Tag Archives: Jr

New York City’s first lady joins students at Hollis school for MLK Day activities


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Dozens of determined kids and the first lady of New York City spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day making peace quilts and writing letters to American soldiers overseas.

Chirlane McCray dropped into workshops being held in the junior high school, Susan B. Anthony Academy, mingling with pre-teens and discussing King’s emphasis on education.

“We pray that you are safe on this day,” McCray read aloud from the letter she had written to  American soldiers. “As Martin Luther King said, ‘When it is darkest, that is when we see the stars.’”

In honor of King, Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation hosted workshops for schoolchildren across New York City to create peace quilts and participate in other activities. On a day when most students relaxed at home, dozens of 11-,12- and 13-year-olds came to their school in Hollis on Monday.

“I wanted to come here today instead of just sitting at home doing nothing,” said Manuel Moreno, a seventh-grader who has been with the foundation program for a year to get help with math. “I’m getting more knowledge here and they teach us how to control ourselves.”

The foundation holds after-school workshops for students, who spend their time working on homework and subjects that they have difficulty with. With school out of session on Monday, the students spent the day on activities meant to reflect King’s ideals.

McCray spoke with children as they wrote letters to soldiers, among other activities. One student asked McCray if she liked her job.

“When I get to spend my day with kids like you, it’s the best,” she said.

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Rockaway residents fear losing community’s last hospital


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder.

The Peninsula’s lone hospital is in critical condition.

Rockaway residents fear financial problems at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital will close the last safety net hospital in their community.

“Queens is a healthy borough, but we can’t continue to grow if we continue to lose hospitals,” said Peter Vallone, Jr., city councilmember and borough president candidate.

If St. John’s Episcopal were to close its doors, the nearest hospital, Jamaica Hospital, is more than a 20-minute drive away.

Changes, however, have already been made at St. John’s, which declined to disclose its financial situation to The Courier.

The detox unit has closed and several clinics and nursing homes are being outsourced, according to hospital officials.

Richard Brown, the hospital’s Interim Chief Operating Officer, said the unit’s closure will allow space for “much-needed” medical and surgical beds in the 257-bed building.

Additionally, St. John’s Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics clinics have begun collaborative initiatives with the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Centers.

However, St. John’s is “considering all necessary action, including possible layoffs” to maintain the hospital’s stability.

“We cannot let community healthcare disappear from the Rockaways,” said Bill de Blasio, public advocate, mayoral candidate and a staunch supporter of outer borough hospitals. “We have to stop these free-fall closures that hollow out neighborhood healthcare.”

The hospital board is also exploring merger options with other health systems. The community hopes for a merger with major hospital chain North Shore LIJ, but Brown said no overtures between the two have been made.

 

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