Brooklyn hot spots

Children of Promise

There are more than 105,000 minor children with a parent in the New York State jail and prison systems, and studies show that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to go on and be incarcerated themselves. Children of Promise New York City, a Brooklyn based non-profit organization, is doing everything they can to change that statistic. CPNYC is out to break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration by doing away with social, economic, and educational inequities.

Through after school programs, mentoring, and therapeutic services the CPNYC offers children of inmates the possibility of exploring new opportunities and expressing themselves creatively and emotionally. The kids are empowered, through those around them, to speak about how they feel. Children of Promise believes that the strength of the youth is best measured through their belief in themselves. By teaching young people to believe in themselves, they are teaching them to believe in their abilities and their own futures.

Children of Promise developed Project DREAM (Directing Realities through Exposure, Access & Mentoring) that matches children on an individual basis with trained mentors. In so many of these cases the child’s mentor is the first person who has ever expressed an interest in the child’s thoughts and personal aspirations. By providing the kids with new experiences and opportunities, the organization is providing the children with new perspectives on their futures.

The after-school and summer camp programs provide support to over 200 elementary and middle school aged children. This support includes homework help, enrichment activities, and a place for these children to safely express themselves. CPNYC is also working to eliminate the barrier of communication between child and imprisoned parent by taking the children on regularly scheduled weekend visits, encouraging both parent and child to exchange letters, and scheduling video conferences.

CPNYC was featured on ABC’s Secret Millionaire, and received $60,000 towards furthering their efforts with the children of incarcerated parents. That donation is especially helping with the efforts towards taking the children to visit their parents as the organization was able to purchase a 16-passenger van with the donation. You can visit their website to learn more on how you can assist them in their future endeavors.

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