How Are the Black Children of Westchester?

On Monday, 21 September, Allison Lake will be participating in the AntiRacism Alliance discussion “Why Are Westchester Schools and Legal System Failing Black Children?” online. She will be joined by The Honorable Kathie Davidson, Chief Administrative Judge of the 9th … Read More & Comment »

WCA eBulletin #7 – Project 2020: Speak Up! Speak Out! was a success!

On July 21st, WCA hosted a youth-led virtual event focused on civic engagement and community change called “Project 2020: Speak Up! Speak Out!” Sponsored in part by the Westchester Community Foundation, this event was an opportunity for youth ages 15 to 21 to make their concerns and … Read More & Comment »

WCA eBulletin #7 – Parent Survey Thank You!

WCA eBulletin # 7 – Parent Survey Thank You Video

Almost 1,000 parents from throughout Westchester County responded to WCA’s Parents Survey on Remote Learning this summer and we are still using this feedback to support families as kids return to school. < See results of our Parents Survey here >

We would like to say thank you to all who responded to our survey and invite you to read the results or follow us @wca4kids or by subscribing to our emails to find out more about what we are working on.

The novel Coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our lives, but no matter what please know that #WeGotYou.


See more articles from our latest eBulletin here >

Parents respond in droves to WCA’s Remote Learning Survey

  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 … Read More & Comment »

Our Children Deserve No Less – Allison Lake

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 »

Westchester’s Digital Divide for Kids

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 »

The Story Behind “Wendy Finds A Home in Westchester”

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!

Slideshow of behind the scenes photos of WCA's first children's book on homelessness

Click the picture to hear Wendy’s Story read by Michael Boatman!