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!
As the year comes to a close, we want to express our sincere thanks for all the support we've received from you, our volunteers and CSA members. In the coming year we look forward to continuing- and hopefully expanding- our community programming. But we need your help!
Our Youth Program offers neighborhood children attending local elementary and middle schools a unique experience in the arts, poetry, creative movement and health and nutrition. Ninety-five percent of our students are from low-income households and attend at no charge. We pride ourselves on providing a quality enrichment program to families that need it most.
This coming year we’re excited to continue our students’ growing connection with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). With the support of our CSA volunteers, students will continue to receive weekly hands-on workshops in healthy food preparation and juicing using our local produce and learn about sustainable agriculture through trips to the farm. And right here in the neighborhood our students are learning about community gardening, working at the Fifth Street Farm roof-top garden at Earth School and composting food scraps at El Jardin del Paradiso garden by P.S. 15.
We look forward to another great year of programming and our twenty-first of Community Supported Agriculture with Hepworth Farm and participating members, schools and community organizations!
Your tax deductible contribution to support our community programs is deeply appreciated.
Warmest wishes during this winter season.
On Thursday, December 10th, kids and parents gathered to celebrate the end of SSYP's fall session. Thanks for Maria Ferrar of the GROOVE movement, our families shared a high energy movement session that left everyone smiling and sweating! We closed out the evening with a Greek folk dancing led by SSYP volunteer Eo Constantatos. It was especially fun to share this joy with our parents, who work so hard and have been so supportive of the Sixth Street Youth Program.
The photos below document other highlights from this session, including drawing workshops with visual artist Carl Parker, Batik pillow-making workshops with Jen, winter tea-making workshops with East Village wellness coach Natalie Decleve, and our partnership with the Earth School's Green Apple Kids afterschool program.
Our program restarts January 11th, and we are enrolling now! Please see the "Sixth Street Youth Program" page under "Programs and Events" for instructions on how to enroll!
During October and November, non-profit White Rainbow, founded by Ashley Gail Harris, brought two professional artists to Sixth Street Youth Program to lead hands-on arts workshops with students.
In October, illustrator Aiden Koch shared with us her passion for zines and comic book art. We engaged in a group comic drawing activity that Koch said she often used as a creative warm up with fellow artists. After each participant drew a character in their first square, the drawings were passed on to a new person, who drew an image in the next square, following a different prompt from Aiden for each sucessive square. After two seemingly random images were drawn, the students were challenged to use the remaining squares to create a simple storyline by making connections between the images. The idea, Aiden explained, was for the students to understand that stories can always be born from images. We had an awesome time sharing the comics when they were finished and observing the way our peers had crafted story from our original drawings.
In November, collage artist Renee Phillips joined us for a workshop in paper collage. Renee introduced to students a layering technique she uses in her work, where she lays down a paper foundation, and then adds images on top of one another. She also supplied paper materials that she had dyed in advance, allowing students to play with color in their collage work. At the end of Renee's workshop, the students asked her questions about life as a professional artist. Renee's advice to our aspiring artists was to keep producing art, dedicating time to work on your craft each day.
Check out the photos from both workshops below!
Tatiana is not your average sixth grader. Intellectual, curious, and a fierce believer in freedom of expression, Tatiana aspires to be a professional writer. We loved this poem she wrote during Sixth Street Youth Program, reflecting on the larger issues that burden our modern world. The writing session was inspired by a visit from Lower East Side artist and poet Pitts. He shared poetry about the word "dictatorship" in hopes of sparking a conversation amongst the young people about power. Go Tati!
I wonder why people are judged for skin or culture
I wonder why people make assumptions or claims about others
I wonder why the majority of people focus on irrelevant news
And the minority pay attention to relevant
I wonder why society has higher and lower classes
in which higher has more authority
instead of an equalized world
I wonder why important works of art and stories
are being forgotten
and replaced with a majority of (no offense) awful things
I wonder why a majority of youth follow what the trends are
I wonder why people label things and people when we were all nothing but human
I wonder why we hide our true selves
just to fit in
The week of Halloween, Sixth Street Youth Program partnered with artists and community activists, Mystical Ratchet and Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs, for a Hip Hop inspired, two day Good Monster puppet workshop. Students designed their own good monster puppets, and participated in a creative storytelling jam, as well as a puppet parade throughout the neighborhood. Special thanks to the guest artists, Brooklyn Charm and Artist and Craftsmen for materials donations, and Huertas restaurant for generously supporting our youth program!
On October 24th, the Sixth Street Community Center family traveled to Hepworth Farm in the Hudson Valley for our annual visit to the farm that supplies the produce for our CSA. Afterwards, we headed to nearby Weed Farms for an epic apple picking adventure. The apples were absolutely divine!
From L to R: Josh Eliot, Kamani Washington, & Sixth Street Youth Program Co-Director Libby Mislan writing in the BC Garden
With fall well underway, many of us have fallen into the bustle of school, projects at work, and a whole host of new endeavors. Nostalgia for the ease of summer sets in as the temperatures drop and our workloads increase. We loved this poem written by Sixth Street Youth Program attendee Josh Eliot that perfectly captures the magic of summer.
I wish I was back at camp
With no worries,
Doing whatever I want,
No 6th grade threat on my mind.
I wish I was back at the place
That calms my mind
Just to think about it.
I wish I could just feel the
And the joy of
The don’t worry feeling of
The no parents feeling.
I wish I could just feel the
Pure water of Lake Victory
Wash over my face.
I wish I could feel my hands
Slide over the warm clay
As I use the wheel.
I wish I could feel the feel
Of always being with friends,
Like evening activity
And hanging in the dark.
I wish I was back at camp
I wish I was back at camp
I wish I was back at camp!
Located on the 3rd floor of the Sixth Street Community Center, Sixth Street Yoga Junction is a new yoga studio in the East Village. The mission of the studio is to offer affordable, vinyasa based yoga classes for all levels. With the belief that yoga should be accessible to all, this "junction" is intended as a meeting point for the community as well as a joining of attention, body and breath within ourselves as we practice. We offer all the members of our community a welcoming space and the guidance to nurture body and mind.
Yoga Junction leaders Anna Ahlin-Marchi, Juan Gomez and Rikki Gunton look forward to serving the East Village community and working with our partners at the Sixth Street Community center.
Ahlin-Marchi, Gomez and Gunton are all Certified Yoga Teachers. They are all part of the Yoga Agora community as well, a yoga studio in Astoria with a proven success record of bringing high quality affordable Yoga to the community. They each bring a myriad of experience and interests, which will guarantee an extraordinary experience for all students.
For further information, please visit us on our website at www.yogajunctionnyc.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SixthStreetYogaJunction