2006-06-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Marina Callaghan Graduates From Leading Professional School Program Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein

Marina Callaghan Graduates From Leading Professional School Program
Rockaway Artists Alliance

Marina Callaghan, Rockaway Artists Alliance's kidsmART Program Coordinator, was one of 106 candidates to graduate from Child Care Inc., the nation's leading training program for School-Age Care Professionals.

On June 16, Child Care Inc. (CCI), a nationally recognized child care advocacy, professional development and resource organization,graduated its seventh class in School Age Care (SAC) credential preparation. The ceremony was held at the Williamsburg Community Center in Brooklyn.

The graduation adds 106 newly qualified New York City based leaders of programs for children ages 5 through 12. The CCI training is part of a national movement to bring increased professionalism and higher standards to a field that is increasingly seen as a critical partner in supporting child development and child welfare.

"Time away from school is prime time for children's social, emotional, artistic and physical development," said Nancy Kolben, Executive Director of CCI. "The dedicated people who work in this field play a critical role in children's lives. CCI has been a groundbreaking force nationally and in New York State, which leads the country in this emerging profession."

"I am thoroughly humbled to see the dedication of the candidates, who, in the midst of our own lives and careers, have taken on the task of personal and professional development to improve the services they provide NYC's children," says Sherry Ormond, CCI director of school-age programs. "It's an awesome effort."

Marina Callaghan is Program Coordinator and On-Site Director of the Rockaway Artists Alliance popular kidsmART after school program and camp kidsmART. Shehas been involved in the education department of RAA since it's inception; assisting in the creation and implementation ofprograms, shaping curriculum,hiring and training staff, working as a professional liaison and creating the acronym for kidsmART which stands for kind, imaginative, dependable, sensitive, motivating, accepting, respectful and tolerant, which is the basis ofthe kidsmART program philosophy. "Marina serves the families of Rockaway and beyond with professionalism anddedication," said Program Director Christine Mullally.

"I love and believe in what I do, which isprovidingquality programming in asafe and nurturing environment, where all children, without exception have an opportunity to shine,"said Callaghan. "This credential process was a wonderful opportunity for me personally. Iwas so inspired bymy Professor, Chandra Travis, and alsoby my many colleagues. I'd like to thank them all for their devotion to improving the lives of children and families. I'd also like to thank kidsmART Program Director Christine Mullally for acting as my advisor and for being a beaconduring the arduouscredential process. Christinehelped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.Thanks also to Kevin Callaghan who supported mein every way throughout the process."

Callaghangavethe commencement speech imploring the graduates toconsider unionizingtheir industry, an industrywhich until recently was unregulated. "Our profession supports all professions and we deserve, like all workersfair pay,health care coverage, maternity leave, holiday pay, vacation time, pension plans, etc."

Callaghan was the first member of her graduating class to successfully complete the New York State School-Age Child Care credentialing process. Her unwavering dedication to the youth of Rockaway has been and continues to be an enormous benefit to all local families.

Correction to last week's column: I left out one letter in the website for a great source of information about shadow puppet theater and how to create your own production.

The correct website is: http://prince tonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/ puppets.htm

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