Community Health Starts Here

So very proud that I was able to be a part of this VERY successful effort. Photos and design by Amar Productions. 

"Today, we celebrate: 4 local School Based Health Clinics (SBHCs) that were slated to close will stay OPEN for another year! Thanks to the hard work of a coalition of parents, schools, nurses, advocates, and elected officials for saving these clinics!

Recent state budget cuts, a change to funding methodology, and an upcoming carve-in to medicaid managed care created underfunding to SBHCs. While 4 local centers had been slated to close, their sponsor SUNY Downstate Medical, in response to community advocacy efforts, has decided that it will continue to operate the 4 SBHCs next school year despite the budget cuts they received. I am grateful that SUNY Downstate has stepped up for our children, but recognize the need to ensure the long-term viability of the SBHCs.

SBHCs provide free health services at schools and are a critical safety-net for immigrants and the uninsured. SBHCs are a cost-effective way to deliver primary and preventive care, manage chronic illnesses, first aid, reproductive health care, mental health, & more. From asthma and diabetes to food allergies and anxiety, these clinics can provide the difference between life and death for many of our schoolchildren.

Thanks to the coalition work of parents, officials, and health care workers from M.S. 51 William Alexander; Brooklyn New School and Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies; P.S. 38 the Pacific School; the School for International Studies; along with Assemblymember Robert Carroll, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Brad Lander, the NY School-Based Health Alliance, NYS Nurses Association, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and many others!"   - Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

School Play

The very first week of middle school, in the overwhelming haze of new place, new faces, new patterns, Dakota's drama teacher asked for volunteers to go with him one evening to a process drama workshop at NYU. 20 Kids would be allowed to come, first come, first serve. It was a feeding frenzy. Dakota called me from school, I would have to meet him out front precisely at dismissal so that I could sign his form and he could return it as fast as possible. That evening, those fortunate kids, those who didn't even know each other at all, performed improvisational drama for a group of graduate school students. I would have been incredibly intimidated. They literally exposed their souls. Such bravery. 

Now, a few months later, those same kids (along with the entire 6th grade drama department) take the stage to perform an interpretation of Hansel and Gretel. 

I know I'm a proud dad, but, these kids are fearless, deeply talented artists.