Lorraine Street Featured in the Red Hook Star
(Red Hook Star Newspaper – June 2016)
Lorraine Street UPK Graduation
Featured in the Red Hook Star
(Red Hook Star Newspaper – July 2015)
Lorraine Street Center Celebrates 3rd Anniversary
(Red Hook Star Newspaper – March 2015)
Dads Take Your Child to School Day
(Red Hook Star Newspaper – October 2014)
The Lorraine Street day care center participated in “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.” They report: “We had a GREAT turnout (28 men) that included dads, cousins, uncles, and grandfathers! The fathers enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and had some fun activities to do with their children.”
They created a bulletin board entitled “Someday I hope to Fill Your Shoes.” Then the children and fathers decorated a child-size footprint and glued it to the adult-sized footprint.
Dads also read the story “What Daddies Do Best” by Laura Numeroff. Then the fathers and children created their own pages of what they would like to do with their fathers and drew a picture.
We put all the pages together and created a story called “What BumbleBeesRus Fathers Do Best.” We also had all the Dads, uncles, etc. take pictures in our photo booth. The event was a great success and everyone had a great time!
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Free Child ID’s in Red Hook
(Red Hook Star July 2014)
On Wednesday, June 11, BumbleBeesRus opened their doors throughout the area to issue state identification (ID) cards to children of all ages.
The event was well attended, as the line of families lined up through the pre-kindergarten classroom and spilled into the hallways. All minors of any age were encouraged to participate. Children of all ages – from infants to 12 years old – now have their very own ID.
The IDs include a wide variety of information including physical appearance (hair and eye color, height, and race); full name, including any nicknames; and health concerns, such as allergies and medications. The IDs also included a photo of each child, as well as their unique fingerprint.
Everything each child needed for the ID was provided. Stamp pads inked tthe children’s fingertips and were blotted onto a form, and then transferred. The IDs were then transferred and even laminated as soon as the proper information was collected.
New York Life insurance Company donated their time at Bumblebees to administer the ID cards. The process was free and open to all.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also issues ID cards to minors. The cards cost less that $10. IDs for families on public assistance or Medicaid are free.
Parents can call and make an appointment with their local DMV, so that their kids don’t have to suffer through extended wait times.
– Kimberly Gail Price
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Another BumbleBeesRus Graduation
(Red Hook Star June 2014)
On Friday, June 13m 31 4and 5-year olds lined up against their classroom walls. Some wore tiny gold caps and gowns, others corsages and sundresses. All were prepared to move out of Pre-K or the BumbleBeesRus educational early child care program on Lorraine Street.
Both of the ceremonies began with singing and dancing. After a photo op, each child walked, skipped, or hopped across the room to receive their certificates. The directors and teachers spoke about the students’ past year and their potential for the next.
Children entering kindergarten were given gift bags and lunch boxes for the coming year. Others held bouquets of flowers as tall as they were.
Staff and relatives chatted over refreshments while the recent graduates beamed in a makeshift photobooth. Both room were plastered with decorations and projects for the special day, which, according to Pre-K teacher Christine Rivera, had taken more than a month to make.
Rivera said she felt “bittersweet” about the children’s transition. “I’m happy they’re moving up, but sad to see them go,” she said.
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Martin Luther King Day at Our Lorraine Center
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Big Hope for Little Red Hook Residents
Red Hook Star October 2013 Issue
In the wake of a storm, the physical damage is obvious. Images of broken windows, down trees and flooding are often used to depict the devastation left behind. However, natural disasters often take an emotional toll on their victims as well –which can last long after the clean-up efforts are complete.
Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens recognized the need for concealing services in areas such as Red Hook and Gowanus that were hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. AS a result, Project Hope was formed to offer assistance to storm victims. In addition to providing emotional support to adults, at the organization recently formed a partnership with BumbleBeesRus Child Care Center to pay special attention to the impact the storm had on some of the youngest Red Hook residents.
Team Leader, David Rood-Ojalvo supervised a group of councilors who led the students (ages 2-5) through a two-part lesson designed to help the, identity and manage the feelings of panic, fear and loss that a tragic event can induce.
Talking about a bear
The counselors wrote and illustrated an original story of a bear whose cave is destroyed by a flood. The children were encouraged to talk about what the bear and his family were feeling as a result of their loss. In the second part of their lesson, the preschoolers explored their own feelings by drawing people and objects that make them feel safe. They also used bubbles to reinforce deep breathing as a coping technique.
“As a resident of the community and mother of two children with firsthand knowledge of the effects of the storm had on the kids, I was happy to connect with Project Hop,” says BumbleBeesRus Family worker, Lorinda Cruz.
While one one of the goals of Project Hope’s work has been to promote resilience in difficult situations, Rood-Ojalvo admits that the people of Red Hook have already demonstrated tremendous courage over the last year.
“It’s been amazing to see how mentally strong Red Hook has been through all of this [devastation],” he says. I feel so privileged to work [on this project.]”
BumblebeesRus is located at 76 Lorraine Street, They offer Pre-K childcare. Their phone number is 718-858-8111.
– Jennifer Johnson-Archer
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BumbleBeesRus celebrates new center on Lorraine Street with an open house on February 26, 2012
The Red Hook Star-Revue, March 2012
A new childcare center is opening later this month in Red Hook. In contrast to other centers of this kind of neighborhood, BumbleBeesRus promises to be a very different type of center. With its spacious state-of-the-art facility and very capable staff, they are preparing to offer a much needed service to the community not offered elsewhere.
Martin Handler, Founder, is opening his second location at 76 Lorraine Street later this month. They are equipped to accept 250 children six weeks old to six years old offering specialized program for each age group. With a fully functional kitchen, they will provide hot meals, breakfast and lunch, as well as a snack on a daily basis. With a certified staff, advanced CPR and First Aid administrators and DoH licensing, BumbleBeesRus boats of educational childcare programs for all of its children. This is a place where “kids come first every single day”. Specialized programs include foreign languages, dance, martial arts, music and computer learning.
In an informational brochure, BumbleBeesRus writes that, “we understand and respect that every child is a unique complex individual with likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses,” BumbleBeesRUs provides age appropriate learning programs to advance children’s learning and behavioral habits that will serve them for the reset of their lives. For infants, they provide services that encourage sensory development and achievement towards developmental milestones. Toddlers have activities through a creative curriculum with circle time, arts and crafts, sensory play, tumbling and climbing as well as music and movement. Preschoolers are pushed toward preparation for first grade and the list of offerings is extensive. They promote decision making and problem solving skills, pre-reading and writing skills and math, science and social studies concepts. Whole group activities, small group instruction and one-one-one support are used to help advance these young learners. “Our curriculum is constantly being reassessed to ensure that we are providing the best possible care and implementing the most current, innovating teaching strategies.”
Joy Heintz, Executive Director go the new center, speaks passionately about being part of the Red Hook community. “We are thrilled to be opening our newest location here…a brand new state of the art facility that will be able to offer more jobs to the community.” She talks about partnering up with other organizations in the neighborhood that continue a child’s development beyond the primary years of life. “We’re a link to their kids, a linkage to partners in the neighborhood.” Heintz is not only excited about bringing this vision to youngsters in Red Hook, but also about providing employment possibilities to citizens here as well.
On the afternoon of Sunday, February 26, 2012, the new location sponsored a free open house for parents and children of all ages. No expense was spared for the event. Just for Kidz Entertainment helped host the event with numerous activities for families. Dressed in Bumblebee costumes and prepared amuse the most sullen, they offered face painting, magic tricks and balloon sculpting. In addition, Kristen Weber of Just for Kidz Entertainment provided young and old alike with cotton candy and encouraged kids to be involved in the music and her disappearing act.
Other classrooms provided options for arts and crafts and games while a photographer circled around taking pictures. Complete with a rooster, rabbits, and goats, they also offered pony rides to the smaller children. On the second floor, in one of the facility’s two outside play areas, a jumping exhibit, also known as the “bouncing castle”, was set up to give kids another fun physical activity. The center itself provided snacks, coffee, a free raffle, balloons, stickers and complimentary gift bags stuffed with all kinds of goodies including two coloring books with messages about healthy eating habit.
For adults, BumbleBeesRus offered a plethora of information about the center, as well as enrollment forms and employment applications. They also had tour guides to show the facility room by room. Although the space is not fully furnished yet, the rooms that were proved BumbleBeesRus’ dedication to providing the best of the best. The rooms were brightly painted in all different colors with unique decals on each wall. Fruit-shaped tables accompanied by tiny colored chairs filled classrooms for preschoolers, while infant and toddler rooms have changing table and age-specific play areas. Tocking chairs for infants were also present. Each room has its own hand-washing sink to promote good physical hygiene. The administrative offices are the last to be furnished, giving priority to the children. Two fenced in outside play areas with safe grounding have been including in the center’s layout.
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez was very impressed and happy with the center. She gave a heartfelt speech welcoming the center to Red Hook and then spent some time with the children.
The center is not sure of their opening date because they are still waiting for Board of Health certifications. However, Center Director Susan Gorin is positive this process will be finalized in the near future and is excited about opening the doors as soon as possible. Enrollment and employment applications are already being accepted. For more information, visit their website at: www.bumblebeesrus.com or call the center at (718) 858-8111.
We are anxious to see how BumbleBeesRus functions in the community. They are optimistic about bringing economic growth to the community and providing early child development in a fun, creative way. In addition to teaching good physical, educational, hygienic habits to children at the most crucial time in their lives, they are creating hope and prosperity in Red Hook and the surrounding neighborhoods and quite possibly the entire New Tork area. “Our major goal is to provide a welcoming, safe, nurturing and developmentally appropriate environment that develops and fosters individual creativity, active exploration and learning through child-centered activities and explorations that support the development of the ‘whole child.’”
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