Northside Center’s Programs

Northside has been a leader in behavioral health and education services for over 70 years.  We began innovative programs in 1946 for children and families in Harlem, focusing on clinical excellence and emphasized working with the strengths of families and the importance of children’s self-esteem long before others did.  Several of our programs were the first in the Harlem community and established the standard for care for many social service agencies.

Through our dedication to the community and clinical expertise, Northside cultivates stability and hope to families facing critical life challenges and helps build brighter futures through comprehensive services in three critical areas: education, behavioral/mental health, and recreation.

School Re-Opening Plan

                                                                                     ABOUT COMHPS

The Community Mental Health Promotion and Support Program COMHPS is a program funded by the NY State Office of Mental Health. The program aims to support New Yorkers with subclinical mental health needs and establish, maintain, and improve individual and community mental health wellness.

The team of outreach workers can conduct workshops promoting all aspects of mental wellness in person or virtually. Outreach Workers can provide referrals for those who are seeking help coping with stress, seeking advice about social support and behavioral health resources. Outreach workers help facilitate activities with community-based organization partners through various mental wellness activities. Outreach workers also can attend community events to promote and support mental health wellness and engage the community in understanding the services provided.

Contact Ruleen Garcia, For more information.

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Behavioral/Mental Health Clinical Programs

Northside’s clinics provide youth and their families with psychiatric, psychopharmacological, and psychotherapy services.  Clinical staff is trained in evidence-based treatment models including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Community or Parent Education (COPE), Knowledge Empowers You (KEY), and Power Source.  The clinics are located at our main site on Park Avenue, in several schools in Harlem and the Bronx, in a Harlem foster care program and on Allen Street downtown. Northside also offers the following specialized programs:

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CLINIC IN SCHOOLS brings our therapeutic services on-site to ten public elementary, middle and high schools in Harlem and the South Bronx. This unique program brings clinicians directly to children, ensuring that they have the attention that they need and can be successful academically. Clinicians and teachers work together to ensure that behavioral and emotional difficulties do not stop children from thriving.

At Northside, we understand the importance of mental well-being and the effect that it will have on children throughout their lives. The Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) program works at 15 of the 94 Early Learn Centers in Manhattan each year, providing clinical services and training to children, their caregivers, and their siblings.

Northside Center was selected as the exclusive Manhattan provider of early childhood mental health services for children birth to five years of age by NYC’s Thrive Initiative. We are deeply grateful to have been awarded this distinction as it speaks volumes to the work that we do with children.

helps children and adolescents with serious emotional challenges avoid psychiatric hospitalization through short-term, intensive, family-centered therapeutic and supportive services.  Program therapists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help families learn the signs that precede an emotional crisis, the methods to avoid future crises, and the social and therapeutic resources available to them.

provides specialized home based support services for children and families experiencing domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse and/or neglect.  By helping parents and their children create a safe environment and enhancing family strengths, children can remain with their parents and avoid the foster care system through the following suite of services:

Is a Family Treatment/Rehabilitation Intensive Prevention program geared towards families with significant substance abuse and mental health concerns. Services are focused on the unique culture of each family served, coupled with a holistic approach to rehabilitation. A multi- disciplinary team recommends clinical interventions that require staff to meet with families two to three times per week in the initial phase and then follow a “step- down” process that continues services at a less intensive level for families who no longer need more frequent monitoring.

is one of very few programs in New York City that uses children and family art therapy to create a holistic and multi-faceted approach to help heal from sexual abuse.  This innovative approach effectively keeps all invested in the process of recovering from sexual abuse, and preventing future re-victimization. 

The Family Connections program works with families in the Harlem community and surrounding areas to strengthen our city’s most vulnerable families. Northside partners directly with families to determine their unique needs and the needs of their children. Our program assists families with the challenges of raising children, and overcoming obstacles faced by those living in impoverished communities.

Northside’s Youth Groups are safe spaces where teens from New York City’s toughest communities can learn positive behavioral habits. These young people are at risk of involvement with the Court based on the current behavior, and come to us as their last resort. We encourage them to live their best lives and thrive. The ultimate goal is to get these young people back on track, and create a lifetime of positive enrichment and high self – esteem. Through their participation in these groups, teens have access to career nights, as well as a host of community programs and activities that they can select from based on their interests. Northside also provides a College Readiness, Access & Success Coordinator who works closely with parents and youth, developing workshops and to maximize youth attendance and participation.

Education Support Services

Through our comprehensive education programming, Northside invests in our students’ ability to rise up and thrive by helping them succeed academically. We do so through comprehensive early childhood education for both typically developing children and children with special needs, high-quality after school and summer programming, intensive tutoring, and college and career preparation programming to help our children dream big, and achieve their dreams!

Northside’s Therapeutic Early Childhood Center (TECC) serves families with children ages birth to eight in their homes, at our main site on Park Ave,  our Susan Patricof Head Start Center on East 111 th Street, at partner organizations within the community and at our two Children and Family Services Centers in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Our Early Care and Education initiatives provide nurturing and safe environments where developing and special needs children can improve in their cognitive, social, literacy and physical development.

The Early Intervention Program involves a close collaborative effort between parents, service coordinators, evaluators, and the New York City Early Intervention Program to develop Individualized Family Service Plans outlining the combination of social work; speech, occupational, and physical therapies; special instruction; and group services that will be provided over the course of the year. Northside has multi-lingual/multi-cultural Early Intervention service coordinators, which allow us to directly reach children and families in geographic areas where many residents are non-English speaking or from whom English is not the primary language. Services are provided exclusively in the home.

The Northside Day School provides Preschool and School Age Special Education Programs, which operate in small classroom environments and serve children who have been diagnosed with emotional difficulties, behavioral problems, developmental delays, language disorders, learning disabilities and/or mild neurological impairment. 

Thanks to the support of the Allene Reuss Foundation, Northside Center provides vision screenings and glasses as needed for all of our children in TECC.

  • Head Start and Early Head Start offer early education to children from age’s birth to five and parenting services to their families.  At the Susan Patricof Head Start Center, the program serves 102 children from low-income families and operates from 8:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday.  Early Head Start/Head Start children receive dental, vision, and hearing screenings upon entry and have access to speech, physical, and occupation therapies as needed.  Services for parents include educational workshops, crisis intervention, and access to our technology center and children’s library, all of which help the parents support their children’s education and aid family development.  We also have an integrated classroom in our Head Start Program that provides typically developing children and children with special needs the opportunity to learn in an inclusive classroom environment and that serves nine typically developing children and eight with special needs.
  • Through Early Head Start, Northside provides educational and development services to infants and toddlers, from birth to age three, and expecting parents.  The program serves pregnant mothers, babies and toddlers through a home-based model, children at Northside’s Susan Patricof Head Start Center, and children of mothers being treated for substance abuse at Odyssey House. Due to Northside’s demonstrated expertise in working with this population, we opened an Early Head Start center in the South Bronx and an Early Head Start/Head Start Center in Brooklyn.

At our Tutorial Center, Northside nurtures the academic success and intellectual creativity of children in kindergarten through 12th grade who may not benefit from traditional after-school programs. Unlike traditional after-school programs, our program emphasizes quality instruction and one on one attention. All of our Learning Specialist hold Master’s degrees or a Ph.D. in remedial education. The Center’s rich array of therapeutic, educational and recreational programs include:

  • Homework Help enables students in the elementary after school program to understand the concepts behind their assignments and catch up on any missed school lessons. Monday through Friday, from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, and for several full days (8:00 pm – 6:00 pm) during school holidays.
  • One-on-One Remedial Education fosters reading and writing skills for students with learning issues who are significantly delayed in literacy and math. The program operates for 32 weeks during the school year. Learning Specialists meet with students after school, 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm, on Saturdays, as well as during the school day at our TECC, Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) in Central Harlem, and KIPP Infinity.

Recreational Programming

Provides a host of creative, athletic and recreational activities designed to ensure the development of motor skills, appropriate socialization, sports skills, and fun. Through the following programs, we help children ages 5-12 achieve academically, harness the transformative power of the arts, and become leaders.

Our COMPASS program extends Northside’s educational, therapeutic, and enrichment activities into the summer months for children with emotional and behavioral issues by including a morning Reading Laboratory, where Bank Street Interns tutor students every day. While mornings focus on educational programming, afternoons are filled with recreation and offer field trips to destinations, such as The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, The Transit Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Barnes and Noble, The New York Aquarium at Coney Island and The National Museum of Mathematics.

RECREATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ARTS CULTURE & HEAL TH (REACH) AFTER SCHOOL & SUMMER PROGRAMMING provides holistic enrichment activities to cultivate the personal, creative and intellectual achievement of underserved, at-risk youth of color from our home community of Harlem. Over the course of the school year, youth come to Northside from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm to receive homework help, resulting in improvement in their academic performance. Ninety- six percent of these children report being able to finish their homework more often.

For decades, Northside has provided behavioral health programs to low-income children of color, who face various traumas that lead to poor development, educational and mental health outcomes. In recognition of Northside’s long record of success in meeting this unmet need, Thrive NYC selected Northside in 2016 to be the provider of mental health services to children, birth to five in Manhattan through the Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Network. The program focuses on providing two services: 1) mental health consultation in three classrooms at each of 15 EarlyLearn Centers in Manhattan and 2) mental health treatment to children, birth to five, their siblings and caregivers.

Cool Culture selected Northside’s Head Start as one of six partners in its Literacy Through Culture Program, an intensive partnership between early childhood programs and cultural institutions throughout New York City.  The program engages parents in supporting their children’s learning through classroom and museum-based programs.  It also provides professional development for educators so that they can introduce children to works of art and culture.  Northside was paired with the Guggenheim Museum for this initiative.  Children actively participate in a number of classroom projects, and parents and children visited the museum, which provide opportunities for creative expression and cultural awareness through literacy.  The program culminates in a collaborative art project using a variety of materials, and a presentation of the children’s art work.

Our Technology Center offers a range of learning-based computer activities for all Northside children and teens.  Northside TECC school students have computer instruction every day during the school year as part of a program called Tech for Tots.  All students learn to code, build websites and use Scholastic Keys, with children’s versions of Microsoft Office: Max Write (Word), Max Show (PowerPoint), and Max Count (Excel).  They also learn to use Internet research tools, Google Earth, and educational games, which support their activities in math and reading.  For the second year, the Center is offering LEGO WeDo Robotics, an interactive, hands-on program for primary school students, ages seven to 11.  Parents and caregivers also use the Technology Center for computer classes and resume writing, which helps them support their children’s education and advance their respective goals.

The Jane Allen Emil Children’s Library houses an eclectic collection of children’s books, films, and audiovisual materials. Northside is one of a few child development centers in New York City to have an on-site library.  Our children come to the library whether they are in need of a quiet respite in between therapy appointments or a quick stop after tutoring to flip through their favorite books. Parents also access the library to enjoy story time with their children or to read or use the computers for their own educational pursuits and interests. The library functions as a safe, supportive place for all Northside children. As parents have told us time and time again, the library is the heart of Northside. 

The Library is also home to:

  • The Northside Chess Program, which offers children the opportunity to learn and play chess recreationally and competitively. Northside Chess Program is built on the evidence that learning, playing and mastering chess  can strengthe a child’s critical thinking and  analytical reasoning skills and competencies. This program provides weekly lessons with a chess teacher and the chance to compete in tournaments.
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center/ Jazz Appreciation and Making Music is conducted through collaboration with  Jazz at Lincoln Center. With the support of their musicians, Northside’s Jazz Appreciation and Making Music (JaMM) Program offers our after school children the opportunity to experience music in different ways through body rhythms, vocal expression and instrumental engagement. After learning about jazz’s distinctly American heritage and its greatest musicians, our after school group gets to compose their own jazz tunes.

Academic collaborations support and enhance many of Northside programs and new initiatives by involving students in our work in a meaningful way. Northside offers internships and externships for graduate students from Columbia University, New York University, Yeshiva University, City University Hunter College, Fordham University and Bank Street College. Students benefit from semester or full academic year filed experience across our programs, working in speech therapy, social work, psychology, remedial education, and early childhood special education. In addition, Northside participates in innovative research collaborations with these universities to better understand children’s mental health and educational needs.

which provides specialized home based support services for children and families facing domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse and/or neglect.  Family Connections help parents and their children create a safe environment and cultivate family resiliency which, in turn, help children to  remain with their parents and avoid the foster care system.

provide individual, family and group therapy for 50 youth, ages 12-18, who are at risk for involvement with the Court based on current behavior. The groups are designed to focus on issues relevant to teens and put them on a path to positive interaction with peers and family, achieve successful academic milestones and gain opportunities for employment and/or college. Individuals are also involved in career nights. Career nights are designed to expose youth to a variety of jobs that they may already be interested in as well as professions they may not have considered before. Teens also have access to a host of community programs and activities that may be selected based on current interests.

provide individual, family and group therapy for 50 youth, ages 12-18, who are at risk for involvement with the Court based on current behavior. The groups are designed to focus on issues relevant to teens and put them on a path to positive interaction with peers and family, achieve successful academic milestones and gain opportunities for employment and/or college. Individuals are also involved in career nights. Career nights are designed to expose youth to a variety of jobs that they may already be interested in as well as professions they may not have considered before. Teens also have access to a host of community programs and activities that may be selected based on current interests.

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1475 Park Avenue New York, NY 10029

Call Us: 212 -426-3400