Tag Archives: Global Awareness

September Back to School & Routine Cluster Meeting

September is an important time of year for Long Island families.  The kids go back to school and routines change.  Au Pair in America Suffolk County Au Pairs gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s house to get some important tips.

The meeting began with making ornaments for the International Holiday tree au pairs and host families will decorate for the Stony Brook Village Promenade of Trees in December.  Everyone painted a heart ornament to represent their country or their experience in the USA.  The au pairs are so creative.  They spend a lot of time doing arts and crafts with their host kids!

The agenda included Minimizing Morning Madness, School Bus Stop Safety, Safe Driving including no cell phones and distractions from kids in the car.  We discussed the use of the child’s backpack as the communication tool between school and home, keeping on top of homework and school notices.  We also talked about baby safety because September is Baby Safety month!

Cluster meetings are an important part of the au pair experience.  Not only do they learn important tips for a successful year as an au pair, but they also have an opportunity to make friends with other au pairs!

We celebrated Carmen from Bolivia who has spent almost 2 years in the USA with her host family in St. James.  She earned her education certificate and will get a certificate for completing the Au Pair in America year when she returns home to Bolivia in October.

Au Pairs learn Water & Summer Safety

The Suffolk County Au Pair in America cluster of Au Pairs gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s home to learn about Water & Summer Safety.

Every quarter the au pairs learn safety or childcare.  This time it was about being safe with their host children around water.  The main conversation was about preventing drowning.  Living on Long Island, every au pair will be at the beach or a pool this summer.  Learning to swim is the first step in water safety.  Most of the au pairs in the group are experienced swimmers.

Au pairs also learned about identifying poison ivy, how to avoid it and what to do if their host child or they come in contact with it or develop the rash.  We discussed ticks and the diseases they carry.  Using sunscreen, when to apply, how to avoid sunburn and ways to treat it were also covered. 

We celebrated the au pairs who are nearing the end of their year.  They earned education certificates for completing the education requirement of the program.

2 German Au Pairs also earned Global Awareness certificates for teaching lessons on their country in their host children’s classrooms.  They both volunteered regularly during their year and were awarded with volunteer certificates.  Vanessa volunteered in her host child’s classroom teaching German board games at lunch time.  Kristina volunteered in a local animal shelter.

After lessons and awards, each au pair shared something about themselves, including their plans for when they return home.  Cindy served local strawberries since it is strawberry season here on the North Fork of Long Island.  The au pairs loved the strawberries and cream shortcake.

They had fun on the beach and visiting with each other on the beautiful sunny Sunday.

APIA Creates Chalk Drawing for Riverhead Festival

Memorial Day weekend festivities included an art chalk drawing festival in Riverhead.  The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America had a lot of fun participating!

Juliana from Columbia designed the square. Sonia from Mexico and Community Counselor Cindy Garruba colored helped create and color the design. 

Sonia and Juliana working on the chalk drawing,

Juliana included the words she feels Au Pair in America means to her:


We had a great location right in front of to Suffolk Theater!

A Global Awareness Lesson on Germany

20161219_122810_resizedVanessa Kleyer from Germany volunteers regularly in her host child’s 3rd grade class in Mastic Beach.  She brings in games from Germany and plays with a some of the kids during their lunch break. The week before the holiday break, Vanessa gave the kids a special lesson.  She taught them a little about her country.


First she had her host child find Germany on the world map.  They learned how far away Germany is from the USA.

Then she taught some German words and phrases to the children. She showed them the German flag and each child colored a flag on a flyer she handed out.20161219_122517_resized






She told them some stories that were written in German and the children were excited when Vanessa introduced her mother visiting her for the holidays.  Her Mom read “The Princess and the Pea” in German to the children after telling them about the story.  The children listened intently.20161219_124555_resized





Each child received a piece of chocolate from Germany to try.  Then they split up into groups with the teacher, assistants, Vanessa and her Mom to play some German games in small groups.  The lesson was fun and informative.  The children truly loved hearing about Germany from their friend Vanessa!20161219_130221_resizedLearn more about Global Awareness, sponsored by Au Pair in America, by visiting the Global Awareness website.  http://www.globalawareness.com/

Happy Chinese New Year


This is the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. The monkey features prominently in many ancient Chinese legends. People born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be intelligent, clever, and gregarious, but also mischievous. They are skilled and smart, but shortcomings, like a quick temper and a touch of arrogance, tend to hold them back.

Have fun and enjoy the celebrations!

Earth Day on Long Island

earth-day-events-and-activities-on-long-island-2014While Earth Day is officially on April 22 this year, celebrations are being held throughout the month. Everyone from kids to adults can get into an Earth friendly mindset. Maybe children can even learn ecological values and practices that will last a lifetime. We’ve rounded up several events and activities across Long Island.


Earthstock Festival
Stony Brook University
Monday, April 20-Friday, April 24
Stony Brook University’s Earthstock is a week-long event starting on Monday. Events range from a lecture on Ecological Restoration to an exploratory adventure on Science at Sea. On Friday  there is an outdoor festival, which features more than 100 educational exhibitors, live music performances by Andean flutists and Aztec dancers, a drumming circle with audience participation and street performers. Don’t miss out on the rubber duck races at 2pm, 2:30pm ice cream social and the 3pm Drum Line and Color Guard Showcase.

Eco Carnival
Suffolk County Environmental Center
Saturday, April 25
Seatuck Environmental Association and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone present the Eco Carnival. A full day of family fun featuring nature programs, live animals, music, art, games and food to celebrate Earth Day 2015. Carnival Booths for henna, wild animal face painting, flying squirrel slingshot, native plant potting, biking skills and safety.

Earth Day Celebration
The Common Ground, Sayville
Saturday, April 25
Vendors, crafts, information and more about Earth Day. This is an annual event.

Celebrate Earth Day
Downs Farm Preserve, Cutchogue
Saturday, April 25
Games, hikes, learning, live music and more.

It’s Not Easy Being Green Yard & Craft Sale
Sweetbriar Nature Center
Saturday, April 25-Sunday, April 26
Buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day, get ready for next year’s holidays a bit early, or simply treat yourself to a gift. To top it off,help the Earth by buying reused and recycled products to reduce your impact on the planet.



Many local libraries are having Earth Day events, check your local library!

Au Pair March Meeting!

WIN_20150315_152949 (2)The Au Pair in America Suffolk County Cluster gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s home to fill out their tax forms.  They also welcomed new au pairs and said good bye to a couple leaving soon.  A lot of people wearing green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!  Cindy had a raffle for those wearing green to the meeting, 4 au pairs won Starbuck’s gift cards!  Green tortilla chips and dip, mint chocolate chip ice cream and green cookies were enjoyed by all!

Cindy presented au pairs with certificates for teaching Global Awareness to American students.

Cindy presented au pairs with certificates for teaching Global Awareness to American students.


Cindy thanks Nikoleta as she prepares to return to Slovakia

Cindy thanks Nikoleta as she prepares to return to Slovakia