Dyker Heights

Neighborhood Improvement Association holds fundraiser at Dyker Heights restaurant

May 2, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: NIA President Michael Bove, NIA CEO Mary Anne Cino, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, NIA Executive Director Rosa Casella and Louis Lin attend the event. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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The Neighborhood Improvement Association (NIA), held its annual fundraiser at Park Asia restaurant on Thursday. The event brought out elected officials and civic leaders including state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn), Golden’s Deputy Chief of Staff and City Council candidate John Quaglione, Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst, Sunset Park) and Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst).

The organization, which was founded in 1981, is a nonprofit community service organization dedicated to addressing issues that impact youth, families and seniors. Its headquarters are located at 6614 11th Ave. in Dyker Heights.

NIA’s board of directors includes President Michael Bove, Vice President Jerry Saporito, CEO Mary Anne Cino and Executive Director Rosa Casella.

The primary focus of NIA’s work revolves around expanded after-school partnerships that serve several thousand students daily, encouraging exploration and learning through the arts and sciences, teaching new skills, providing opportunities for exercise and fostering positive youth development and healthy lifestyle choices.

NIA’s comprehensive after-school programs are geared to help students develop their skills and broaden their abilities. They include academic enrichment, daily homework support, arts education, physical education, photography, gardening and cooking.

Golden praised the NIA and said, “We had a crazy year up in Albany, but I can tell you right now the one thing we did make sure we were going to deliver on is education and on our after school programs. We made sure that places like NIA will have the opportunity to continue to give our communities the success they need.” “Our most cherished gift is our children and nobody is doing a better job than NIA. When NIA calls we deliver,” Golden added.

Some of the Brooklyn schools that have partnered with NIA are P.S 104 in Bay Ridge, I.S. 187: The Christa McAuliffe School in Dyker Heights, P.S. 264: Bay Ridge Elementary School for the Arts, P.S. 95: The Gravesend School and I.S. 239: Mark Twain in Coney Island.

“NIA values our solid partnerships with the schools we serve,” said Annette Scaduto, director of program operations. “We believe in open communication and consider our schools as partners in the program planning process.  We aim to provide each with specific support services that align with their school’s focus or that they may not be otherwise able to offer to their students.”

NIA also supports area residents and seniors in addressing quality-of-life issues. Families are assisted through counseling services, recreational programs, informational service and healthy living initiatives that are offered at local senior centers, NIA’s main office and at community events.

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