Today’s guest blogger is Emmet Elliott, New York Civic Engagement Service Leader. Emmet serves as a Project Planner on the Civic Engagement team.
Earth Day is recognized nationally as a day to get your hands dirty, and work to help make our environment healthier. This year over a billion people internationally were estimated to participate in activities on the day. On Monday, April 22nd, the City Year New York Civic Engagement Team joined forces with Mann Investments, Global Infrastructure Partners, and P.S. 59 in Brooklyn to celebrate the day.
“I believe this service day is very important. It shows our students that there are people from outside their neighborhood, from other parts of New York City, that care about them.”
– Dawn Best, Principal, P.S. 59
P.S. 59, located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, has been struggling with budget cuts, and low staff moral in recent months. The service day was meant to draw attention to Earth Day as well as adding a spark of energy to the school going into the last two months of school. City Year, together with the volunteers, re-invigorated the school yard and garden. Volunteers completed the construction of ten flower boxes four garden beds, three benches and a picnic table. Along with the construction projects, the City Year team and volunteers added two murals to the back play yard along with hop scotch, four square and other playground games.
All the projects were met with a wonderfully positive response from teachers and students. The day ended with students from the school coming outside to see all of the projects, talk to the volunteer and offer their appraisal of the work. A first grade boy had especially strong praise for the volunteers, saying “This stuff is really, really cool! I’d give it 20 thumbs up if I had that many arms!”