Peer Pals Blog

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  • Team-Up-Tuesdays

    Make-a-Match Mondays are so much fun, we've decided to add Team-Up-Tuesdays! The goal of both alliterative days is the same, to find a new friend for every child who wants to make a friend. So please share our program with your family and friends who have children ages two, three, four or five years old. We are building communities of inclusion for preschoolers with disabilities, please join us!
  • Make-a-Match Mondays are back!

    It's Monday and that means we are making matches! There is nothing better than finding a match for one of our pals. The feedback from our matches has been overwhelmingly positive. Some pals are matched the very first week they sign up, however some pals will age out of our program never having been matched. You can help make sure everyone can meet a new friend by sharing our program with all of your friends and family. It's a bonus if they have children ages 2,3,4 or 5!
  • Thank you Oyster Bay Main Street Association!

    Thanks to the OBMA for the grant to help purchase the sign for outside our office! We absolutely love it.
  • Thanks Nassau County Girl Scout Troop 211!

    Last Friday night the girls from Troop 211 stopped by with a check for $275.00 to be used toward the purchase of toys for our Play Dates in a Box! The girls donated a portion of the profits from their cookie sales this year. Thanks to their hard work and generosity, we will be able to provide a Play Date in a Box to eleven of our pals. These boxes are sent to families when they have been matched and contain everything the new friends will need for an individual play date. Thank you, Troop 211!
  • A new place to play!

    Super excited to announce our newest group play date partner, The Little Gym of Roslyn! We will be having our first event there on May 21st. It's always exciting when we add new places for our pals to play. Thank you The Little Gym of Roslyn for welcoming us and suporting our mission of inclusion!
  • Welcome Harborfields!

    Sending a huge welcome to all the families in the Harborfields School District! It was a pleasure meeting so many of you at kindergarten orientation. Thank you PTA and SEPTA for making me feel so welcome!
  • Today’s the day!

    Today is the 7th Annual Planting Seeds of Community Dinner and we are proud to be honoring the Ipiotis Family as our Community Champions for their commitment to volunteering and support of our mission of inclusion! The nasty weather will not dampen our spirits as we celebrate at the Fox Hollow tonight! I want to take a moment to thank the dinner committee for all the work that went into getting the raffles and silent auction ready. Special thanks to our dinner chairperson, Kate, for another fabulous year! Looking forward to a wonderful evening!!!!
  • 1st Teen Volunteer Night

    Thanks so much to our newest high school volunteers from Oyster Bay High School, St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay and Our Lady of Mercy in Syosset! We are excited to be able to offer 1:1 play dates, facilitated by our new volunteers, in our new sensory friendly play space. Schedules and sign ups will be coming soon...stay tuned!
  • Once Upon A Treetop

    A few months ago we held our first group play date at Once Upon A Treetop in Plainview. It has quickly become one of our most popular play date venues! It's an interactive city designed for imaginative play and has a giant climbing playground that's perfect for our pals. We are looking forward to many, many more play dates at Once Upon A Treetop!
  • Happy 2017!

    Happy New Year! I can't believe I haven't posted since early November...especially since there's so much to share! First, a HUGE thank you to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program for the generous donation of a sensory play area in our office! With the addition of all the sensory friendly toys we will now be able to host individual play dates for our pals in our new play space. A special thank you to SSgt. Quinton and Major Kilbride for all the time and attention spent on our project. I also want to thank Girl Scout Troop 211 from Oyster Bay for coming into the office to help pack and send welcome packages to our newest families. The girls did an amazing job and I was so happy to have them here. The troop is also donating a portion of their cookie sales to our program. We are so grateful that they have chosen to support our mission of inclusion for children with disabilities. We have 31 group play dates on our 2017 calendar and that number is growing! Be sure to check out our EVENTS tab for upcoming play dates.
  • Our volunteers from FREE

    Thanks so much to our volunteers from FREE (Family Residences and Essential Enterprises), for their help in our office last Thursday! They helped to pack puppets to welcome our newest pals into our program and pack Play Dates in a Box for our latest matches. Lauren, Joe, Brian and Michael did a fantastic job and we look forward to their help again.
  • Feedback makes me happy!

    As part of our matching program for inclusive play dates, we enclose a feedback postcard when a match is made. The last couple of postcards we received have had such positive feedback and the families really seem to have hit it off. It makes me so happy when the match and subsequent play date are successful. So happy that I want everyone waiting for a match to have a pal as soon as possible! With that goal in mind, I'm asking all of you to share PeerPals.org with your friends, families, PTAs, SEPTAs, school principals, EI providers, and anyone else you know that may have a child ages 2-5. Please help us find a friend for all of our waiting pals!
  • Lots of Pals

    While October 2016 is not quite over, it is already one for the record books! This month we have welcome 26 new pals into our program. I love when we meet new families!
  • Thank You St. Dominic’s High School!

    Thank you to all the volunteers from St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay for coming out to help share the PeerPals.org mission of inclusion at the Oyster Festival this past weekend! Saturday's volunteers: Julia Volberg, Catherine McAuliffe, Rebecca Kelly, Francesca Minicozzi, Kaitlyn Kennedy, Lauren Kennedy, Christopher McDermott, Isabella Robles, Jonathan Looney, Allison Montefusco and Makela Flanagan. Sunday's volunteers: Sarah Buonaguro, Beth Garrison, Ally Blair, Gianna Renaldo, Jamie Gallo, Julia Palmeri, Anna Kirk, Ryan Poole, Mick Brennan, Mike Assini, Jordan Kurgie, and Sean Monaghan.
  • Did you see us in Newsday???

    Thank you Kay Blough and Newsday for sharing our mission with your readers! If you've found us because of the article on Sunday, September 4, 2016, on page 2 of the LILife section, please leave a comment below and let us know!
  • Our 5K is on the way!

    In less than two weeks we will be holding the Inaugural A Run Through History 5K/Family Fun Run/Walk! On Saturday, September 10, 2016, PeerPals.org and the HPSNetwork are teaming up for this event. Please join us as a runner/walker or as a race day volunteer. Just click on the EVENTS tab! I'd like to thank everyone at HPSNetwork for partnering with us for this event and all of their hard work making the run/walk a reality. Thanks, too, to Debra Milano for guiding both our organizations through the process of setting up a 5K/Fun Run/Walk and for her patience as we learned along the way. Her invaluable assistance has been most appreciated. Looking forward to a fabulous day and raising money and awareness for PeerPals.org and HPSNetwork!!!
  • Ahhh, August…

    Ahhh, August...like many of you, I am always stunned when it seems like summer is just getting started and then I blink, and it's August! For many of our pals the countdown to the first day of kindergarten has started and with this comes many emotions. While most parents are anxious and excited for this milestone, the anxiety can be quite overwhelming for the parent of a child with a disability or delay. Did I choose the right school? Did I choose the right placement? Self contained? 6:1:2? 8:1:2? 12:1:2? An inclusion class? General Ed with an aide or General Ed without an aide? Without knowing your specific situation and because everyone's experience will be different and challenging in different ways, I can't guarantee that your choice is the best choice for your child. What I can guarantee is that whatever happens on the first day of school will be okay in the long run. If your child's placement isn't quite right, work with your team and know you can always go back to CSE. Try to enjoy the first day...prepare as best you can and plan to do something kind for yourself. It is a big day, but it's just the first day.
  • A RunThrough History Inaugural 5K/Family Fun Run/Walk

    Wow! Only 41 days until the Inaugural A Run Through History! We are getting excited and trying to get ready for our first 5K/Family Fun Run/Walk. If you are wondering how you can help, wonder no more. We need volunteers! We need runners! We need sponsors! We need water! Email me at julie@peerpals.org to volunteer on September 10th. We need folks at the registration tables and along the route. Click on the EVENTS tab to become a sponsor or a runner. You can drop off gallons of water at the new PeerPals.org office: 123 Audrey Avenue, 1st Floor, Oyster Bay. Give us a call to let us know you're coming...516-922-4300. Looking forward to a fantastic day raising money and awareness for PeerPals.org and HPSNetwork!
  • Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    July 18, 2016, was the 8th birthday of PeerPals.org. To celebrate, we asked our donors, pals and volunteers to share our mission with their family and friends. Thanks so much to those who did! When you share our mission, you help us get one step closer to the reality of inclusive communities for children with disabilities. This past year was a year of tremendous growth for us. We served more families than ever and moved into our own office space in downtown Oyster Bay. If you're ever in the area, please stop by to say hello.
  • Now THAT’S a lot of puppets!

    Thanks to the generosity of the family and friends of Jim Lassus, who donated money in his memory in celebration of his birthday, 105 new pals will receive a welcome puppet in Jim's honor. We here at PeerPals.org decided to welcome children into our program with a puppet, so they would have a puppet friend while they are waiting to be matched with a pal. Our puppet is a chef because we are "cooking up friendships". Special thanks to Jim's wife, Liz, who chose to celebrate his birthday in this special way.