a bank. I saw how innocent and how eager to learn these young children were. Unfortunately, I also saw how limited the quality of experiences were for young children in the South Bronx and many other New York communities, and I wanted to make a difference in the lives of as many children as I could.  I went back to school and pursued a degree in early education.

Almost 30 years later I have had the awesome privilege of impacting the lives of hundreds of children. I was most honored in 2010 when I attended the college graduation of one of my former pre-school students who attended Manhattan College and was on an academic track leading to her degree as a medical physician.

Over the years, as I travel throughout the city to our Early Learning Centers, so many children and their parents will stop me in the streets to remind me of who they are and to share with me what is happening in their lives and the lives of their children. I am constantly reminded of how thankful I am for the choices I made years ago to make a difference in a child’s life.

What types of services does your program offer children and families?

  • Free and affordable childcare
  • On-site comprehensive support to families through the integration of family services and health coordination
  • A curriculum that is forward-thinking, comprehensive, and research-proven. Our curriculum allows preschool teachers and infant caregivers to be their most effective, while still honoring their creativity and respecting their critical role in making learning exciting and relevant for every child.
  • Facilitated collaboration between families and community providers to establish sustainable services for their children once they leave our program
  • Interventions and unique learning opportunities for children with special needs
  • Transitional support for families through ongoing collaboration with parochial schools, community charter schools and the DOE system

Can you recall an event or campaign where your program - in your mind - earned its greatest achievement?

Our children’s achievements will always be our greatest achievement. Our program was among the first in the city to implement a system for measuring our children’s accomplishments relative to research-based “widely held expectations”, which are national standards for children’s development in important areas like language, literacy, math, cognition, motor skills, and more. We have always known that our children are learning, and we see proof every day that they are happy and healthy, but seeing the first results from our tests were very gratifying. By the end of the year, more than 90% of our children were meeting or exceeding the national standards, up from only 50% in the beginning of the year! We could be more confident than ever before that our children were ready for Kindergarten and for lifelong learning, thanks to the strong foundations we were able to provide.

What is the ultimate goal of your program?

Our greatest goal is to provide quality education for young children that will prepare them for life-long success. We know that children will rely on the things they learn and the skills they develop in their first years well into future schooling, and even into adulthood. We aim to provide those strong foundations which open doors for children and their families.

What is the most rewarding aspect of running an early education center?

The most rewarding aspect is being able to mold a young mind and to provide experiences that connect them to the world around them. You see an incomparable joy in children who are given the opportunity to feed their curiosity, and to achieve their greatest potential.

What are some of the bigger challenges to starting and running an early education program?

It remains challenging to cultivate balanced and diverse funding to sustain all the important services we provide. For example, with more funding, we would be able to continue to implement our ‘Journey of Hope’ mental health program for children 2-5, which helps our most vulnerable kids understand their emotions and express their needs, especially when they have experienced extra stress or trauma. Unique and innovative programs like these require new investments from government and private sources. Funders have been incredibly supportive and excited about our work, but their support is often stretched thin as it is distributed to many important social initiatives throughout the city. We hope that more funding will continue to be dedicated to quality Early Childhood Education since it has such a strong, proven impact on future outcomes.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the industry you work in, what would it be?

Currently, there has been a big push city-wide to bring Pre-K to all children, which means that more children than ever before will benefit from this wonderful service. The challenge is that while the Department of Education (DOE) works to open educational sites and recruit teachers for Universal Pre-K, they make it more difficult for providers like us to retain our staff and our school buildings. If we could snap our fingers and change one thing overnight, we would create parity among DOE teacher salaries and our own salaries so that we were working in partnership with DOE programs to educate our children, instead of competing with them for the best teachers and school sites. Our sites are unique because we offer care for children 0-3, in addition to providing preschool. It is important that we find the best ways to work together with DOE preschools so that parents have care options and are able to work no matter how old their children are.

Learn more about Sheltering Arms here.
Check out our past Q&A features: Northside Center & Kennedy Child Study Center 


Sheltering Arms NY
305 7th Avenue, Second Floor
New York, NY 10001

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Early Child Education Center Series: Northside Center for Child Development

Next up in our Early Child Education Center Series is the Northside Center for Child Development.

Poverty affects a great number of families in New York City - the effects of which are far-reaching. Many children are lacking access to quality education and childcare. With a goal of helping NYC children "rise up and thrive", Northside Center helps over 3,600 families every year by providing behavioral, mental health, education and enrichment programs for its children.

Carolina, Northside's Assistant Director of Special Education Services, was kind enough to tell us a little bit more about Northside, their mission, and what they're doing for NYC families.

Is there a moment - or story - when you knew you wanted to get involved in early childhood education?

As far as I can remember, I loved children and always knew I wanted to do something with them. In high school I took a child psychology class, where part of the class was working with special needs students in pre-k and kindergarten. I was instantly drawn to the special needs students and noticed the impact of working with students at a young age. I realized that, we as educators, help shape the needs of all students.

What types of services does your center offer children and families?

We provide therapeutic Home Based and Center Based Early Intervention services to children birth to age 3 years old. For our 3-8 year old students we provide small structured classrooms, using a multidisciplinary approach. We work with students ranging from having behavioral concerns, autism, learning disabilities, language delays and developmental delays. We have a day treatment program where we work with students that have significant behavior and emotional problems, providing them mental health services. We provide evaluations for both early intervention and preschool students. We also have Early Head Start and Head Start programs in Harlem, Bronx and Brooklyn - where we work with families and children.

Can you recall an event or campaign where your organization - in your mind - earned its greatest achievement? 

Northside's most far-reaching achievement was obtained by our founding fathers. Pioneering psychologists Dr. Kenneth B. and Mamie Clark founded Northside Center in 1946, offering Harlem youth much-needed social work, psychological evaluation, and remediation. Their work - which showed how racial inequality negatively affected the self-esteem of young children - helped change the course of American history. The Clarks' groundbreaking research, including the black-white doll study, was critical to the 1954 Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which legally ended the segregation of public schools. Their findings were the first-ever social science research to be submitted as hard evidence in the Court's history, and due to their vision, many of our programs changed the standard of care for social service agencies throughout NYC.

What is the ultimate goal of your center?

Our ultimate goal is to ensure our students reach their highest potential by exposing students to the Common Core Goals, Head Start standards, Creative Curriculum goals, and objectives as well as work on their IEP's (Individualized Education Plan). We aim to help children and families overcome adversity, build their self-esteem and make great strides in their educational achievements and emotional growth.

What is the most rewarding aspect of running an early childhood education center?

For me the most rewarding aspect of running an early education center is watching the students experience new and exciting things that they would not have typically been exposed to. Watching the students improve in their development - for the students who had few words and difficulty communicating - to be able to communicate with words and express their feelings. It's watching students, who were unable to focus and complete tasks, learn to complete tasks and focus on activities.

What are some of the bigger challenge to starting and running an early education center?

I believe the biggest challenge is hiring qualified staff. Due to current limited funding it is difficult to hold on to our qualified staff and to provide quality teachers with competitive salaries. Often we find ourselves competing with the public school districts because they have higher salary ranges and a diverse range of benefits.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the industry you work in, what would it be?

I would like to see more funding for qualified professional staff.


Learn more about how you can support Northside Center for Development here.

Northside Center
35 East 110th St. (between Madison and Fifth Avenues)
New York, NY 10029

Mailing Address:
Northside Center
1301 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Friday, August 28, 2015

Early Child Education Center Series: Kennedy Child Study Center

HMESF's primary focus is providing educational resources to early childhood education centers throughout NYC to help young children achieve their potential and start their education off on the right foot. We love our education center partners, and we want to show our appreciation for everything they do with a blog feature series. We interviewed some of our education center partners to learn more about their individual missions in the field of early care and education.

We're kicking off our ECE center blog series with Kennedy Child Study Center, an East Harlem-based education center with a goal to assist children who experience significant delays in learning and other areas of early childhood development. Kennedy Child Study Center provides high-quality early childhood education to save over 500 children annually through its locations in the Bronx and East Harlem.

We asked Executive Director, Jeanne Alter...

Is there a moment - or story - when you knew you wanted to get involved in early childhood education? 

I've always been drawn to children with special needs. I had a bunch of stuffed animals when I was a kid, and I'd sit them in rows and pretend to be their teacher. There was one bear named Moscow who had a broken eye and ripped ear, and I'd always make sure that the other animals were especially nice to him. So I knew early on that I wanted to be a special education teacher.

I feel truly fortunate to have the opportunity to work at Kennedy Child Study Center and advocates for children with developmental delays and their families every day. Providing the East Harlem community with a school environment that speaks to the respect and importance of early childhood special education is truly a personal dream.

What types of services does your center offer children and families? 

Kennedy Child Study Center's (KCSC's) mission is to assist children who experience significant delays in learning and other areas of early childhood development. We accomplish this mission by providing evaluation and diagnosis, comprehensive therapy, and high-quality preschool education to young children with delays in learning and other areas of development. Recognizing the critical role of families in the education of young children, we seek to advance the holistic well-being of the families we serve through family support, including Medicaid Service Coordination and information on healthy living and accessing community resources.

KCSC advocated for public policies that benefit young children with developmental delays, and seeks to develop programs to meet the changing needs of our families. We reinforce best practices in early childhood special education  through ongoing professional development for educators, therapists, and others working in the field.

Can you recall an event or campaign where your organization - in your mind - earned its greatest achievement? 

KCSC's great achievement has been our August 2015 relocation to our new school in the heart of East Harlem. Our new neighborhood faces consistently high rates of poverty, obesity, and low education attainment - and is home to many KCSC families. The move itself reflects a philosophical and practical shift in special education hat KCSC has helped to advance on a local and state level. The shift in approach stresses the need to extend education and wellbeing beyond the walls of the classroom, with a holistic focus on engaging families in the education of their young child and providing the support and knowledge necessary to create a nurturing home environment.

What is the ultimate goal of your center? 

KSCS's ultimate goal is to provide a world-class special education informed by the latest advances in early childhood research, while establishing and sharing best practices in holistic early childhood special education both in NYC and nationally.

What is the most rewarding aspect of running an early childhood education center?

The most rewarding aspect of running an early childhood education center is observing the progress that our students make towards gaining new educational, social, language and other skills. Hearing family members express joy at the progress of their children or grandchildren makes all of the time and energy worthwhile.

For example, Isabel, the grandmother of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder who has been attending KSCS for two years, said this about her grandchild's experience with KSCS:

"I am very impressed with the progress that Jeter has made at Kennedy Child Study Center, and by the warm nurturing environment that he is in. With the support of the teachers, therapists, and other staff at Kennedy Child Study Center, Jeter has made significant improvements in his attention span, listening and communication."

What are some of the bigger challenges to starting and running an early education center? 

Our biggest ongoing challenge is funding. While KCSC receives funding from the New York State Education Department, The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, and Medicaid, there is a growing gap between our government reimbursement and the cost of providing high-quality early childhood special education - with our government funding levels not meeting the ongoing costs of operating three schools in New York City.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the industry you work in, what would it be?

I would like to make it easier to connect parents - and in particular, low-income parents of color, many of whom have struggled with developmental delays themselves - with the resources needed to advocate their children's educational, physical, emotional and social health. With this goal in mind, we are constantly seeking new and more effective ways to engage the families we work with and encourage them to take an active role in their child's education. Out recent move to East Harlem was our most significant step in seeking to bring families closer to the resources and support they need to provide a rich home environment for their developing children.

Learn more about how you can support Kennedy Child Study center here.


Kennedy Child Study Center
2212 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10035

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Beat the Summer Slump

How to Incorporate Learning into Summer Play 

It's summer, which means kids are home all day, and parents are looking for ways to keep kids entertained. It's also important though to keep kids motivated to learn and read over the summer along with enjoying their free time. During a "summer slump" kids may not want to sit down and read a book or practice their numbers or colors. Here are some tips to fight the summer slump, and incorporate some learning and reading into your kids' summer play time. 

1. Make Reading a Challenge
It's no secret that kids love a good competition. To get your kids to read more, challenge them to a reading competition. If your child can read more books than you by the end of the summer, then he or she gets a prize! 

2. Make Learning an Adventure
Send your child on a nature scavenger hunt, where they have to find things in nature according to a set of rules. For example, find something red, find a flower with more than four petals, etc. This allows children to learn and spend some quality outdoor time! 

3. Incorporate Learning into Sports
For example, when playing basketball, choose more challenging words than "Pig". Your child won't even realize he or she is practicing spelling!

4. Make Learning Hands On
Crafts are always a sure-fire way to maintain attention and interest. Practice geometry with cut and paste projects, practice numbers and fractions with baking, etc. Here are some more great hands on learning activities to try. 

5. Take Advantage of Car Time
Since you'll likely be spending a lot of time this summer in the car, driving to and from practices and vacations, take advantage of time in the car to practice learning states from license plates or colors from other cars. 

6. Take Advantage of Activities and Events for Kids
Museums, libraries, bookstores and many other places have excellent activities available for free (or very inexpensive) for kids in the summer. These activities tend to do a great job of incorporating education into fun play time. 

Resources such as Time Out New York Kids and Red Tricycle have some great events for kids and families. 

Have a safe, fun and educational summer! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Snapshot of Early Childhood Education 2014-2015

Slow Progress with a Silver Lining

A recent look at the status of early childhood education in this country demonstrates a lot of good intentions, but poor follow-through.

Since 2014, a total of 924 early childhood education bills were introduced by state legislatures. Of these bills proposed, most of them represented small moves towards public preschool and more childcare availability to a larger range of students.

These small steps and slow progress in early childhood education is consistent with history. At the pace at which we've been moving continues, "it would take about 75 years for states to reach 50% enrollment at age 4, and 150 years to reach 70% enrollment" (Ed Week).  The opposition to proposed bills has been due to costs of starting new programs and concerns over the government's involvement in the lives of young children.

While there has been hesitation to fund and build new programs, there is a silver lining, as many states have made efforts to expand pre-existing early education and childcare programs. The most progress has been made in Indiana, Mississippi and NYC, but there are many states that have made notable progress.

  • Massachusetts: Increased spending on ECE by $14.7 million
  • Alabama: Increased spending on ECE by $27.5 million 
  • Washington: Increased spending on ECE by $98 million 
  • California: Increased spending on ECE by $220 million 
  • Minnesota: Increased spending on ECE by $279 million 
The most significant move though made in the area of early childhood education came from North Dakota. The state created new programs to provide vouchers for preschool for low-income four-year-olds. North Dakota remains the only state to implement an entirely new program, allowing for over 3,000 children to attend preschool. 

While there are some good things happening, we still need more. We still have a ways to go until every child has the opportunity to get their education off on the right foot. With 924 bills proposed, the future of early education is looking brighter, but "if all the legislative proposals to expand early-childhood-care and early-education programs...had passed, the nation would be entering a new era of near-universal preschool for young children" (Ed Week). 

Read more about the current state of early childhood education in Ed Week and Education DIVE

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Early Learning Resources in NYC

An Exploration of the Arts

When it comes to early learning, art and creativity play an undeniably large part.

In 2005, a report by the Rand Corporation called "A Portrait of the Visual Arts", argues that art education not only provides a creative outlet, but it helps to connect students to the larger world, improving their community awareness and involvement. 

In 2006, a Guggenheim Museum study on art education showed a strong link between arts education and improved literacy skills. 

In 2009, the International Journal of Early Years Education, presented a research project in which they explored and found that knowledge of the arts not only helps children to refine other skills such as mathematical and reading skills, but it also aids in development.

There are so many studies similar to these that outline the importance of the arts in the development of young children. The wonderful thing about this is that it is easy to provide children with creative outlets. There are countless resources available to children and families, and there are some great ones here in NYC. 

1. Children's Museum of the Arts (Website

CMA has an established goal of making art accessible to all children. "Accessible" in this instance means that children have access to art as well as being physically able to engage with art. CMA takes a "hands-on" approach, believing that direct involvement allows for the best expression of creativity and learning.
The museum offers over 2000 pieces of children's artwork from all around the world, giving children the opportunity to broader their horizons and experience different cultures and ways of life. CMA also offers daily workshops, such as landscape drawing, after-school classes, summer day camps, private lessons and so much more. 

2. Children's Museum of Manhattan (Website)

Founded in 1973, CMOM has truly become the location where learning meets play. CMOM's goal is to help prepare children for school as well as to improve the social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth of young children.
CMOM offers a variety of exhibits, programs and performances that allow for children to freely explore their imaginations through play and discovery. They have a specifically tailored early education curriculum, a variety of workshops, and family programs such as "Eat, Sleep, Play" that helps to educate families on healthy lifestyle behaviors. CMOM is a collaboration of artists, musicians, dancers, actors, authors all with a shared goal of helping children to broaden their imagination and foster creativity. 

3. Brooklyn Children's Museum (Website)

Imagine a place where you never have to worry about your children getting their hands all over everything. At the Brooklyn Children's Museum, kids have the freedom to play, explore, touch and feel everything they discover. They even offer free hours on Thursdays from 3 to 5!
In workshops such as "Try Out Tuesday", kids can discover and learn about endless new things. The museum regularly offers a variety of programs and activity such as math activities, garden exhibits that encourage kids to appreciate nature, and animal, reptile and sea creature lessons. Their current exhibit is called "Pattern Wizardy", going on now through September 6th which allows kids to become wizards while learning and playing with patterns, exploring symmetry in 360-degree mirrors, creating musical patterns through rhythm and more. 

These are only a few of so many resources available to children in New York that make it possible for them to explore and expand their creativity. Check back for more resources! 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Redirecting Education Reform Efforts

We recently came across a great article in the New York Times titled "Beyond Education Wars".

Nicholas Kristof talks about how the education reform movement has essentially peaked. Energy has started to run out, and he compares the movement to an exhausted battleground. His suggestion? Turn our energies where they can actually make a difference: Early Childhood Education. 

Kristof gives three reasons for his argument that we turn more education reform efforts towards children aged 0 to 5 rather than K-12 students.

1. Early childhood is a crucial period for brain development. This is the reason for many of our efforts as an early education nonprofit. Intervention for all children, and especially for high-risk children (children at risk of poverty, crime etc.) is the most effective in the earliest years. There are countless studies that show that early intervention produces better life outcomes - less crime, fewer teen pregnancies, higher graduation rates and higher incomes.

2. Kristof's second reason sounds surprising but makes a lot of sense. We, as a country, have been putting so much energy in K-12 education reform, but it seems we've made little progress. So Kristof suggests redirecting those efforts to early education. The idea is to prevent the problem before it starts. It is difficult, Kristof says, to work with teenagers and adults who are already developed. It is difficult to convince them to attend school. It is less of a challenge to provide opportunity for children aged 0 to 5. We need to start small, when it's still manageable.

3. The final reason for redirecting efforts to early education is that there are the greatest chances for progress in this area. Early childhood education is not politically polarized, which is not something we can say about many things in this country. Conservatives and liberals alike have embraced preschool. We need to take advantage of this rare situation.

There will always be battles, as Kristof points out, but our time, passion and energy will be more effectively spent on early education, where we may be able to actually achieve some common ground.

Learn more here about what the Helene Marks Early Start Foundation is doing for early childhood education.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What, When, Where: Events This Week for Kids in NYC

The weather is finally warming up, which means there are endless activities for energetic kids in the New York City area. Here are a few this week!
What: Egg and Spoon, Object Theatre

Lyngo Theatre Company will be hosting an interactive theatre show for babies and toddlers, where they will use a variety of props to celebrate nature. The show is recommended for children 2-5. Learn more about the event here.

When: Wednesday, April 15th - Sunday, April 19th. Visit Time Out New York for the show times.

Where: BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn 11217

What: Rocket Park Mini Golf

It's officially golf weather. What better way to enjoy it than at Rocket Park where kids can play mini golf under two NASA rockets on a course that will make them feel like they are venturing through space? Learn more here.

When: Monday-Friday, 9:30-5pm

Where: New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Queens, 11368

What: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabaret

Kids and adults will love this quirky show, now celebrating its 20th annual season of shows including juggling, acrobatics, stunts and live music. Learn more here.

When: April 16th - April 19th, click here for show times.

Where: The Connelly Theatre, 220 East 4th Street, New York

What: Brunch Baby, Brunch

Brother Jimmy's is not only welcoming kids of all ages to a special brunch party, but kids eat for free.  They can also enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, a live DJ and more, while parents enjoy their much-deserved brunch and cocktails. Learn more here.

When: Saturday April 18th

Where:  116 East 16th, Gramercy & Flatiron (Events also taking place at the Union Square location)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HMESF Casino Night Recap

On Thursday, March 19th HMESF held a Casino Night fundraising event at 1315 Studios. Thank you to everyone who made the event such a success!

Casino Night guests enjoyed an evening of gambling, raffle prizes, and complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Raffle prizes included a wide variety of local services such as Box Butler storage and beauty services from CPW Vein & Aesthetic Center, gift cards from The Monarch Room and Home Depot, and big ticket prizes included a Flat Screen TV and a NOIZY Brand Wireless Speaker, among many more. 

Money raised at the fundraiser will go towards HMESF's early childhood education initiatives in New York City, including the Terri Lynne Lokoff Teachers Award and library donations. Learn more about what HMESF does for early childhood education here

Decor for the event was generously donated by early childhood education centers Sunshine, Bronxworks, and Safe Horizon

One of may beautiful pieces of artwork on display at the event
Here are a few photos from the event. See more on HMESF's Facebook here!

HMESF's esteemed co-founders, Jaime and Richard Marks
HMESF co-founder, Jaime Marks, with the amazing teachers from NYC early education centers
HMESF Co-Founder Richard Marks with Paul Trinidad, Manager of the UWS Barnes & Noble 
HMESF Board & Team Members


Friday, March 13, 2015

Barnes & Noble Bookfair

HMESF is proud to be partnering with Barnes & Noble this month for a book fair, during which proceeds from Barnes & Noble purchases will go directly towards early childhood education initiatives in New York City. Learn more about HMESF's libraries and childcare centers here.

The book fair will take place in store from March 20th to the 24th at the Barnes & Noble at 2289 Broadway at 82nd Street. HMESF vouchers will be available that can be used for books, toys and Cafe items. If you're unable to make it to the book fair, you can still help support early education by making a purchase online at and entering a special code at checkout from the 20th to the 29th (see flyer below for the code).

On Saturday, March 21st there will be a special reading of children's author Andrew Kolb's book Edmund Unravels at 11am in the event space with fun activities to follow, so bring your little readers in for a great time.

We hope to see you there to support our two favorite things; early childhood education and reading! If you're unable to make it, you can still do your part for early childhood education by spreading the word about the book fair. 

See the flyer below for more info, and as always we're happy to answer any questions you have about the event or HMESF early education initiatives. Leave us a comment on the blog, contact us directly, reach out to +Helene Marks Early Start Foundation (HMESF) on Google+, message us on Facebook, or tweet us @hmesf. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What, When, Where: Events This Week in NYC for Kids

The holidays are over, but the cold weather is unfortunately not. If your little ones are getting antsy from being cooped up in the house, check out some of these great family-friendly events that we compiled to burn off some of that energy.

A New York Love Story

WHAT: Love is in the air, and you can celebrate with your little loved ones by making handmade Valentines at this great family workshop. 

WHEN: Sunday, February 8th and Sunday, February 14th at 11:00 am

WHERE: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. 


From Here to There

WHAT: Do you have a little scientist among you? He or she will LOVE this event at the Brooklyn's Children Museum that will allow them to explore the science of how things move, with a focus on land, sea and air. (PS. There's a ball pit!) 

WHEN: Friday, February 6th to May 10th 

WHERE: 145 Brooklyn Ave., Crown Heights, Brooklyn


Nature Playtime
WHAT: Your kids can get their zoo fix even in the winter at the Prospect Park Zoo. Kids will do art projects, insect observations, and even play in the snow (if it's there of course), all while learning about animals and nature. Perfect for ages 2 to 7. 

WHEN: Sunday, February 8th at 10:30am 

WHERE: Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn 


One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature
WHAT: Perfect for the little reader in your life, this event will allow kids and adults alike to go through classics like Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, as well as some rare editions and modern favorites.

WHEN: Monday, February 2nd - Saturday, February 7th

WHERE: The Grolier Club, 47 E 60th Street, Upper East Side


Sesame Street presents the Body Exhibit
WHAT: As an early education nonprofit, we love any event that incorporates learning with fun, and this exhibit is sure to do just that! Your little ones will have the opportunity to learn how the body works with help from the Sesame Street crew. It's a lesson they'll never forget!

WHEN: Sunday, February 1st - Sunday, May 3rd

WHERE: Liberty Science Center, Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City

Saturday, January 17, 2015

HMESF Casino Night

Are you feeling lucky? Roll the dice and take your chances for a good cause at HMESF's Casino Night!

On March 19th, we're hosting our spring 2015 fundraiser, and what better way to support early childhood education than to get dressed up and enjoy a night of games, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and great prizes?

Guests will receive chips at the door when they arrive and are then free to play! Ticket sales will support HMESF's efforts to promote and support early childhood education through various initiatives such as our funding of early education centers throughout the city and our library initiatives. Learn more here about our efforts to help give every child access to quality education. 

Along with receiving gambling chips, guests will also receive raffle tickets at the door for a chance to win some awesome prizes, including a NOIZY wireless speaker, The Monarch Room gift card, personal training with Omri Rachmut, a BOTOX treatment at Skinworks Dermatology, a beautiful Jack Germain handbag, a LZZR Jewelry necklace, a "Healthy You" package including massage, gym membership and personal trainer from the Peninsula Hotel

Get your tickets now and come out and enjoy what is sure to be a great night, and help us to provide children in New York with the education they need and deserve. 

Event Details


Thursday, March 19th 2015


1315 Studios
15 W 28th Street - 8th Floor


Get them HERE!
$100 each through March 13th
$120 each through March 14-19th
Online tickets sales will close at 4pm on March 19th
Tickes will be available at the door

Join the discussion at #HMESFCasinoNight

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Reserved for Rondee Holiday Benefit Show

On December 18th, HMESF attended the second annual Reserved for Rondee Holiday Benefit Show at Midtown Live. Joining Reserved for Rondee was MPB, Ladybird, The Overgrowns and The Sensor. It was an awesome night of music, and part of the ticket proceeds went towards HMESF and Studio One Eighty Nine.

Reserved for Rondee is a local indy rock back that came together in 2010. Learn more about them here, and check out the video below! 

It was an honor to be partnered with Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, the founders of Studio One Eighty Nine; a social enterprise that joins together creatives such as artists, musicians, designs, photographers, dancers etc., and helps to promote African and African-inspired content. Check out some of their amazing products and their Fashion Rising initiative here

Here are some photos from the Benefit Show! We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with Studio One Eighty Nine and Reserved for Rondee. Thank you to everyone who made the show possible and who attended.