Image via Art Start. Print it and color it.
Black Lives Matter protests are still active across the country; some of the achievements gained include police reforms in various states, removal of statues of racist leaders, an increase in arrests and charges due to police violence, and millions of Americans having deep conversations about systemic racism with their families.
In the first part of this guide, we focused on civil rights groups. In this second part, we are highlighting tangible participation opportunities for educators and artists. Engage and take action with Art Start, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Lower Eastside Girls Club, Girls Write Now and InsideSchools.
Art Start connects New York City’s artists and creatively-minded professionals with children and youth from historically marginalized communities to make masterpieces.
“The significance of Art Start’s work with children and families living in the shelter system intensifies each year as the incidence of homelessness continues to rise and worsen. The most recent estimates are that there are upwards of 63,000 people experiencing homelessness in New York City; up to 23,000 of these are children, and 75% of the shelter population is made up of families”, said Mariama Noguera-Devers, Programs Manager at Art Start in this interview with NYXT.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Since 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that incredible potential is inherent in every child. The organization supports Black and brown families, and as the nation’s largest donor-and volunteer-supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”).
“I am angry, hurt, devasted, horrified at the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Atatiana Jefferson, Amadou Diallo and countless others. Their lives were violently taken before they could realize their biggest possible futures. Their lives matter and their legacies are inspiring action to rebuild a world that unequivocally believes that Black Lives Matter.
At BBBS of NYC, we believe firmly in the power of mentoring and the transformational impact a caring, adult mentor can have on the trajectory of a young person’s life. We also believe that solely relying on the interpersonal to resolve the systemic allows racism to continue to snuff out potential. Our connections to one another are integral to inspiring meaningful change that then must be channeled into action.”
CEO at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, AliciaD.Guevara
For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their life. Play a board game. Make fun crafts. Hit the playground together. Just as your options are unlimited, so is your Little’s potential. But don’t just take it from us. Read our Big Impacts match stories of Bigs & Littles for some amazing stories of what it means to be a role model. And if you still have questions, head over to our FAQs for more answers.
Click here if you are ready to be a Big.
Image via Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Lower Eastside Girls Club
The LESGC is always looking for volunteers and mentors to participate in the organization’s “New Initiatives 2018-2028” program. One of these goals include New Girl City, a city-wide five-borough girls leadership program, funded by the NYC Council Women’s Caucus and the NYC Council Speaker. Another is the creation of the Center for Wellbeing & Happiness where The LESGC is in the process of purchasing and renovating a former Rite-Aid space on Avenue D, and turning it into a space for classes in nutrition, stress reduction, yoga, and child-raising, to be offered to the community at no cost “because we can no longer afford to get sick.” Click here to learn about all the programs and find a way to participate.
Image via The Lower East Side Girls Club.
“In 1995, The Lower Eastside Girls Club didn’t exist. No staff, no programs, no building. And, quite frankly, no manual to follow on how to build an innovative and sustainable organization for girls. After identifying this huge gap, we had a mission: start a place that provides services for girls and women in our own backyard.”
Girls Write Now
Girls Write Now supports underserved young women through leadership and creativity. The core of the program is through mentorship, where experienced writers are matched with teenagers to guide them during their creative process in order to support them polishing their stories to achieve their academic goals after high school.
While applications for this fall are closed, we invite you to explore their online summer program, full of activities such as writing workshops, TV writing bootcamp, and open mic nights. Maybe you can help a student in your community, walk them through these options, and be their first reader!
Image via Girls Write Now.
InsideSchools is a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School and is formed by a group of journalists, parents, and public school advocates dedicated to improving schools for our own children and for every child in the city.
They share these free “COVID-19: Online Family Resources” through their website that you can use to accompany and be the tutor of students in your community that are currently having classes remotely. Click to see the full list of resources.
BrainPop, is offering free access while schools are closed. It's available in English, Spanish and French and offers activities and lessons in a broad range of subjects.
Civics at Home, published by The Institute for Educational Policy at Johns Hopkins School of Education, help parents plan activities to teach their children about good citizenship.
EduMate NYC connects public students with free, online tutoring conducted by college students.
Let's Learn NYC! is a new educational public television program featuring lessons for children in 3-K through second grade. Episodes air on weekdays at 11:00 am on Channel Thirteen and will run through the end of the 2019-20 school year. You can view previously aired episodes online.
The Academy of Teachers is offering free access to mini master classes for teachers as well as other videos on best practices for remote instruction on their YouTube channel.
All New York City public school students can read eBooks and listen to audiobooks for free this summer via the eBook reader Sora.
Download a free audio recording of the first Harry Potter book and read along. Harry Potter himself narrates the first chapter.
Get moving with Cooped up with Cora, a series of free online dance classes.
Mommy Poppins lists free and low cost virtual activities to keep your children engaged.
Why Are We All Stuck Inside? offers fun activities that will get young children moving, creating, experimenting and even cleaning, while helping parents answer tough questions about coronavirus.
The Salvadori Center has developed a series of free project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) lessons for students from grades K-12.
Lincoln Center at Home offers free access to previously recorded performances as well as all sorts of online arts instruction such as live ballet classes and collaging workshops.
Here's a recommendation for free online art instruction that's just right for ages 3-6.
Creativebug has an impressive library of arts & crafts instructional videos for folks of all ages. There are a lot that can be viewed for free and even more that can be accessed for a very low cost after a free 7-day trial.
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