CYFS Recreation Program: Taking Journeys with our Youth
Every year, Osborne’s Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS) supports (X number) children with a currently or formerly incarcerated parent to overcome stigma and isolation by offering a strengths-based, non-judgmental, child-friendly environment, along with support, various services, and resources tailored to these children’s unique needs and perspectives.
A special part of the services that CYFS provides is the Recreation program. “CYFS Rec” gives youth ages 5 through 21 the opportunity to take part in a monthly activity with their peers. Sponsored by St. James’ Episcopal Church, youth and their caregivers participate in fun, recreational activities, like bowling, visiting museums, ice skating, apple picking, cooking classes, and more.
Diana Archer, Program Coordinator, explains: “The Recreation Program is a special opportunity for the youth and guardians to spend time together and experience activities they may not have had the chance to before. Its can expand horizons.”
In this post, we share some of the stories and highlights of the last few Recreation trips. Thank yous to Diana Archer, STAFF MEMBER, and STAFF MEMBER for contributing these reports.
Apple Picking at Dr. Davies Farm
On September 16th, CYFS Recreation traveled to Congers, NY to enjoy apple picking and celebrate the coming of fall at Dr. Davies Farm. We traveled by bus and enjoyed a beautiful day at the orchards. We bought bags and the long sticks so that the children would be able to get those hard to reach apples in the highest parts of the tree. The kids had a great time in the orchard. We then went on a hayride and had a great time bouncing around on the bumpy back roads of the farm. The youth also picked pumpkins they got to bring home. We ate lunch and enjoyed the sunlight for a while, and then rode home! It was a great day in nature.
Reported by STAFF MEMBER
Visiting Dimmena's Museum of Children's History
On November 4th, CYFS Rec took children and their caregivers to the Museum of Children History, in collaboration with See Us Support Us Awareness Month for Children of Incarcerated parents. All month, Osborne's Justice Across Generations department for policy reform has been doing programming and events to promote awareness of children with incarcerated parents. They hosted an amazing event at the museum of Children's history and invited our youth to attend! It was an amazing afternoon filled with crafts and activities. One highlight was the actors who educated the children on the American Suffragettes and we made hats that look like theirs! The kids were then invited to do a scavenger hunt to explore the museum! All of the young people enjoyed the day, and received free museum passes for their next visit.
Reported by STAFF MEMBER
Exploring the Hall of Science
On January 27th, 2018 CYFS families went to the NY Hall Of Science with volunteers from St. James Church .They all worked together in designing clothes as a team with each other in groups. There was great conversations between the families, Osborne Staff and volunteers as they enjoyed the scenic bus route from Brooklyn to Queens The children were excited overall about the trip. They were able to create a manual map for a space robotics machine and the Eco interactive experience where you can interact with the Eco system through gestures, movements, and make decisions that impact how well the world is kept in balance. Everyone was in a good mood from start to finish and even almost ate all the healthy sandwiches and delicious fruits for lunch on the trip. We will definitely visit the NY Hall Of Science again next year.
Reported by Parlay Hay
CYFS Recreation: What’s Next?
In the coming months, we’ll continue to share stories, images, and reflections on the journeys our youth take during Recreation activities.
In addition, we'll profile the collaboration between the Family Ties program and CYFS Recreation. Three times every year, Osborne staff and volunteers accompany twenty children on an overnight trip to attend their mothers' graduations at Albion prison (located near the Canadian border.)
Keep an eye out on the Osborne Facebook page, Twitter, and here on our blog, where we'll tell you more about our adventures soon. Thank you for your interest and support.