Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Senior Councilman Anthony J. Santino and Councilman Bruce Blakeman announced that they have secured a grant that will benefit local students, including those in the Hewlett-Woodmere, Lynbrook and East Rockaway school districts.
The $17,498 grant check was recently presented to the Peninsula Counseling Center of Valley Stream, which applies the funds for the organization’s Joan Baum Friends Program – a program that has assisted hundreds of children for more than 30 years.
“I am thrilled that we are able to support the Peninsula Counseling Center’s efforts to offer positive support for our local youth,” Murray said. “The Joan Baum Friends Program provides young students with an outlet to connect with student role models who help steer them through troubling times and challenges.”
The Joan Baum Friends Program helps local children who could benefit and grow from one-on-one interactionwith a caringhigh school student mentor. Many of the children referred to the program are dealing with physical disabilities, cultural isolation, emotional problems, the effects of unstable homes or other difficulties and challenges. The program offers the youngsters an opportunity to connect with someone who is not an authority figure or a relative.
“We applaud the Peninsula Counseling Center and the student mentors for their efforts in helping children in need of extra support,” Santino said. “We’re proud to assist an organization that serves the needs of our community’s youth,” Blakeman added.
The benefits of the program are numerous. The high school student mentors develop a strong sense of responsibility and caring. The high school students visit the youngsters at their homes and share in a variety of activities ranging from sports and cooking to homework help and music.
“Though we present the check to the Peninsula Counseling Center, it’s the children who truly benefit,” Murray said. “We thank the Peninsula Counseling Center for its hard work in helping youngsters in the community.”