Enhancing Poughkeepsie’s Schools (Aired on April 11, 2021)

Angela Henry,

Radio Rotary Co-Host Jonah Triebwasser and Produces Kathy Kruger chat with Angela Henry, the new Executive Director of the Poughkeepsie Public Schools Foundation (PPSF). PPSF was founded in 2008 to put musical instruments in the hands of students who could not afford to rent them. Over the years the Foundation has raised and distributed over $40,000 for projects as diverse as museum field trips, the creation of school gardens, and college scholarships. In 2021, PPSF hired Ms. Henry, a local educational and nonprofit consultant, as its first paid Executive Director. She is in the process of expanding the programs of PPSF, including the Saturday Morning Lights program for younger students, which brings local talent to introduce learning as varied as yoga and urban engineering (learning about urban streets). PPSF is a nonprofit that raises the money that makes these programs possible. On May 20, 2021, the gala fundraiser feature professional and student performers will be online.

Learn more:
Poughkeepsie Public Schools Foundation: http://ppsfonline.org/
Poughkeepsie Public Schools Foundation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PoughkeepsiePublicSchoolsFoundation
Poughkeepsie City School District: https://www.poughkeepsieschools.org/

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April 14, 2021 · Posted in Education, Events, Support Groups  

The Green Chimneys School, Farm, Forest (Aired on November 1, 2020)

Founded in 1947 by Brewster Rotarian and 7210 Past District Governor (1962-63) Dr, Samuel “Rollo” Ross,  Green Chimneys is recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. Radio Rotary learned all about this very unusual facility for children on the autistic spectrum when the current when Dr. Edward Placke visited the program by Zoom. A staff of 500 helps the children, ages 6 through 20, but much of the healing and learning (outside of regular schoolwork) is through spending time with the many animals of the farm—22 horses, alpacas and llamas, all sort of raptors, a flock of geese, and more. Even students who do not speak to other children or their parents, sometimes learn to speak to the animals. The goal at Green Chimneys is to aid children for two or three years and then return an improved child to his regular home and school. Listen to the program to learn about the two large campuses in Brewster and Kent, NY, and about the special events that help keep the program going.

Learn more:
Green Chimneys School: https://www.greenchimneys.org/
Dr. Samuel “Rollo” Ross: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50077/sitepage/in-memoriam/dr-samuel-rollo-ross-jr
The Autistic Spectrum: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html
Animal Therapy for Autism: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6510492/

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November 10, 2020 · Posted in Animals, Children, Education, Events  

Vassar-Haiti Project during the Pandemic (Aired on September 20, 2020)

For twenty years, the Vassar-Haiti Project (VHP) has improved the lives of Haitians in the remote mountaintop Haitian village of Chermaitre and its surroundings, raising funds primarily by selling Haitian paintings and crafts. As a result of these efforts, Chermaitre and the surrounding area is served by a 300- student school, a clinic that treats 3,000 patients annually, and clean water, the last from a Rotary Global Grant sponsored by the Poughkeepsie-Arlington Rotary. But with the Covid-19 situation in 2020, an in-person art sale would be too dangerous, so VHP mounted an on-line auction and other virtual events. RadioRotary is helping promote the sale with an interview with Lila Meade, Executive Director of VHP, and two active students from Vassar, Alice Fan and Sam O’Keefe. VHP is partly operated by Vassar’s Rotaract Club and has close connections with 14 Rotary Clubs, District 7210, and The Rotary Foundation. The current efforts include setting up an $86,500 solar-power system to bring much needed electricity to the clinic, for which 14 Rotary Clubs and Rotary District 7210 have contributed $66,000.

Learn more:
The Vassar Haiti Project: http://www.thehaitiproject.org/
The Rotary Foundation Global Grants: https://my.rotary.org/en/take-action/apply-grants/global-grants
Rotaract: https://www.rotary.org/en/get-involved/rotaract-clubs
Rotary District 7210: https://rotarydistrict7210.org/

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Millbrook Schools Handle Shelter-in-Place (Aired on June 20 and 21, 2020)

Millbrook Rotarian Brian Fried, Assistant Superintendent for Business, Finance, and Operations at the Millbrook Central School District, visits RadioRotary to describe how the District is handling the dislocation of normal practices caused by the steps required by New York State to slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools in Dutchess County were all required to stop holding live classes in mid-March, with a significant amount of the school year unfinished. Among the steps that Mr. Fried describes are making sure that every student has broadband access and a computer so that they can participate with classes and in interactions with teachers or school psychologists; arranging with the cafeteria staff and drivers to see that 175 students under age 18 who need nutrition assistance get breakfast and lunch delivered 7 days a week; and maintaining school spirit with car parades and signs on the lawns of all graduating seniors, as well as planning a memorable graduation event. No one knows exactly what future problems must be faced, but this program reveals that the Millbrook Central Schools are getting ready for anything.

Learn more:
Millbrook Central School District: https://www.millbrookcsd.org/
Millbrook Rotary Club: https://millbrookrotary.org/
New York State on Pause: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause

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June 29, 2020 · Posted in Education, Nutrition, Youth  

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