We are pleased to announce that City Year New York was awarded a $10,000 grant from Brooklyn Community Foundation this week. As Brooklyn’s first and only community foundation, Brooklyn Community Foundation is supporting our in-school and after-school programs in the East New York neighborhood. We are thrilled about this new partnership and would like to thank BCF for their support!
Earlier this month Facebook launched Jumo. Jumo is an application provided through a Facebook account that helps do two things - find smart people doing meaningful work on the issues you care about and helps you keep in touch with them and support their work. We encourage everyone to register for Jumo, check out City Year’s page, and start connecting with other like-minded people.
3. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…
…and CYNY teams are making sure their students get to celebrate! A number of CYNY-led Winter Wonderlands and Holiday Carnivals have been taking place at many of our schools this week and we’d like to highlight a couple here:
On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the PS 111 team engaged close to 300 students and their families in some holiday cheer with carol performances, sandwiches and hot cocoa, card and origami creation stations, and even a penguin bean bag toss. PS 111 Team Leader Ryan Davis said his personal joy was when a boy in the 2nd grade told him, “Now THIS is what you call a Winter Wonderland! This is the best ever!” Thanks to City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer for stopping by to join in on the fun, too!
Today at PS 48, the CYNY team held a Winter Wonderland carnival for all students who had perfect attendance in the month of November. There were refreshments including hot chocolate and assorted cakes, a gingerbread-man decoration station, an ornament creation booth, and a table to make glittery snowflakes, just to name a few. A 1st grader yelled between bites of cookie, “I’m having so much fun! I’m getting perfect attendance all year!”
4. Calling Home
As a part of a plan to better engage corps members’ parents and family this year, we set up an interactive conference call yesterday to welcome them to the City Year community. Parents and family heard from Executive Director Itai Dinour who spoke about the history and trajectory of City Year New York. They then heard from Deputy Executive Director of Program and Service, Tony Shaw, who described the importance of our work in schools and the impact on the students our corps members work with every day. Then corps member Ariel Dumas of the Credit Suisse P.S. 50 team in East Harlem described why she came to City Year, her day-to-day experience in the schools and how she knows she is making a difference in the lives of her students.
ED Itai says a personal highlight from the call was “hearing of a parent that walks around telling everyone – from the ’clerk at the post office to the check-out lady at the grocery store clerk’ about how great City Year is.”
Tony adds, “My highlight was hearing parents talk about how proud they are of their child’s commitment to serving students in NYC. I was also inspired by how the parents talked about the personal growth and development they have observed in their children since joining CY.”
5. Slots Are Filling Up Fast!
We are exactly one month out from our MLK Day of Service. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that, “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” On January 17, 2011, City Year invites you to be great as we celebrate the life of Dr. King through inspirational physical service projects. Click here to register:
Every City Year site celebrates our work in schools by sharing Starfish Stories, stories about ways we know we’ve made a difference to a student. (If you want more details on the background of this CY tradition, you can read the original Starfish Story on our Founding Stories page.)
Social Media Field Reporter and Corps Member Kafui Akakpo collected one from his teammate at PS/IS 50, Ylia Wilson:
“In after school one day I sat down to play piano, just to kill time. The third graders were mesmerized. Afterwards, one boy [named] Jah-Mar approached me and asked me if I could teach him how to play a song. I told him to get permission from the teacher. He bugged me for a few days for a while, and then he finally got permission. I pulled him out of recess (he gave up his recess time!) for the first lesson, and ever since then, I’ve been teaching kids piano every day during recess!”
(Editor’s Note: For this week’s installment of Wordless Wednesday, we recognize there are some words technically being spoken on the video. However, we think the Cuteness factor will override the rules, and we believe you’ll think it was worth it. Thanks for watching! -Alice & Ian)