SCO News Roundup
April is National Poetry Month, and our students from Tyree Learning Center for children with developmental disabilities worked hard on their poetry board this year. This haiku by Mariah is titled Frog:
green and speckled legs
hop on logs and lily pads
splash in cool water
SCO’s Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn co-organized a rally against New York City cuts to early childhood and after-school programs. More than 900 parents and supporters attended the event at PS 503/506, thanks to CFL staff and organizers from the Citizen’s Committee for Children and United Neighborhood Houses. Elected officials in attendance included New York City Councilmember Sara Gonzalez and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union made a $20,000 donation to our May 1st fashion show in support of literacy programs throughout SCO’s programs for children and youth.
In partnership with Scholastic Inc., SCO has launched the R.E.A.L (Read. Excel. Achieve. Lead.) mentoring program where volunteers read aloud and discuss a new book every Saturday morning with young children. The R.E.A.L. program kicked off at our Family Dynamics Beacon Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. On May 21st, 30 SCO staff and volunteers will be trained in literacy development at the Scholastic headquarters in Soho. Staff and volunteers will then be able to spread their know-how throughout SCO programs, training additional staff, volunteers and parents.
The NYC Department of Education gave our Close to Home staff in the Bronx a full-page shout-out in the latest edition of the “Passages Post.” Youth Specialists Melvin Williams, Clinton Phipps and Maurice Hassell from Cottage 2 were lauded for their all-around excellence in the classroom, supporting the teachers and encouraging the young men in the program for court-involved youth. SCO also congratulates Group Leader Sean Dalpiaz and Site Director Robert Bailey for providing support, guidance and reinforcement to their staff. Bravo, team!
On May 6th SCO’s Family Dynamics will hold its third annual Art Auction and Cocktail Party at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea. This year’s Honorary Chair, Donald Sultan, has enjoyed a distinguished career as a painter, printmaker and sculptor. His work is included in the permanent collection of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Proceeds from the auction fund the Family Dynamics Visiting Artists Program. Currently completing its second year, the after-school program gives students in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn the opportunity to unleash their creative side. Local artists Alice Mizrachi and Mollie Roth demonstrate and teach different types of art – from still-life drawing to stage craft, five days a week. When the class first began, many of the students lacked confidence in their artistic abilities. As time went on, however, they began to develop talents they never realized they had. As student Zhane, age 13, put it: “I like to be able to express myself without being judged.” Says Khaylah, age 9: “I like having fun, showing how good I do in art and getting messy.”
For tickets and more information, go to: www.family-dynamics.org
SCO proudly awards the first Pat Brown Scholarship to Shanan Edwards, a student at SCO’s East Brooklyn Community High School, one of our three transfer schools for teens at risk of dropping out of high school. The scholarship is named for Pat Brown, a longtime SCO volunteer. Shanan has made huge strides academically, raising her grades significantly over the time she has attended East Brooklyn. She is a student assistant, a fundraiser for AIDS and breast cancer research, and has acquired a green thumb working in the community garden.
Principal Patrick McGillicuddy says: “Shanan Edwards stands out in a category uniquely her own. Shanan represents so many things: that hard work pays off, that belief in yourself is worth as much, if not more than what others believe, and that young people have the potential to demonstrate real leadership and positive change when given the opportunity.” Shanan will be the first in her family to attend college when she starts Bronx Community College in the fall.