Tag Archives: One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center

One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center low on funds

| ChristopherBrito@queenscourier.com

Houston, we have a problem.

The One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center, which boasts an educational relationship with NASA, is failing to receive the necessary funding to continue its programs, sources said.

Simcha Waisman, president of One Stop for six years and an active resident of Richmond Hill for the last 35, said that the community center is having trouble gathering basic funds to maintain its activities.

“[There have been] Budget cuts, and ever since the elected officials who handle the budget changed, it also changed the priority of where the money should go,” said Waisman.

Despite having received a $10,000 grant from Walmart to carry on with its annual summer camp that focuses on space technology and scientific endeavors, the center had to cut the time frame of the camp from five to two weeks because of financial difficulties. The program costs around $30,000 and is only able run until July 26.

With the exception of teachers, most of the people who work at the community center are unpaid, willing volunteers. The people who are going to suffer most, according to Waisman, are the children and the community because the community center won’t be able to facilitate videoconferencing, Mommy & Me, and other beneficial programs like their food pantry.

For now, the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center is depending on donations.

“I understand people need money for something else, but we need to pay for electricity, air conditioning and the teachers,” Waisman said, “We are here to serve the community, the people and the children. That’s our goal always. I knock on every door I know to get funding, but I’m going to have to give up the program if I can’t get the money.”


Walmart grant will boost One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center

| sarahyu@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center

Simcha Waisman has 10,000 more reasons to smile.

The president of the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center was pleased to learn that Walmart has given them $10,000 in funding, through Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

“We’re proud of our track record of philanthropy in the city and are always looking for new opportunities to support programs that are making a difference,” said Steven Restivo, Senior Director of Community Affairs for Walmart, who noted that the company has contributed about $13 million to New York City-based nonprofits since 2007. “The ARISS program at the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center helps area youth become excited about science and engineering and we hope our contribution will help the organization reach its goals.”

Waisman shared that the funds will go toward a summer camp that will be held for two weeks relating to the Center’s science and technology program.

Recently, the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center hosted another videoconference with NASA, during which the educators there showed kids what it is like to live in space.

The children learned what kind of food they eat, what happens when you let an object go in space and also got a glimpse of the solar neighborhood.

Waisman said that getting funds is a jump-start and the beginning of the future because, with more funding and donations from the city and state, they will be able to reopen programs that were forced to close down due to financial difficulties.

Once they receive more funding from the city, Waisman explained, the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center will be able to hold more videoconferences, the next of which will take place next week at P.S. 90.


Kids connect with space through videoconference

| ecamhi@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Erica Camhi

The One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center is training the astronauts of tomorrow, one fifth-grader at a time.

Since the NASA Videoconferencing Technology Program was implemented in 2007, Richmond Hill students have connected to space stations, learned technology and science, and most recently, participated in a videoconference with NASA rocket scientist Tom Benson.

While Benson was currently stationed on the ground in Ohio, he answered questions about the daily experiences of astronauts in space.

“I might be looking at one of the first people to walk on Mars,” Benson said to the students.

The videoconference took place on March 1 and included footage from onboard the International Space Station. Twenty-one students from Richmond Hill area schools, many of whom are aspiring astronauts, applied and were chosen by their teachers to participate in the 12-week program.

Simcha Waisman, the organization’s president, and other volunteers manage the program.

“These kids are learning how to research on the computer and do lots of different things. The goal is to get them excited to learn and to want to be something in their life,” Waisman said. “I know what they get out of it because I get letters from parents saying, ‘You changed the life of my child.’”

When asked for her thoughts on the program and on becoming an astronaut, 12-year-old Safiatu D. from P.S. 66 said, “It inspired me and taught me more about it. It makes me more and more interested.”

However, the community center is struggling to survive since its funding has almost completely been cutoff.

Waisman, a volunteer, fears this to be the last year of the program unless funding comes quickly and urges residents to write to the elected officials to keep the programs in place.

“It’s the kids who will suffer,” he said.