Friends and Supporters,

Welcome to the August 2022 TCFD Newsletter!

It’s been a wonderful month here at The Center!

It has been such a productive and wonderful summer here at The Center for Discovery.

In the span of just a few months we made great progress on the development of our Children’s Specialty Hospital, enriched the lives of college and high school interns, watched our fields bear incredible fruit, and had some warm-weather fun!

Here’s a few brief highlights from this past month:

Children’s Specialty Hospital Update

Good weather made for much progress at the site of the new Children’s Specialty Hospital this month.

Exterior painting has begun and will continue into the fall. Inside the building, sheet rocking, painting, and the installation of flooring is ongoing in the classrooms, patient rooms, and other areas.

In the state-of-the-art Alemany Learning Center, the audio-visual wiring is complete and will be followed by the installation of specialty ceiling, walls, and equipment.

The Children’s Specialty Hospital, the first of its kind in New York State, is scheduled to open in 2023.

Wonderful Cornell Internship Program

Our interns from Cornell University have returned to school for their fall semester and each of them reported wonderful experiences with our DNA Department and Big Barn Lab School.

They each plan to continue to pursue their tracks in Nutrition and Human Ecology with a new understanding of the roles of the environment and food on health and behavior.

More importantly, they reported to their mentors that their time at TCFD changed them as people.

That’s a Wrap – A Successful Summer DIG IT Internship Program

Our new Dig It (Discovery Innovation Green Team) internship program was an absolute success!

Designed as a paid internship for the teenage children and family members of our staff, the program provided real-life environmental service experience in our fields and on our trails, as well as job experience in our various departments like Music Therapy, Dance, IT, Fiber Arts, Innovation Labs, Accounting, Daycare, and People Operations.

The team members also went to various workshops and had a performance with professional storyteller Adam Wade, worked on a film project with documentary producer John Sears, and made new friendships – all while learning life-changing lessons about the importance of taking care of the earth and each other.

We are already planning for next summer’s program!

Trademark Corner – The FlexTable®

Did you know that we revolutionized the idea of a community table here at TCFD?

Back in 1998, three of our staff members saw a need and went to the drawing board. The result was the FlexTable – a table that allows anyone sitting in any kind of a chair to gather for a meal, work or just socialization. It moves up and down in segments to accommodate everyone. Here at TCFD, the FlexTable® immediately led to greater community and became our first trademark.

Our Assistive Technology Department has since grown and experienced continued success since the early FlexTable® years, most recently the development of our Innovation Labs. As a branch of the Clinical Services’ Assistive Technology Department, the Innovation Labs is a technological hub where seasoned experts collaborate with various teams to design and build innovative solutions that enhance the quality of life for individuals with complex conditions. Some of the most impactful innovations include a wireless Bluetooth switch interface, digital egg-weighing scale, switch-activated folding device, height-adjustable changing table, universal tool holder, and a wrist talker. Currently, they are working on a revolutionary armchair that will meet the needs of many users. In addition, they recently launched a video series titled “Interview with an Innovator” where clinical team members share the journey that they went through in creating a new program, project, or initiative. The hope is to inspire and empower other team members to be creative problem solvers.

We are grateful for the first invention, the FlexTable®, and for all the others it has since inspired.

The Learning Never Ends at TCFD!

Don’t forget to check our amazing and updated Integrated Arts training website! The site includes videos, program guides, and other resources that explain some of the programs we have here at TCFD.

New resources are added regularly – like a video on Fiber Arts that will be coming later this month!

To view our training website, please click here.

CSA Bounty

Our farmers are just simply – the BEST.

With Greg York, our Director of Farm Operations, at the helm, we have had a good summer CSA season – despite the driest weather in 20 years! Greg said this summer was the closest we have ever come to running out of irrigation water in our ponds.

And yet – the tomatoes were almost sweeter than the sweetcorn which we know to be beyond description! There’s also been lots of green beans, tons of picture-perfect lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, giant onions, kohlrabi, beets – even a field of wildflowers for pickin’!

We are grateful for the bit of rain over the holiday weekend. So far, the fall crops that are perfect for cool weather and storage look great!

The CSA ends in early November.