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Center Works To Prevent Abuse

Staff members of Plainview’s Mid-Island Y JCC summer camp programs intend to give its campers a fun summer experience, as well as a safe one. As a preventative measure, staff members were educated on how to stop child sex abuse from occurring through the Silence2Strength program on Thursday, June 5.

Each year on Long Island, there are over 16,000 reports of child maltreatment, according to The Safe Center LI, the creators of the Silence2Strengh program. As long as a child’s boundaries are being crossed, emotionally or physically, it is considered abuse.

Despite the camp having no prior history of abuse, the program was held in order to identify and stop issues that may arise to ensure the safety of the campers. It is the goal of Mid-Island Y JCC to make sure that the kids have a good time, but the camp’s number one priority is to keep children safe.

The more people who know how to prevent or notice abuse, the safer the kids are, according to the Director of Education at The Safe Center, Anthony Zenkus.

Zenkus equated speaking out about child abuse to rescuing someone from drowning in a pool: every second counts.

“Even if they say, ‘please don’t tell anyone,’ your job is to say something,” said Zenkus. “One of the reasons why people don’t speak out is because they’re afraid.”

The Safe Center LI gives parents, professionals, and community members the knowledge needed in order to keep children safe from sexual abuse. The organization provides education and services around child abuse, domestic violence and related issues, with its offices located in Bethpage.

The program advised camp counselors on how to identify and prevent physical and emotional abuse, as well as how to interact with kids in a safe way.

A few child abuse and neglect indicators mentioned by Zenkus included unexplained bruises, easily frightened or fearful behavior, eating disorders, dirty or torn clothing and antisocial behaviors.

Zenkus advised the camp staff to respect the personal boundaries of the campers. If contact needs to be made, the counselors should first ask the camper for permission.

Director of Youth and Camping Services, Joshua Henkel knows that taking preventative measures to stop and also identify abuse is important. As a father himself, he takes these types of matters very seriously.

Henkel addressed the staff to come to him if they are ever unsure whether a situation is appropriate or not.

Mid-Island Y JCC offer day camps, travel camps and CIT programs. The summer camp is for students from kindergarten to 10th grade. This summer, there will be over 600 campers who will be overseen by 200 members of the camp staff.

Counselors range from CIT counselors going into 10th grade, to supervisors who are adults with children and full-time jobs. All of the camp staff and supervisors were present at the meeting including Assistant Camp Director, Gayle Jukofsky.

Mid-Island Y JCC brought in The Safe Center so the staff understands what is fully expected of them. When applying this knowledge to situations, it will help keep the campers safe in unexpected situations, explained Jukofsky.    

Zenkus hopes that more camps and schools will follow in the footsteps of the Mid-Island Y JCC, and hold a similar conversation on the topic of child abuse.

News

When it comes to food, New York is known for three things; pizza, deli sandwiches and bagels. Some of the best bagels are right here on Long Island. Plainview to be exact.

“When I was in eighth grade, I took a job at the local bagel store next to the high school,” said Steve Cohen, owner of Town Bagel in Plainview. “I still have that same job today, 36 years later.”

It’s hard to imagine that it’s Thanksgiving already. Is it me, or did we just celebrate? Halloween wasn’t even upon us and the stores were stocked with Thanksgiving and Christmas items. We say to ourselves, “each year, it comes earlier and earlier.” While some prepare to cook and figure out where to seat relatives to avoid arguments, others plan to dine out. To many of us, Thanksgiving means shopping on Black Friday. But for the few and far between who look forward to catching the latest film from the array released exclusively for the holiday weekend, the time has come to relish relaxation. Sit back and enjoy the weekend at the movies, while the deliciousness of turkey and stuffing is probably still digesting in your tummy.

The following movies opened on Nov. 26:

The Penguins of Madagascar (PG–92 mins)

The Penguins of Madagascar finally have their own movie. If you’re familiar with the previous Madagascar films, featuring the zoo animals and their adventures, then you already know the funny and lovable spy penguins. Packed with animated fun for the whole family, Skipper, Kowalksi, Rico and Private begin a journey as undercover agents to help stop the notorious villain, Dr. Octavious. New and returning voices include Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, Christopher Knight, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and many more.


Calendar

Owl Prowl

Saturday, Nov. 29

Holiday Tea

Monday, Dec. 1

Art in the Afternoon

Wednesday, Dec. 3



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