GIFTS Family Support Center

Jill E. Townsend
YWCA Executive Director

Promoting A Strong, Wholesome Grand Island

Mission: GIFTS is a partnership of the Town of Grand Island, the Grand Island Central Schools and many community human service agencies. GIFTS' mission is to support and promote a strong, wholesome community by providing Grand Island families and individuals with coordinated access to prevention and intervention programs and services. The GIFTS Family Support Center is a convenient place to find help with some of life's challenges.

Events: Information, referral and follow-up individual, family and group counseling, Parent & Community workshops, Prevention initiatives in the school and community

Help: Donations are always welcome. You may also designate your tax-deductible United Way contributions to the GIFTS program.

Strengths: GIFTS confidential services are open to any family or individual who is a resident of Grand Island

Domestic Violence Program              Offender Accountability Program             Domestic Violence & The Workplace
G.I.F.T.S. Brochure                                Teen Dating Violence                              Salons Against Domestic Violence

GIFTS Summer Nature Program - 2004

   G.I.F.T.S. (Grand Island Families Town and Schools) has announced this week that there are still openings in each session of the Summer Nature Program. This program is a free, environmental learning program for youth 8–13 years. "If you enjoy hiking trails, discovering plants and animals, learning about ecosystems and building bird houses, this program is for you," GIFTS coordinator Sue Novits said of the program.
   The program is being held from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road. The one-week sessions run from July 12-16th, July 19-23rd and July 26-30th.

EPIC Parenting Classes - 2004

   The GIFTS Program (Grand Island Families Town and Schools) is offering a free, six-week parenting workshop for Parents of Adolescents on six consecutive Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 20th – May 25th at the Grand Island High School, Room 181. Facilitators are Danielle Gworek and Doug Merian. For information and registration for the program, call the GIFTS office at 773-9600 ext. 690.

GIFTS Offers Counseling, Social Services - 2004

   GIFTS (Grand Island Families Town and Schools) is available to serve the Grand Island community for counseling needs and social service advocacy. Contact the GIFTS office at 773-9600 ext. 690. A free, six-week EPIC parenting workshop for Parents of Adolescents is being offered from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on six consecutive Tuesdays from April 20th – May 25th at the Grand Island High School, Room 181. Facilitators are Danielle Gworek and Doug Merian. For information and registration, call the GIFTS office ( 773-9600 ext. 690).
   Information on GIFTS sponsored summer opportunities may be found in the Grand Island Recreation and Community Education Summer Program booklets to be distributed in upcoming weeks.
   Residents are urged to mark their calendars for National Night Out on August 3, 2004 from 6-8 p.m. at the Town Commons. "Join us in celebrating our Grand Island Community," a GIFTS spokesman said this week.

GIFTS Update 2003
   "HAPPY NEW YEAR from the GIFTS Family Support Center. We are here to serve the Grand Island community to empower individuals in meeting day to day family and parenting challenges. We provide information and referral on any social service need; individual, family, and group counseling, and parenting and community workshops. Please contact GIFTS at 773-9600 ext. 690.
   We are saddened to report the GIFTS ADVANTAGE AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM at Connor Middle School has fell victim to State funding cuts and closed its doors October 31, 2003. Any parent who utilized this program and is interested in expressing your concerns about the loss of this program, please contact the GIFTS office for the appropriate State officials to contact."

Parents of Young Children - Workshops Available - 2003
   Click G.I.F.T.S. for EPIC (Every Person Influences Children) workshops available.

GIFTS Summer Environmental Program - 2003


Click above pictures for larger view

   G.I.F.T.S. (Grand Island Families Town and Schools) provided a free, environmental learning program for 8-13-year-olds in three one-week sessions over the summer of 2003. Instructed by Grand Island School District science teachers Roger Wright and Sue Szczublewski, the sessions from 9 a.m. to noon each day took place at the Nike Base on Whitehaven Road. According to GIFTS Coordinator Sue Novits, a total of 90 students took part in the summer program.

GIFTS National Night Out - 2003

Barbi Lare Photos
   Town Hall was the meeting place Tuesday, August 5, 2003 for the local recognition of National Night Out. Areas were set up out in the parking lot for finger printing, help center information, balloons for the kids and for the Sheriff's Department displaying their all terrain vehicles, bicycles and other services they provide for Erie County. Grand Island firemen were on the scene with their trucks and personnel for all to see.

GIFTS Sponsors National Night Out 2003
   National Night Out, an event to promote community wellness, is being planned by G.I.F.T.S. (Grand Island Families Town Schools) from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, August 5, 2003 at the town hall. Featured will be refreshments, Child I.D. Kits, Crime Prevention, Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Violence Prevention, Safety Awareness and "free stuff."

GIFTS Family Support Center Seeks Private Practitioners 2003
   Private practitioners currently providing counseling services to the Grand Island community are invited to add their name to a resourse list of certified social workers GIFTS is presently compiling.
   GIFTS — Grand Island Families, Town & Schools — is a partnership of the town and school district and many community human service agencies. Its mission is to support and promote a strong, wholesome community by providing Grand Island families and individuals with coordinated access to prevention and intervention programs and services.
   Those interested may send a letter of intent and a resume to: GIFTS Program, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, NY 14072, attention Terry Wall, or fax to 773-9653.

GIFTS Free Parenting Workshops - 2003

    Free Parenting Workshops, "Common Sense Parenting," have been announced by GIFTS (Grand Island Family Town Schools).
    Do you continuously repeat the same instructions to your child?
    Do you use threats that you don't carry out?
    Do you find the more you punish, the more your child misbehaves?
If you are a parent who has children between the ages of 4 and 16, come together with other parents to deal with issues such as:
  • Preventing Misbehavior
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Teaching Children Self-Control
  • Staying Calm
  • Encouraging Positive Behavior
        The six-week workshop will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, May 1, May 8, May 22, May 29 and June 5, 2003 at the City of Tonawanda High School (Guidance Center), 150 Hinds Street, Tonawanda, NY 14150. Registration is necessary. Call the GIFTS office, 773-9600, for further information.

    Communications Gap

    A Communications Gap held on April 29, 2002 at the high school brought teens, parents and community members together to learn each other's perspective and how everyone can work together to improve one another's lives. Led by facilitator Kathy Mabarak Miller, fun was had by all who attended.

    After-School Program Kick-Off

       Kick-Off the Season! You’re Invited to get the ADVANTAGE! The GIFTS ADVANTAGE After-School Program Kick-Off takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, August 24, 2001 at Sidway Elementary School on Baseline Road. The event is a celebration of Grand Island’s first program developed exclusively for middle school aged youth, and will include lunch, parent/child activities, informational workshop and registration opportunities. It is open to all Grand Island residents with children in grades 6-8. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Aimee Neri, Program Director at 773-8835 to ensure availability and sufficient refreshments.
       The GIFTS program is under the auspices of Catholic Charities, in collaboration with Grand Island Central School District, Town of Grand Island, YMCA, and YWCA. It is made possible by a grant from the NYS Office of Child & Family Services and The After School Corporation.

    GIFTS Seeks Social Worker

        The GIFTS Family Support Center is seeking a social worker (BSW/related degree) to be an after-school director. Ability to establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with multiple service providers is needed. Send resumes to GIFTS Family Support Center, 2255 Baseline Rd., Grand Island, NY 14072.

    GIFTS Family Day of Celebration

             GIFTS (Grand Island Family Town and Schools) held its second annual National Family Day of Celebration Saturday morning (Oct. 28) at Kaegebein School. More than 70 Grand Island parents and children were at the event. The focus of the event was to have community support of families according to GIFTS Coordinator Heather Maris. 
             The day started with a family fun walk around the school with many participants in Halloween costume. Children and parents then made craft items including painted newspaper hats, colored pasta necklaces, and wooden pendants (decorated with foil stars and spices). A family fun quiz was given to everyone. Following the crafts program, children went to the gym where they separated into teams and competed in events like making a dummy (with old clothes, newspaper, tape, and balloons), and running an obstacle course.

    Aubrey makes a pasta necklace in her witch costume.  

               According to Maris events were designed to make family members cooperate and interact with each other. Craft projects were designed so that parents would help their children make cool stuff. Events in the gym were judged on "cooperation, communication, creativity and laughter." And the quiz was designed with a mix of questions that could be answered only if parents and children worked together.
                The idea for the program came from the GIFTS organization. For more information about GIFTS call 773-9600 ext. 690.  Thanksgiving Week (Nov. 20-26) is National Family Week.

    If you are a member of this organization, we need your help. GIECOM.Net has partnered with the Connections program to help Grand Island as a community "Get it Together." Please visit our website G-I-Together.ORG and fill out our SURVEY. Every group on Grand Island will have its own FREE web page showing: meeting times and location, contact persons, your Mission Statement and a listing of events. We will also be linking your news events that appear in the local media and on IsledeGrande.Com, Grand Island's E-News Source, to your page, maintaining an archived journal of pictures and news. This is the perfect opportunity for your group to connect with potential new members and the community.

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