Starfish Afterschool Program

Another month has snuck up on us all, and here at City Year New York, we are continuing strong with our powerful service. Of all the various work we do – winter camps, service days, lunch clubs, one-on-one tutoring – I’d like to share with you one of my favorite of our school-based work is our Starfish afterschool program. We are currently wrapping up the Peace and Love unit where the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Starfish Corps Members are exercising actions of peace and love towards each other, their teachers, and other students in the East Harlem community.

The students’ favorite lesson of this unit has definitely been the talk show “With Miss K, It’s OK.” They participated as the audience watching two, young, male classmates (played by our very fine, City Year actors) who had come on the show to end their fighting. The Starfish were very engaged as they cheered the two pretend students on as they were sent to the Peace and Love Boot Camp for peace push-ups and appreciation letters.

In another lesson of this unit, the Starfish played our City Year board game, “The Path to World Peace.” One of the goals was to let the students gain better understanding of differences around the world. The lesson far exceeded our expectations! Directly after we dismissed the students, Jeffery, a third grader, came running up to me voluntarily and said, “Miss Maggie, I learned something important today. I learned that you shouldn’t make fun and tease people ‘cause they are different – because maybe they’re from a different culture and you can learn from them.” Now if we could all have Jeffery’s peaceful mindset, we might actually achieve world peace!

Yours in Service,