Sunday, December 16 was a rainy, windy day but the Au Pair in America Suffolk County au pairs were warm and happy at their International Potluck Holiday Party. They gathered at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s house for a feast! Everyone brought a dish from their country to share!
Then we played holiday games and got to know everyone a little bit better by sharing holiday customs from our countries!
A silly Christmas story right left grab bag gift exchange was fun. Everyone got a gift and Cindy gave each au pair a Santa hat and gift, too.
We finished up with dessert. Christmas carols played in the background, while laughs and conversation was lively. Lots of fun for all!
On Sunday, December 2nd, despite the wet weather, host families, au pairs and many others, enjoyed the Annual Stony Brook Village Holiday Festival. Au Pair in America was happy to be one of the sponsors this year supporting the Santa Fund run by the Ward Melville Heritage Organization.
Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba, Host Families and Au Pairs all helped decorate our International Peace Tree for the Promenade of Trees, our theme is “We Bring The World Together!”
A children’s chorus sang Christmas Carols as everyone waited for Santa to arrive. Santa arrived on his fire truck at 2 PM! He spent lots of time with each child. Au pairs and host families socialized while they waited on line to give Santa their wish lists.
While they waited, a balloon artist entertained the kids on the line. Each child received a balloon animal of their choice!
The festivities continued with a parade of big puppets featuring historical local heroes and heroines. It was a great day!
On Saturday, October 13th Wading River’s Fall Festival went on despite a rainy start. Au Pair in America Suffolk County had a table that was well attended by local families. The day began with the Zombie Parade!
Viviana from Colombia helped Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba explain what an Au Pair is and how APIA can help busy Suffolk County families with their childcare. Viviana is a 2nd year au pair who is having a great experience in the USA. She told families who stopped by about taking care of her host child, teaching him Spanish and how much she has learned about our culture while sharing hers with her host family.
The rain did stop and the event was enjoyed by all who attended. Meet Suffolk County APIA Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba on Sunday, December 2nd at Stony Brook Village’s Holiday Festival.
Visit Stony Brook Village this October to see all the scarecrows made by creative community groups. Au Pair in America entered the contest with Au Pair Annie and friends. Our Scarecrow is #107 just to the left of the Post Office!
Au Pair Annie is holding 8 au pairs from countries in our Suffolk County Au Pair in America cluster. Her banner has the AIFS moto, “We Bring the World Together”. Au Pair in America is a division of the American Institute of Foreign Study. Check out AIFS here.
Mia from Croatia, Dana from Germany, Sara from Panama, helped Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba, with the Scarecrow. Their energy and creativity was lots of fun!
Suffolk County Au Pair in America Au Pairs Cluster Meeting September 2018 at Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba’s HomeCluster meetings are so important for au pairs to meet each other, form friendships and connect with their counselor.
We start the meeting with a craft. It gives the au pairs time to socialize and to be creative. They paint ornaments we will use to decorate our International APIA Peace tree at the annual holiday festival in Stony Brook Village. This is an event attended by au pairs and their host families on the first Sunday in December.
Every September Cindy shares tips to make back to school and routine with host children easier for au pairs. We review minimizing morning madness, communicating with school through the backpack & how to use it effectively, bus stop and bus safety. It is also Baby Safety month, so we review tips on how to keep little ones safe.
There are a few distracted driving and bus safety videos watched that really emphasis how to be the kind of driver who pays attention to the road! These videos really demonstrate why everyone should stay off the phone while driving and how to keep kids safe!
We got the chance to wish Ana good bye after 2 years as an Au Pair! Ana has a trip planned around Europe before returning to home to Peru!
Au Pairs from APIA Suffolk County enjoyed the “Alive on 25” Riverhead Street Fair. Community Counselor Cindy Garruba invited her cluster to spend the evening enjoying the music, street vendors, and food trucks along Main Street in Riverhead.
There were antique cars and the au pairs enjoyed posing with them! We all loved the ones that reminded us of the 50s and 60s!
We strolled along the Peconic River and looked at the boats docked waiting for the fireworks to start. Everyone was treated to a Ralph’s Italian Ice by Cindy. Chocolate was the most popular flavor!
The fireworks was the highlight of the evening. Au Pairs were surprised by how great the display was and how many people gathered to watch. We talked about the reason Americans celebrate the 4th of July. The Au Pairs enjoyed hearing about how much Americans value the birth of our nation and celebrating our Declaration of Independence back on July 4, 1776!
Every au pair must return home to her country when she completes her Au Pair in America program. APIA wants to support au pairs as they take the step ahead into the “real world”! Some au pairs are heading to University to complete a degree or earn a masters, some are heading into the career world, and some might be heading onto another world adventure.
What ever our APIA au pairs are about to do, we want to prepare them as best as possible. Au Pair in America has started a Re-entry Resume building program for our au pairs. Field Reps/ Community Counselors, Cindy Garruba and Robin Leon have developed tools for au pairs to use to build their resumes. They have taken skills au pairs learn and translated them to meaningful terms to use on their resumes.
Counselors host cluster meetings or good bye coffees for au pairs as they leave. They now can add resume building into these farewells. APIA au pairs also earn education certificates when they complete their required classes. Once they return home, they also receive the Completion Certificate. Many also earn Global Awareness certificates for sharing their culture as lessons in US classrooms, youth groups, or organized groups. They often earn ESL or TOEFL certificates, too. Many au pairs from APIA love volunteering and earn Volunteer certificates from APIA. All of these certificates build their resumes, too.
Au Pairs from Au Pair in America are always a part of the family and we send them off with a good bye luggage tag that says:
“I’m going places with Au Pair in America!”