11/14/2019 0 Comments
This Fall, SSYP has gotten off to a great start! In addition to our urban sustainability curriculum, gardening, visual arts, cooking, mindfulness and music workshops, we've started a new climate justice curriculum!
On Friday, November 8th, the Sixth Street kids in collaboration with teaching artist, Gabo Camnitzer debuted their hand-written play, “We Are Animals.” The play featured animals, plants, and “bad guys” from a flying squirrel and mother nature to wildfires and greed. The disruption ties into themes the Sixth Street youth have been learning about, the affects of climate change on plants, animals, and on their generation due to the inaction of adults. The play is a plea for the grown-ups to take action! A radical production, the plants and animals gather to protest these injustices in an animal protest, convincing the audience to come join them. The narrator states, “The animals felt there was hope that the adults would listen and could change the future, but...,” pollution, wildfire, fossil fuels all run onstage and take over! The kids refused to have a happy ending for their play, considering the inaction of adults! The parents are left onstage as the kids bow, and the kids say, “You made this mess, now YOU clean it up!”
The animals and plants watch a round table meeting of the bad guys, including Greed (featured), the IMF, McDonalds, Apple, Amazon, fossil fuels and more!
Last spring, Sixth Street youth learned all about the landfill waste we generate, how it pollutes our land and oceans and exacerbates climate change! The kids went to work designing and building upcycled art pieces and inventions made out of recyclable materials and our trash. They also designed compostable containers and packaging that would further reduce our carbon footprints. Their upcycled inventions were featured in an end of the year Upcycling Art Show!
This year, we've amped it up to the next level, and have started tracking how much waste we generate in each category: landfill, plastics/glass recycling, paper recycling, and compost! With this new program, we are continuing to upcycle, brainstorm alternatives, and encourage children and families to reduce their use of single-use plastics and packaging! Sixth Street Youth Program is on the road to becoming Zero Waste!! Our waste tracking findings showed that our landfill pile was the least weight out of all the waste categories -- we are working to make it smaller and smaller each day! Stay tuned to see what's next on our journey to becoming zero waste!
This summer, the Sixth Street kids had fun exploring our local neighborhood! We dove into Loisaida history and stories, and learned how the neighborhood has changed through time. Through neighborhood scavenger hunts and community interviews, we learned about themes of gentrification and food justice. We shared with one another our own family history and places of significance to us in the community. The art below is inspired by the family stories we all shared.
For the past 6 weeks, Sixth Street Youth have been working on script writing, prop and costume creation from up cycled materials, and set design all for our big play, "The Bees Knees." It debuted on May 12th as a part of the Ecological City climate resiliency parade throughout the Lower East Side. The play is a story about bees, why they are at risk, and what we can do to save them! The kids wrote it themselves as they learned about the bees we have here at Sixth Street (on the roof!) and how important they are for pollinating the fruits and vegetables we love to eat.
We are so proud of their hard work and are grateful to our Sixth Street parents and community members for all their help, from lending beekeeper outfits and wings to joining us on May 12th for the play and the parade! We are so inspired by the sustainability efforts happening all over the neighborhood and can't wait for next year.
3/20/2018 0 Comments
Our youth program is collaborating with our community center’s very own Sixth Street Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program-- to create a limited number of free mini shares of organic produce. Working in alignment with our organization’s mission to advance access to organic food and advocate for food justice in food desert communities, this collaboration is a pilot program that we are launching to expand the number of families that we provide organic food to while deepening our young people's understanding of food justice and strengthening their roles as active community members. The kids had fun packing the bags to bring home to their families and some were caught munching on the kale before making it home!
Last week, Sixth Street Youth took a stroll across the park to Tompkins Square Library to see a performance of The Mighty Patsy Mink! We were so inspired learning about Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman to be elected to Congress! After the play, we spoke with writer and solo actress of the play, Molly Powers Gallagher. The children got her autograph and asked what motivated her to write this play. She told us that she had never learned about Patsy in school (neither had we!), and that she wanted to share this very important story with the world! After our chat with Molly, two of our students, ages 6 and 8, were so inspired that they took out books from the library on Rosa Parks and began writing a play showcasing Rosa Parks's childhood and the story of how she pioneered the civil rights movement.
To find out more about The Mighty Patsy Mink!, checkout this link! Stay tuned to find out more about Sixth Street Youth productions that are in the works...
Every week we do creative writing here at Sixth Street that covers topics such as identity, social issues, and gratitude. For a recent prompt, we explored how the world might look different if we were in charge!
Check out some of our young writer's poetry below!!
And if you're interested in hearing more, this Wednesday we'll be participating in the East Village Arts Festival at Tompkins Square Library! Come by at 5 PM to hear our after schoolers share their poetry!
Douniya (age 8)
I praise my family who keeps me warm.
I praise to my mom for her work to let us have money.
I praise to my sister for that one day mom was one a vacation, she took care of me and my brother.
I praise to my brother Saf for when we are alone and mom forgets to make food
He makes eggs and soup and let’s us share.
And finally I praise, and I say again,
I praise my dads- my brother’s dad and my sister’s dad
Just for being there
And last but literally not least Me!
For working hard and trying to go to bed on time
To follow rules and be nice.
I praise to me.
Tatiana (age 13)
I’m from loud music and sagging pants,
I am from pride and pizza
I’m from spitting bars and noisy classroom,
I’m from trying to bring up your grades and aspiring to be great
I’m from late nights out and always being awake
I’m from diversity and mystery,
Finding clues everywhere as to who I am
Like solving a puzzle that someone
Scattered the pieces to,
I’m from small people who do big things
I’m from thrift shops and street art
I’m from the big apple,
everyone trying to take a bite
Asha (age 6)
In my world I wish there were buildings for people
That that they don’t have to sleep outside
I wish we had superpowers
I wish everyday, you can eat candy
I wish I had a roof at my mom’s house
I wish that fighting never happened
I wish my iPad would get fixed.
I wish that everybody had superpowers.
I wish everyone body to the beach everyday.
I wish that everyone could play on my iPad
I wish it would be cool if we had a dream
That was in real life.
I wish that I was a mermaid.
Jack (age 6)
In my world we eat mac and cheese
Play, eat everyday
I love to be with my mom and dad
I would make it so Donald Trump
Would be nice to ladies.
Mila (age 6)
We have a right to air.
We have a right to clean air.
We need air to breathe.
We need clean air to live.
If we don’t have clean air it’s not good.
If we don’t have air we can get sick.
We need air to be healthy.
Think there isn’t a lot to do in the garden in the fall? Think again! We’ve been gardening at 5th Street Farm every week, planting cover crops to protect the soil, weeding, transplanting, and harvesting eggplants, tomatoes, black eyed peas, collard greens, rainbow chard, kale, sweet potatoes, and lots of herbs!
We were able to use the sweet potatoes for not one but two cooking workshops! First, we made a delicious stir fry, using sweet potato leaves from the garden and vegetables from Sixth Street's CSA. Then, we made some tasty sweet potato fries!
Check out these photos from our gardening and cooking adventures!
Keep up on what's happening around the community center!
Have something to submit? Great!! Email us:
Sixth Street Community Center
638 E 6th Street between Aves B & C • (212)-677-1863
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