2001-05-19 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey


Carol Verdi is the Director of Early Childhood Services for Heart Share Human Services of New York located in Howard Beach and Richmond Hill, Queens.
 Carol's outstanding insight and leadership has been responsible for creating centers which are family-oriented, nurturing environments of friendship, fun, therapeutic support and the three R's to children from birth through age 5.  The families that send their children to the Heart Share Centers remain in contact with Carol Verdi long after their children have left Heart Share because of the positive educational experiences that they have.

Carol has carefully screened and put together an excellent staff of early childhood professionals.  Her expertise in the area of successful intervention strategies provides improved differences in social skills, self-confidence and the potential for learning.  Under her direction, school
day activities for preschoolers with disabilities and delays provide a mix of education, play, therapies and building social skills through the interaction with other children.

If a child is diagnosed with autism, Carol Verdi has developed a comprehensive program that encompasses applied behavioral analysis, home visits and intense center-based activities.  There is an early Intervention Program that provides home and center based care for infants and toddlers up to three years of age.  The Evaluation Center incorporates Carol Verdi's philosophy that family has the most important role in a child's life.

Heart Share provides integrated classes, which incorporate classroom activities, and creative play sessions. The lessons learned include letters, numbers and building social skills and self esteem by interacting with other children from the community. Heart Share also runs a Universal Pre K for children who are 4 years old in Brooklyn and Queens.

Each Heart Share Center is a collaborative effort among First Step staff and parents.  Together they determine the range of a child's activities to match his or her needs, regularly revise the plan and adapt it as appropriate.  As a family centered program, First Step Centers coordinate preschool activities with a child's home life.  Through parent support groups, facilitated by social workers and psychologists, families and staff share information, experiences, and advocacy goals to benefit the children. Parents also observe how their children respond to individual and group activities in the classroom.

Carol Verdi is a New York State Certified Social Worker.  Her educational background includes a BA in Psychology from Pace University, an MSW from New York University and certification by New York State as a School District Administrator.

Carol is an outstanding administrator, with recognized achievement in the area of early childhood.  She is an energetic and effervescent professional.  To know her is to immediately connect with a woman of passion for children and for education. In addition, she has the compassion, sensitivity and understanding to help each child and each family that comes to Heart Share.

Please join my husband and I at Heart Share's annual fundraiser at Russo's On The Bay on Thursday, May 24 at 6:30 PM.  The tickets are $65 each. In addition to donating to a worthy cause you will have a wonderful evening. Call 718- 323-2877 to order your tickets.

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