ETAC Updates—November, 2020
Children, parents and District staff participating Ossining UFSD’s OPrime program.
In the Spotlight:
Ossining UFSD’s “OPrime”
As a community school district, the Ossining Union Free School District (OUFSD) is a model in providing support to the District’s families and ensuring their children have what they need to be successful in both school and home environments.
At the beginning of October, Dr. Raymond Sanchez, District Superintendent, and Community School Leader Megan Mastrogiacomo spearheaded a new initiative entitled “OPrime.” During these challenging times brought on by the pandemic, OPrime serves as both a community and an online resource hub where families and students can access any needed resources, including school supplies, clothing, PPE, references for housing, food, and legal help. Mastrogiacomo states they’re working closely with Ossining schools’ social workers and psychologists, who help identify families in need and will share information on how the Program can help. A database has been created and will be continually updated to ensure all families are engaged and contact is not lost. Interested families can access information about OPrime’s resources online and in-person.
The vital partnerships Ossining UFSD has established with various businesses, nonprofits, and individual donors within the community help provide this critical community support. Dr. Sanchez and Mastrogiacomo recognize and continue to appreciate the District’s community partners’ volunteering their time and services. OPrime was one of Mastrogiacomo’s passion projects. She has always dreamed about being able to open a house—a welcoming and warm place where families can go to for support. As a ‘brick and mortar’ building isn’t available at the moment, Mastrogiacomo currently runs OPrime out of 400 Executive Boulevard. The building’s lower level conference room functions as both her office and the community hub. However, the long term goal is to have a house centrally located, which parents and families can easily get to and where staff would be actively available for parent engagement.
OHS students working hard at OPrime.
OPrime’s vision also draws in volunteers from the community. High school students, as well as Ossining family members, can volunteer and give back to the community by helping to package items and clothing bundles, provide transportation, and help make deliveries.
Not one to rest on their laurels, this past October, Ossining UFSD also offered a new cycle of its outdoor Saturday Explore and Learn Program. With partners including the Ossining Public Library, UMAC Briarcliff, United Martial Arts Centers, Mike Risko Music, Teatown, and NY Ecuador FC, the District offered a variety of experiences every Saturday of the month for children and their families, including: art, beginning piano and guitar lessons, Futsal, martial arts and tennis.
Currently, Ossining’s Virtual Family Resource Center is open. Online classes include tips for parents with teenagers, nutrition, and well-being topics. A partnership with the Ossining Public Library highlights virtual story-time sessions.
For more information on OPrime and Ossining UFSD’s other program offerings, contact:
Megan Mastrogiacomo, Mmastrogiacomo@ossiningufsd.org