By Limarie Cabrera This year the 2019 Data Bulletin is celebrating its fifth year of publication. There was this pressure – much of it self-generated – to say something different, and this year, I was very much afraid that I … Read More & Comment
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that living through a historical moment as opposed to just studying it are two radically different experiences. This past May, WCA released not one but two online surveys to assess how Westchester children and … Read More & Comment
Our children deserve no less. It is hard for me to get my head, heart, and soul around all that is happening in the nation currently. The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have left me … Read More & Comment
UPDATE: May 15, 2020 WCA has released the ‘Westchester Parent Survey about Remote Learning’ so we can find out how families are coping with the new (and not so new) challenges that have emerged due to pandemic. All responses will … Read More & Comment
See behind-the-scenes photos of our journey as we created their first children’s book ‘Wendy Finds A Home In Westchester.”
Like so many great ideas, our first children’s book started at the kitchen table. Rebekah and Onya came to Ilana’s parents’ house to see how they felt about our ambitious idea to write a story from a child’s perspective about child and youth homelessness in Westchester. We were blessed that they offered their time and support as her father, Mort, is a retired journalist and her mother, Anita, is a retired art teacher and artist skilled at painting faces that brimmed with emotion. After they said ‘yes’ and Anita offered to donate illustrations for our short book, WCA staff went to work crafting a story that is simple enough to tell a child but about the complex issue of homelessness. We went through many drafts and realized the vast difference between writing for advocacy and writing a creative story. During the creative process, the Fleischner’s became like extended family and generously stopped by our White Plains office to share sketches and give helpful feedback. Wendy’s story became a labor of love for everyone (even their dog Bella.) Wendy’s story was finally published with Anita’s beautiful illustrations in November 2019 under the title ‘Wendy Finds A Home in Westchester.’ We were anxious and proud as we sent copies to our supporters, partners, and friends.
Our blessings multiplied when actor Michael Boatman agreed to read our story for a video reading that would be shared on YouTube and online. His comforting voice and twinkling personality added life to Wendy’s story and helped us reach a larger audience. Limarie directed the taping using our own makeshift setup of a recording studio in Rebekah’s office. Onya helped by making the script easier to read and kept our audience in mind as she taped another version for social media. When it was over, Michael Boatman chatted with WCA staff and shared many insights into his experiences of relaying difficult topics to his kids and the inner workings of the entertainment industry. You can see and hear the whole book as Michael Boatman reads to you “Wendy Finds a Home in Westchester.”
Thank you for traveling with us on our journey!
This post was written by Thomas ‘Mac’ Barreca, who spent Summer 2019 with us as an intern and is the last student to participate in the Cornell University Blumenthal Internship Program. This internship program was started and lead by WCA … Read More & Comment
It’s hard to know where to begin. There has been a steady onslaught of new policies and actions that have targeted children and families lately with little regard for the long-term implications. From the separation of children from their families … Read More & Comment
From our Executive Director [IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW] Westchester Children’s Association (WCA) is Westchester County’s only children’s advocacy organization focused on the welfare of children ages 0 to 25 and their families. We feel compelled to respond to the impact that … Read More & Comment