2017-05-03 / Front Page

Mayor's Wife Holds Baby Shower Event

By Joyce Vetere Milowski & Dan Miller

Chirlane McCray reads to a group of Queens children at the New York Hall of Science at the second annual Baby Shower program at which she and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery talk to parents and children about the many city services available to them at no cost.Chirlane McCray reads to a group of Queens children at the New York Hall of Science at the second annual Baby Shower program at which she and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery talk to parents and children about the many city services available to them at no cost.On April 22, first lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Richard Buery co-hosted a Children’s Cabinet Baby Shower luncheon conference at the New York Hall of Science to share with parents with children how they can receive many of the City’s available programs.

In its second year of operation, the Children’s Cabinet Baby Shower program brings together parents with children to learn about many of the city’s free social services available to them. Many of the social service agencies offering free programs had staff on hand at tables to provide information about those free services.

The First Lady sat down with the Queens Gazette at the New York Hall of Science to offer an exclusive interview about this important service to New York families with children.

“These Baby Showers are so important,” said the First Lady Chirlane McCray, ”because New York City is a wonderful place to raise a child, but it can be stressful. If you’re stressed out then it means your children will have a stressful environment which can interfere with their brain development and their emotional growth. So we wanted to provide a place where parents can access all of the services that are available to parents and families in one place, a place close to where they live. We have so much to offer parents.  We have everything under one roof. We offer so many services. It is important for the City to have these showers so parents can get together, hear some music, eat some food, sit in an informal setting and talk with these folks behind these tables who know so much about what this city does to support them.

When asked about where the First Lady got the idea to start this initiative, she replied, I have to say that this program is one of the hallmarks of the Bill De Blasio administration to get people from different agencies sitting around one table to talk about how we can do this work better, to service the citizens of New York City better. We have said we are all trying to make their lives better. But we have to work together. And that’s how these baby showers came to being,” said New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray.

Deputy Mayor for Strategic Planning Richard Buery, who formerly headed up the City’s Department of Children’s Services, welcomed the families to the Hall of Science in Corona Queens and explained how this event brings together hundreds of parents with children across the city to learn about the many city services for which they might use to assist them bringing up their children.

Deputy Mayor Buery told the Queens Gazette, ”The New York City Baby Shower program was started three years ago by Mayor De Blasio to bring together the many City agencies that affect the lives of families with children.” He further stated, “ this effort coordinates the City services when they need it and where they need it.” Indicating that most families with children may not know what City services are available to them. “One of the things we decided to do was to have a number of Baby Showers all around the city to share with families what services are available for them to use.” We usually have them at a great venue like here at the Hall of Science, in Queens. For families to come and parents to come walk around and to see what is available, for example how do I register for pre-k? What nutritional services might be available. This program is one of the things we are doing to get the word out about City services.”

Deputy Mayor Buery indicated that the City anticipates that more than 100,000 new babies NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray addresses one hundred moms and children at NY HAll of Science at Baby Shower Program introducing young and new mothers to the many free city services available to them  Photos Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray addresses one hundred moms and children at NY HAll of Science at Baby Shower Program introducing young and new mothers to the many free city services available to them Photos Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES will be born in 2017 and the City wants to celebrate these brand new New Yorkers by providing their families with key information and resources on how to make their first years happy and healthy. At each event like the once held at the Hall of Science parents and caregivers those attending have learned about the many different City services available to assist them to raise health, happy children.

The Baby Showers, planned for every borough in the city, are sponsored by the NYC Children’s Cabinet, which is actually made up 24 City agencies and Mayoral offices and is chaired by Deputy Mayor Rihard Buery. Each of the Children’s Cabinet agencies work together to advance the Mayor’s commitment to increasing child safety and well-being mainly in low income high need communities.

The deputy mayor pointed out that another initiative of the Children’s Cabinet is “Growing Up NYC” He suggested that our readers check it out and search  for city services to families by age, by neighborhood  “and see all the great things happening in New York City by visiting the website, www.growinngupnyc.cityofnewyork.us

First Lady Chirlane Mc Cray pointed out that the Baby Showers are part  of the Children’s Cabinet’s Talk to Your Baby campaign that promotes language acquisition, parent-child attachment and health child brain development by encouraging parents to talk, reads and sing to their babies from the time they are born.

She pointed out that the NYC Children’s Cabinet is a multi-agency initiative created by her husband, Mayor Bill De Blasio to bolster communication and coordination of City agencies and provides a space to identify and analyze individual and common areas of work that impact child safety and well being.

The First Lady invited a few dozen of the children present to gather around her on a carpet and listen to her read to them “Love Is,” a Scholastic book that was published in both English and in Spanish.
 
Some of the program’s corporate partners include Scholastic, Inc. The Clinton Foundation, and Sesame Street.

Further information about the many different service available for families with children can be obtained on line at www.growingupnyc.cityofnewyork.us.

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