Children’s Aid Announces Opening of Newly Renovated Frederick Douglass Center

Upper West Side, NY (December 4, 2019) — Today in the Upper West Side, Children’s Aid celebrated the opening of a newly renovated gymnasium and lobby at its Frederick Douglass Center with children and families, elected officials, and community partners. The renovation of the center began in October 2018 and was made possible through a generous $1 million grant from the Garden of Dreams Foundation.  

Children’s Aid has been part of the Frederick Douglass Center for more than 60 years, serving children, youth, and families on the Upper West Side and in the neighboring Frederick Douglass Houses.

Our partnership with the Garden of Dreams Foundation has helped our youth learn and grow through numerous programs including the Garden of Dreams Talent Show and the Giving Program, which provides direct support of scholarships and long-lasting community projects.

“We are proud to call you a partner and are so grateful for the various opportunities the Garden of Dreams Foundation has provided Children’s Aid kids. We too are truly grateful for all those who worked tirelessly lending their support to make this project came to fruition,” said President and CEO of Children’s Aid, Phoebe C. Boyer. “Children’s Aid is committed to serving this community so let this renovation symbolize our dedication to all of you and your families.”

Children and community members will celebrate the opening with the Garden of Dreams family, and elected officials including Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington and New York State Senator Brian Benjamin.

The renovations include an improved security system, new accessible bathrooms, a new air conditioning system in both the lobby and gym, upgraded matting, and new sound and lighting systems.

“Children’s Aid has been a long valued partner of the Garden of Dreams Foundation and we’re thrilled that a newly refurbished gymnasium at the Frederick Douglas Center will provide a space for the community to not only play basketball but also a safe environment for kids to participate in all kinds of fun activities,” said Knicks Legend and Garden of Dreams Board Member John Starks.

At a time when community centers around the country are chronically underfunded, this work will allow us to reach children who are facing challenges such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illness, and navigating the foster care system.

For more information about the Frederick Douglass Center visit the website.

For more than 165 years, Children’s Aid has been committed to ensuring that there are no boundaries to the aspirations of young people, no limits to their potential. We know what it takes to ensure children and youth grow up strong and healthy, and ready to thrive in school and life: excellent education and health care, social-emotional support, and strong stable families. Today, we serve nearly 50,000 children, youth, and their families at more than 40 sites in four under-resourced neighborhoods in New York City. For additional information, contact Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938 or

The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit charity dedicated to bringing life changing opportunities to young people in need. In partnership with The Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Networks - including the Knicks, Rangers and Rockettes, Westchester Knicks, famed showplaces, TAO Group and two sports and entertainment television networks - Garden of Dreams provides young people in our communities with access to educational and skills opportunities; mentoring programs; and memorable experiences that enhance their lives, help shape their futures and create lasting joy. All of the Foundation’s activities are driven by four guiding principles – Education, Inspiration, Grants and Moments of Joy – and target young people facing illness or financial challenges, as well as children of uniformed personnel who have been lost or injured while serving our communities. Since its inception in 2006, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has impacted more than 375,000 young people and their families.

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