We are supporting St. John’s Residence.
Hurricane Sandy devastated St. John’s Residence in Rockaway, Queens. The NY Santitation Department has cleared debris and volunteer groups have helped rebuilt. From an orphan asylum in 1826 to a contemporary program serving boys and families at risk, St. John’s has undergone many changes, all of them geared to the needs of the boys and families we serve. You can learn more about this organization by clicking here.
A Letter from Ellen Kaplan, Assistant Principal, St. John’s Residence:
St. Johns serves as a home and school to boys ages 13-21 who have been placed in care by the courts. our boys are great, and our staff is dedicated to improving their lives. As there are few parent advocates for this population, many opportunities in terms of travel, culture, job support, healthy life styles are lacking.
SANDY devastated much of our program; we lost our gym equipment, we lost our ceramic and wood shop.
Our school is currently operating on the 4th floor of the boys residence. Our gym is basically an L-shaped living room/dining room. We have just hired a new teacher who is also a Soccer Coach and a Karate Black Belt. We hope to employ yoga and meditation for our boys. They rarely have the opportunity to close their eyes and feel safe and secure.
We have had guest yogis and health generalists who always leave with a feeling of satifaction after sharing their practices with our boys.
We have purchased $5.00 Broadway tickets, and accompanied our boys to Wicked, Lion King, Billy Elliot….the look of excitement and wonder on their faces never fails to inspire. Many of these boys have never left the Rockaways!. We look for employment opportunities as well as job shadowing.
I have been working on restoring internet connectivity to our school; because we are a city school, but not in a “City” building, funding is difficult to acquire.
Still looking for a technology teacher for our lab….looking to increase knowledge of Creating EXCEL sheets, using Photoshop for Marketing Practices, creating Powerpoints and independent SAT practice and College search abilities.
Thank you all so much for working to improve the lives of our boys….
With love and respect,
Ellen Kaplan, Assistant Principal