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!
This year has gotten off to a great start!! Now that we have kids ages 6 to age 13, we are delving into new territory as we do all of our enrichment activities. We are so pleased to see our older after-schoolers taking initiative and acting as role models for those who are younger. Whether its at the garden when we split into groups or at Sixth Street during creative writing, we are continually impressed by them!
Last week in creating writing we wrote about colors and the different emotions and associations they can evoke. From young and practiced poets who’ve been with us multiple years to very young poets who are just learning how to read and write, we are getting a new and amazing range of work! After every creative writing or art session we gather back into a circle and share. We thought we’d share some of our favorite pieces with you!
Poem by Tatiana (age 13)
the soothing touch of the ocean
water gently tinted with light
The color of my mother's eyes,
The color of the Sky
my father flew across to get
the color of me jeans that
The color of being
sad and bad moods,
But yet a color
that will forever bring
The color I dyed my hair
The color of those Macaroons
you’ve been meaning to try,
The color representing
blistering boys who cannot like
pink due to society,
The color that my lips turned after
a baby bottle pop,
The color of blueberries you’ll get while
shopping but will probably not
finish until the end of fall,
The color of my blanket which
keeps me warm when I can’t stop
The name of that one colored pencil
which turns out to be purple,
The color which families have
lost lives to from gunshots and
feuds on the streets
A color that represents more than
you can ever think
Poem by Seijan (age 9)
red is like death and
like hot sun melting
blue is love
peace and happiness
purple is like sadness.
so sad and so bored you
green is like everything
you hoped for
gold is like richness
Group Poem (ages 6-24)
by Asha, Skyla, Mila, Jemma, Sofia, Myranda, and Laura
Red is anger,
Red is love.
Pink is like a heart,
Brown is a cake.
Mint is my headband,
Orange tastes like fresh juice and fruity tic tac.
Blue is a wave that comes crashing down all around.
Red is a rose. I like the smell and it looks so pretty.
Yellow is a lemon,
Pink is a pig.
Green is a leaf.
Sixth Street Youth Program is partnering with The Cornell University Cooperative Extension to receive Health and Nutrition workshops from nutritionist Jannie Wolff. During last week's workshop, students measured out the amount of sugar contained in bottles of soda and fruit juice. They were shocked to see that the amount of sugar in a soda filled almost half a plastic cup! This week at program we are excited to try out a healthy alternative to drinking sugary juice: fruit-infused water!
Keep up on what's happening around the community center!
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Sixth Street Community Center
638 E 6th Street between Aves B & C • (212)-677-1863
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