Cadillacs of Social Change

Even though the NYCE (New York Civic Engagement, for those who haven’t read my past blog entries) team anticipated a bit of a slump in the month of March, I am happy to report that a lot of very cool things have happened this past month! To kick things off, NYCE enjoyed a fun afternoon of bowling in the Bronx for our Team Day. We were becoming jealous of other teams that showed up funny pictures from their Team Days, but our time finally arrived, and we had a blast. There’s nothing quite like bowling in the Bronx… with five other crazy individuals… in your City Year uniform. Ha! We worked in the morning and then took the subway up to the Bronx for the rest of the day, and good times were had by all.

We also had SPI (School Partnership Initiative) Week. Throughout the last four months or so, NYCE would split up (*sigh*) and spend a every other Tuesday with another team in the schools. We would spend the day completing their tasks with them: tutoring in the classrooms, Bringing Books to Life (BBL) lessons, lunch clubs, and Starfish. In March NYCE had SPI WEEK, and needless to say, we were with our SPI teams for one whole week. I really had a great time in Bed-Stuy with the PS 308 team! My SPI highlights always seem to be the Kindergarten BBL lessons (with Marty and/or Amato) and Starfish.

After what seemed like FOREVER, we had a physical service day on Thursday, March 22 with one of our sponsors, Cisco. A small but mighty group of volunteers served at one of our Young Heroes schools, MS 201 in Hunts Point (S. Bronx). We have a pretty strong relationship with Cisco, and the volunteers we get from them are always awesome. We painted seven bulletin board murals, completely transformed the gym teacher’s office with a nice new paint job/design, and constructed eight bookcases. It was amazing! We (NYCE and the Hunts Point Young Heroes team) were so proud at the end of the day.

March also happened to be NYCE’s month for the Community Meeting. At the end of every month, the corps attends a Community Meeting that is put on by one team. It’s always entertaining to see how creative teams can get with their presentation. A Community Meeting consists of many City Year “culture” pieces: Ripples & Joys, Starfish Stories, Life Works (by someone within the CY network), and Appreciations… to name a few. We presented a sing-a-long musical called “[insert title here], The Musical.” It was complete with a playbill, bios for the “cast,” re-written lyrics to some songs, a silly pre-show picture slide show, and our very own Cadillac (Vehicle) of Social Change which our dear service leader rode in on (what a good sport!). We knew going into it that we would probably find it more funny than others, but we didn’t care, because we had a great time creating the presentation together. If anything, I know that the corps was grateful for our time management; we did our entire Community Meeting in an hour! (They usually last 90 minutes… or longer.)

Coming Up for CYNY:
** 100 Hours of Power: Next week, CYNY will be serving for 100 consecutive hours in New York City! We’ll be working in shifts so that City Year will be represented in physical service for 100 HOURS STRAIGHT! I can’t wait. I’m sure many amazing blog entries will follow that experience.
** Community Service Days: Before our “City Year” is over, all of the school-based teams will host a physical service day in their communities under the supervision of the NYCE team. They are coming along very well, and I can’t wait to see the final results from their service.

On a very exciting note, the weather is FANTASTIC in New York City right now! I can guarantee you that this San Diegan is basking in the 60-degree weather. It’s still cold compared to my Southern California standards, but it’s a huge improvement from the NYC chill we’ve had lately.

In service,
Lindsay M. Sablan
Civic Engagement Team
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City Year Los Angeles Founding Senior Corps
Visitor Program Service Leader ’07-’08
(Yup! You read correctly! I’m headed to City Year LA, baby!)