Good morning! Now, let’s be honest. There are people who work hard, and then there are the people who work harder: the people at City Year. I am truly a firm believer in the mission of City Year, and I am always amazed at the calibur and dedication that my colleagues and advisors have for the national service movement. It is important to do what you are passionate about, and I witness the act of that here at City Year New York. At this point in the year, things are crazy! After our winter break, we jumped right in on MLK Day, and without a break, we pushed ahead with planning Camp City Year (which was already happening simultaneously with MLK Day) . I am sitting here this morning working on Camp stuff and other Civic Engagement things, and looking around me, I’m seeing so many other corps members diligently working on Young Heroes and Camp CY tasks. And everyone is still in such a great mood! I love it! Things are happening so quickly, but I’m having a wonderful corps experience!
Call it corny, call it mushy, call it whatever you want. I just had to post a blog about how the people here at City Year inspire me every day. This office is a living example of passion and “putting idealism to work,” and I have a great deal of respect for everyone here.
And Happy Valentine’s Day! (Maybe that’s why I’m overcome with such adoration for City Year New York this morning…?)
This past Martin Luther King Day, you might have seen City Year on the local news, but you probably don’t know all the incredible details. All across the country, City Year launched the super bowl of all service days. In New York, we united volunteers from all over the city for a day of transformation physical service. Themed “Dreams in Action,” we were expecting 700 people, but an astounding 1,000 New Yorkers of all ages showed up for mural painting and revitalizing school classrooms, community centers, and public spaces. And as always, a couple celebrities showed up for this powerful service day! Caroline Kennedy picked up a paint brush or two, and President Bush made an appearance down in D.C.
The inspiring day also marked the opening day for City Year’s Young Heroes program which engages 200 junior high students in over 100 hours of community service on Saturday from January to June. The young volunteers embarked on their first service project in conjunction with Garden in Transit, painting large floral decals for NYC taxis. So, come spring, be on the look out for these, inspiring, beautiful taxis sprouting up all over our city!
The East Harlem- Young Heroes team is in full gear. We have recruited over 90 middle school students from all over the city to join us for our weekly service-learning Saturday program.
We have explored social justice issues such as animal cruelty, health and wellness, and gender roles. On animal cruelty day, the students built and decorated over 25 wooden blue bird boxes and went to the animal care and control facility in East Harlem.
We kicked off our parent advisory board on health and wellness day. It was so inspiring to meet so many engaged and helpful parents, who are just as excited about our program as the students are.
After the morning curriculum on gender roles day, the students took a trip to and made Valentines Day cards for the clients of the Antiviolence Project. They also hung their bird houses in three local green thumb gardens.
We are having a lot of fun continuing to plan and realize our Young Heroes program.
MS 45 has been so accommodating to us and they continue to open new doors for our program.
As spring approaches, we look forward to engaging in more outside service projects.
We are always looking for Saturday volunteers. There is an open invitation for anyone who is interested.