2006-03-24 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Walter Blum Honored as a Hero

On Wednesday, April 5, at Garguilo's Restaurant in Brooklyn, Walter Blum will be awarded the Heroic Leadership Award for his leadership role in establishing and building the Brooklyn Jesuit Prep according to a press release issued by the school. Walter Blum is the fourth generation in his family to live in Queens. The monies raised will be used to support the activities of the New York Nativity Centers. Please call 212-447-1472 Ext 305 and order your tickets. Tickets are $100.00 each.

Brooklyn Jesuit Prep is a comprehensive middle school with after school and summer programs specifically focused on serving impoverished, primarily immigrant families in and around Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It is part of the New York Nativity Centers. The mission of the centers is to provide quality education to children of deserving but underserved families. The centers strive to instill in their students: (1) a sense of the excitement and value of learning, (2) a commitment to the development of their intellectual, social, moral and spiritual dimensions and (3) a belief in using one's talents in service for others. The New York Nativity Centers consist of three integrated components: middle school, summer leadership programs and graduate support services. New York Nativity has three centers: (1) The Nativity Mission Center serving boys in grades 6 through 8; (2) Saint Ignatius School serving boys and girls in grades 5 through 8 and (3) Brooklyn Jesuit Prep serving boys and girls grades 5 through 8.

The Nativity Model is based on small classes, an extended school day, a year round program and continued support through high school. Initially the program services ended when the youngsters went into high school. As s result of the experiences of the students and the difficulties that they were finding it was determined that the support services would be provided through high school and college.

The programs have an outstanding proven record of success. Eighty four percent of the students graduate from high school and 81% go on the college. They are able to achieve these successes through using the following strategies: small classes of 10 to 14 students in each class: an extended day, including afternoon and evening study sessions; an extended year including summer leadership programs; academic and financial support through high school; assistance with the college application and financial aid process; parental involvement; enthusiastic volunteers; nominal tuition ($1 per day); and faith based, but open to students of all religious denominations.

The students are quoted as saying "I love going to school in New York City". These students are part of the Summer Leadership Program. In addition to participating in city activities these students learn at a summer camp to climb mountains, to breathe country air and to swim.

These activities energize the students and help them to focus on their reading and math classes with new vigor.

Speaking of important events, our Chapey Trinity Services luncheon will take place on Thursday, June 1, 2006 at Russo's on the Bay.

Tickets are $50.00 each. The funds raised at the luncheon will be used to support the group van program. We are so pleased that our honorary co-chairs will again be Matilda Cuomo and Dr. Kathleen Cashin, our executive co-chairs will be James Mahoney and Richard Roberts and our co-chairs will be Frances Abbracciamento and Joseph Mure.

Frances Abbracciamento and Joseph Mure are working feverishly to be sure that our luncheon is spectacular. Look for some wonderful surprises. When Frances and Joe put their heads together we can expect the best.

Please join us on June 1. Tickets can be obtained by call Stella at (718) 474-1641.

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