Brooklyn Education: FRIENDS Convention 2015

FRIENDS, The National Association of Young People Who Stutter, is an organization that provides a network of support and education for children and teenagers who stutter, their families and the professionals who work with them.

FRIENDS publishes a newsletter that includes information and reflections on stuttering. The organization holds an annual three-day convention and several regional one-day conferences that provide opportunities for experiences that can change negative feelings about stuttering into positive ones.

The FRIENDS Stepping Up Mentoring Program allows teens who stutter to mentor children who stutter. Participants talk to each other about issues surrounding their stuttering and about other life experiences.

The 18th Annual FRIENDS Convention was held this year in Raleigh, North Carolina from July 16-18. Kids, teens and adults who stutter, parents and siblings of children who stutter, and speech-language pathologists gathered to participate in educational workshops and social events. Most of the attendees come back year after year.

The convention empowers kids and teens who stutter, they become more confident speakers, and they have fun.  Next summer, the convention will be held in Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, visit the FRIENDS website at

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Kids had a blast at the monthly Tots Craft Class at Boulevard Books and Café. They started with blank canvases, and they left with completed chalkboards that featured their very own designed borders. Between each coat of paint, the kids enjoyed silly read-alouds, singing and dancing, and a cookie and chocolate milk break.

After their chalkboards were complete, they turned them over, got their hands dirty and hand stamped and dated their work. Their chalkboards are perfect for keeping them busy on car rides and even for marking memories like that “First day of Nursery School” photo.

The next Tots Craft Class on Wednesday, August 12 at 11 a.m. will feature painting ceramics. Any interested parents must call to RSVP.

In September, Pinot’s Palette will be moving into the back of the bookstore and will begin hosting Little Brushes classes for kids of all ages who are interested in fun canvas paintings. Private birthday parties can also be arranged. Boulevard Books & Café is located at 7518 13th Avenue and can be reached at 718-680-5881.

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Linda Strong and Rosanne D’Augusta, co-directors of NYBlast Volleyball Club and head coaches at Fontbonne Hall Academy and Brooklyn Technical High School, respectively, will offer an instructional volleyball clinic at Fontbonne Hall Academy for seventh to 10th graders.  The clinic will run on August 17 through 20 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon each day.  The cost is $225, and space is limited.  For more information, contact

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