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Health officials are working tirelessly to protect public health and contain this virus. And, as your representative in Albany, I am working to ensure that our state is putting the health and safety of our families first.  Remember COVID-19 can affect any community and we must stand by one another during this time, not alienate, threaten or discriminate against others.

For questions you can also reach out to the New York State’s novel coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. For continuous updates, you can visit the following websites:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)

The CDC also now has the option for you to sign up for weekly updates on COVID-19.

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Questions About COVID-19 CLICK HERE

New Yorkers Can Find More Information About the New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law CLICK HERE



  • Executive Order: Nurses are to enlist in support of the widespread need for healthcare providers as hospitals ramp up the expansion of bed capacity.

  • The entire retired healthcare community have been asked to sign-up.

  • Hospitals are under an emergency order to expand their hospital capacity by a minimum of 50%.

  • Testing in New York is being done at a higher rate, 16,000 tests per day.

  • New York will work on passing a budget but those budget items that are more complex will be put on hold until a later date.


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Newsletter Issue #44
MARCH 2020





The Children of Bildersee Beacon got the opportunity to attend a special Jazz concert “Decades of Jazz 1920 – Present: A Century of Innovation and Improvisation” at the local Paerdegat Library. The participants learned about the influence of Jazz on music and of music through the decades. The musicians put on quite a show and the children interacted with the Jazz artists. We look forward to continuing to developing our youth’s appreciation for different genres of music.



“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”
-Paulo Coelho

In just about two weeks it already seems that we are at the dawn of a new age. Nothing that we knew seems to be the same anymore. We are not sure what each day or moment will bring us. This level of uncertainty is never comfortable yet in fact, we never really know what each moment will bring. We are now somewhat forced to use this time of heightened awareness to reconnect to the things that really matter in life. It's no different for us here at Sesame Flyers.

While our doors and program sites are now closed I want you to be certain that Sesame Flyers we will continue, now more than ever, to Love a Kid Today and Everyday. In an effort to meet the childcare needs of first responders, transit , health care workers, food and banking, we are working with DYCD - DOE Regional Enrichment Centers to provide staff support and supervision. We are also working with our staff in implementing cultural and academic online programming that supports our young people and community at large. We will continue to keep culture alive as Sesame Flyers has uniquely for the past 36 years with content that is specific and relevant to our beloved community. I look forward to sharing those developments with you soon.

Here are the latest updates to our programs that I can share now. We will resume collecting Summer Camp applications when the schools reopen. Summer Youth Employment applications are still being accepted online and you can read more about it this edition of the Newsletter. As of now The Labor Day Parade is still scheduled to go on per the West Indian American Day Carnival Association while Sesame Atlanta Carnival is postponed nor has a new date been given as yet. Please make sure that you and your entire household fill out the 2020 Census so that you too can be counted when resources for the community is reallocated

COVID-19 is understandably getting the most of our attention and focus, however we would like to note March is Women’s History Month. I am proud of the immeasurable accomplishments women have made on our society and we are highlighting a very special woman in this edition.

I am confident that we will get through this together and come out stronger than ever.


Shirley Chisholm

You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. – Shirley Chisholm

The daughter of immigrants from South America and the Caribbean, Shirley Anita St. Hill was born a native New Yorker in the borough of Brooklyn in 1924.

Best known as the first woman who happened to be of African Caribbean descent to campaign for President of the United States as a member of a major political party, Mrs. Chisholm got her start as an educator earning degrees from Brooklyn College and Columbia University. Following her passion for politics, she joined the NAACP and local political clubs. After serving several terms as a member of the New York State Assembly, she eventually became the first woman of African Caribbean descent to be elected as a Representative to the United States Congress from the State of New York where she would serve seven terms representing the 12th Congressional District. Hon. Mrs. Chisholm served on the Veteran’s Committee and the Education and Labor Committee demonstrating her commitment to those who serve our country as soldiers and teachers. Hon. Mrs. Chisholm went on to become one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971. Now 55 members strong, Hon. Mrs. Chisholm was one of the original 13.

Also in 1971 Hon. Mrs. Chisholm took the bold move to put herself forward as a Democratic candidate for the 1972 Presidential campaign. This step made her the first woman of African Caribbean descent to run for the post and the first woman to run as a Democratic presidential candidate. ‘Unbought and Unbossed’, she turned her 26 primary earned delegates into 152 after Senator Hubert Humphrey released his delegates to her. Though unsuccessful in her quest for the presidency, Hon. Mrs. Chisholm stood for office “to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo”.

Undaunted, Hon. Mrs. Chisholm continued to serve as US Representative to her constituents in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn until she retired in 1983.

As a valued elder, she spent the years after her retirement passing on her knowledge and wisdom as a professor at Mount Holyoke College teaching politics and sociology. She also presented lectures at colleges around the country.

Hon. Mrs. Shirley Chisholm made her transition to the land of the ancestors in 2005 having lived a life as “a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.”


Spring is in the air and many of you are making plans for the summer! For some young adults that includes submitting an application for the Summer Youth Employment Program. SYEP applications are available https://application.nycsyep.com/ and may be completed online. The deadline to complete applications is April 10, 2020.

The SYEP Program is 6 weeks. The Program Start date is July 6, 2020. Enrolled SYEP Participants MUST attend an UNPAID Orientation prior to Job/Project Assignment.

The SYEP Program design has been transformed to provide greater emphasis on job readiness and project based learning for younger participants and to provide older youth more time to build up their resumes with focused work experience.

14-15 year olds attend projects 15 hours per week and are provided a stipend (Must be age 14 by July 1, 2020).

16-24 year olds may work up to 25 hours per week. Older Youth Participants (16-21) are paid NYC minimum wage $15.00.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact sfisyep@sesameflyers.org, 311, or the DYCD Youth Connect hotline (800) 246-4646.

Funding for SYEP is provided in part by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.



Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause either mild illness, such as a cold, or can make people sick with pneumonia. Recently, a novel (new) coronavirus was detected. A "novel coronavirus" is a strain that has not been previously seen in humans. The disease, called COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), can be spread from person to person.

Many people have been diagnosed with this novel coronavirus in New York City. New York City is seeing “community transmission,” meaning the source of the infection is unknown.

There are no specific vaccines or treatments available for this novel coronavirus, or any other coronavirus. However, medication and vaccine research is underway.


Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough or shortness of breath. An infection can result in death, but that is a rare outcome. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. People who are at most risk for severe illness are those who have health conditions including:

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • A weakened immune system


As of March 2020, the Health Department recommends the following precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 :

  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing  do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
    Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
  • Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.


Please note, you can now get free testing and care for COVID-19 with or without health insurance.

If you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath and traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or you have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your health care provider. Your provider will work with the Health Department to determine if you need testing.

If you need help finding a health care provider, call 311.



Before a Pandemic

  • Store a two week supply of water and food.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

During a Pandemic
Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Associated Content

Last Updated: 03/13/2020 || Source: READY.GOV

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