Update from Island People’s Project

Morning Program Schedule & Registration

IPP 2020 Family Guide for a Safe Summer

June 17, 2020

Fishers Islanders,

For the summer of 2020, Dock beach is closed. This means there will be no lifeguard on duty in July and August.

Please practice social distancing responsibly. If you use the beach, you enter the water at your own risk.

This year we will not install the nets or the floating dock. We will miss seeing it there, and swimming to it, but its presence invites ignoring proper distancing protocol. It is our hope we will swim to it in 2021– and in the years to come. The picnic tables and the lifeguard chair have been roped off to adhere to the state Covid-19 safety guidelines.

Thank you for your understanding and have a happy, safe 2020 summer.
​The Board of Island People’s Project

May 15, 2020

Dear Fishers Island Community,

Since our most recent letter, on April 22nd (please read below), Island People’s Project Board of Directors has been meeting on a weekly basis in an effort to determine the best course of action for summer 2020.

Our decision making reflects an ongoing collaboration with Fishers Island’s community organizations: the Island Community Board, Island Health Project, FIDCO, and Dr. Ingram, as well as following protocols from New York State. We have been working together to establish a positive outcome, one that safeguards the well-being of the community but equally takes in to account the desire to have some kind of normalcy.

Please bear with us as we enter uncharted territory and shift towards a new normal. Adapting our behavior and being asked to change is not an easy task. It is during these tricky times that it is necessary we work together to ensure the best possible outcome.

Based on what we know today, it is true this summer will not be like last summer. IPP’s Board of Directors has collectively made the rare decision to cancel the following annual events for summer 2020: the House & Garden Tour, IPP’s Craft Fair, July 4th Independence Day Parade with the Fife & Drum band, the softball league, and our newly created swim lessons at Dock Beach. As this unprecedented situation evolves, we will be looking for opportunities to amend our offerings. Please stay connected and keep an eye out for any possible changes.

Despite this new narrative, we have good news. This summer, IPP’s Morning Program will provide free digital programming. In lieu of our traditional approach, the Morning Program will offer weekly, home-based themed projects. There will be daily activities to inspire our children to create, play, build, and imagine. We will have crafts, games, music, storytelling, and opportunities to explore nature. There will be cupcakes! The Cardboard Boat Regatta will be radically different, a surprise, but still part of this summer. The IPP Pet Show is back in action. Director Bonnie Benkard will curate and manage this summer’s programs. More information about what will be offered and how to access the activities will be released in early June.

At this time in history, as we face the disappointments of today, let’s shift our focus and seek-out an upside in all of this. Although we find ourselves in exceptional circumstances, perhaps we can carve out new behaviors, discover alternative ways of living, and reconfigure what it means to be a community.

IPP is focusing on what our organization can do rather than the opposite. Together, it’s an adventure. We can do this, please join us on this new journey.

Yours truly,

Jessie Doyle

President, Island People’s Project

April 21, 2020

IPP and the Morning Program Update:

Dear Fishers Island Community,

The well-being and care of Fishers Island residents is paramount to the mission of the Island People’s Project. As we consider various decisions that will need to be made, the IPP Board will foremost be mindful and considerate of the safety and health of all residents of our unique island home.

To achieve the best outcome, it’s important to IPP you stay informed of our current plans, what we envision for the future, and how that may impact your summer.

We are cautiously optimistic the collective effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus may allow IPP’s programs and activities to operate in some capacity this summer. However, before any final decisions can be made, we will rely on state, national and local guidelines to inform our decisions.

This summer, IPP has five events planned: the Morning Program, the July 4th annual parade with Fife and Drum, the Craft Fair in July and August, the 2020 House & Garden Tour, and Swim Lessons at Dock Beach. Additionally, IPP is responsible for Dock Beach and the ball field.

We do not want to make decisions prematurely before we have a solid grasp of the eventual guidelines issued by the state, the Center for Disease Control and local authority. Currently we are waiting on the CDC, which is developing COVID-19 guidance for all types of summer camps. The directives will help our Morning Program director Bonnie Benkard determine the best way forward.

Presently, the general consensus on Fishers Island is to cancel programs and events that involve group gatherings. The reason behind this decision is due to the Island’s limited infrastructure.

As most of you know, Fishers has one doctor, a small collection of EMT volunteers, plus one sea stretcher to transport a patient(s) over-town. Realistically, Fishers does not have the human bandwidth to handle an onslaught of residents in need of care. What does this mean for IPP and the Morning Program?

What we do know:

• We will offer the Morning Program in some form if we can do so safely and in compliance with all local, state, and federal guidelines.

• We have adjusted the registration start date for the Morning program to allow for possible changes ahead; as of now it is June 1st.

• We are working closely with FIDCO’s Mimi Gary, ICB, IHP, Dr. Ingram, and all of Fishers Island’s organizations to establish the best possible course of action.

• We are exploring alternatives over the course of the next month to determine our next steps.

• Friday, May 15th, three weeks from now is the date we are looking towards to have a clearer idea of what it is we can and cannot do for all of our programs.

What we don’t know:
• If NY State’s ‘pause’ orders will be lifted by June 15th?

• If social distancing restrictions will be eased?

• If rapid testing will be available to ensure a safe environment?

Island People’s Project is asking you to be flexible. We are doing our best to be nimble and rise to the occasion. Next steps: Please look out for our Morning Program Family Survey; it is anonymous and we are eager to hear your thoughts.

Questions or concerns about the Morning Program may be sent to the Director, Bonnie Benkard, at ippfiny@gmail.com. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, we encourage and welcome you to reach out to our Board Secretary Margaret Benkard – mchaves2@me.com, or IPP’s Board President, Jessie Doyle -ipppresident@gmail.com

April 16, 2020

Dear Fishers Island Community,

The well-being and care of Fishers Island residents is paramount to the mission of the Island People’s Project. As we consider various decisions that will need to be made, the IPP Board will foremost be mindful and considerate of the safety and health of all residents of our unique island home.

As the summer approaches, IPP wants to keep you informed of the current plans we are making, what we envision for the future and how that may impact your summer plans.

We are cautiously optimistic that the collective effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus may allow IPP’s programs and activities to operate in some capacity this summer. However, before any final decisions can be made, we will rely on state, national and local guidelines to inform our decisions.

This year, summer 2020, IPP has five events planned: the Morning Program, the July 4th annual parade with Fife and Drum, the Craft Fair in July and August, the 2020 House & Garden Tour, and Swim Lessons at Dock Beach.

What we do know:

  • We will offer the Morning Program in some form if we can do so safely and in compliance with all local, state, and federal guidelines.
  • We have adjusted the registration start date for the Morning program to allow for possible changes ahead; as of now it is June 1st.
  • We do not want to make premature decisions and possibly deny the respite and joy the many IPP Programs provide for its families.
  • We are working closely with FIDCO’s Mimi Gary, ICB, IHP, Dr. Ingram and all of Fishers Island’s organizations to establish the best possible course of action.
  • We are exploring alternatives over the course of the next month to determine our next steps.!
  • Friday, May 15th, one month from now is the date we are looking towards to have a clearer idea of what it is we can and cannot do for all of our programs.

What we don’t know:

  • If NY State’s ‘pause’ orders will be lifted by June 15th?
  • If social distancing restrictions will be eased?
  • If rapid testing will be available to ensure a safe environment?

We will continue to look to our state and national public health officials, ICB, IHP, and Dr. Ingram to provide us with the guidance necessary to make final decisions on how IPP can operate safely this summer.

Our goal is to communicate with you in response to local developments and as a Board, will continue to explore potential summer scenarios and ideas to modify our programs.

Please stay actively engaged in this process and refer to our IPP website or fishersisland.net for further updates. In order to ensure the best outcome, it is important we all stay committed to staying healthy and supporting each other.

With gratitude,

Jessie Doyle
President, Island People’s Project

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