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DYCD Wishes You and Your Loved Ones a Happy and Safe Holiday!

We know this time of year can often be a very hectic time for many. We would like to use this opportunity to remind you to slow down and be thoughtful with your holiday decorations. Below is a list of suggestions on how to celebrate smart! We wish you all a safe and merry holiday season.

happy holidays from DYCD

Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item. • When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully. These sprays can irritate your lungs if you inhale them. • Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Plants to watch out for include: mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children's reach. • When displaying a tree, cut off about two inches off the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly. • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways. • Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them. • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. • Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets. • Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways. • Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use. • If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs. • When displaying outdoor lights, fasten them firmly to a secure support with insulated staples or hooks to avoid wind damage.

DYCD Hosts "A Chapter in My Life"

DYCD's Transition to High School Program launches an author-led book discussion and creative writing project, "A Chapter in My Life."

JR Martinez

On December 18, at Lehman College, DYCD's Transition to High School (THS) Program launched an author-led book discussion and creative writing project, "A Chapter in My Life." The program, which is designed to support and encourage reading and creative writing, kicked off with "Dancing with the Stars" winner and actor J.R. Martinez, author of "Full of Heart," who shared his own chapter and inspired participating students to write a chapter about a special, challenging or significant moment in their own lives. Over the course of the program, students will express themselves in a variety of ways, including prose, poems, rap, video and screenplays. The Transition to High School Program (THS) is designed to help incoming high school ninth graders navigate their new surroundings with targeted academic and social and emotional supports, and advocacy within the school community.


Keeping Kids Active & Sane During Winter: Physical Activities for Unique Spaces

This workshop takes place on January 12, 2015, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm and is hosted by PASE. Participants will explore ways to help youth increase their understanding of the benefits of keeping fit and healthy through recreational sports and physical activities, including in unique and sometimes limited afterschool spaces. Participants will also learn how to deconstruct recreational sports activities to determine what skills they can help youth to develop. Registration opens on Monday, December 22 at 6:00 am.

Step It Up Dance Competition Audition

On December 13, DYCD launched the DYCD Step It Up Dance Competition. Over 90 teams from Beacon, Cornerstone, and SONYC programs across the five boroughs convened at Wadleigh High School for their first audition. As part of the competition, each team is tasked with developing a performance and social campaign around the theme of anti-violence. The top ten teams go on to create video Public Service Announcements, and compete during a final performance at the world famous Apollo Theater on June 20, 2015. Over 1,000 performers and CBO staff attended the audition session. Each team received coaching on their performance and social campaign plans. The next audition will be held on January 17, 2015. The DYCD 2015 promotional video is HERE.

Emoti-Con Design Fellows

Parsons the New School for Design's Pre-College Academy offers the Emoti-Con Design Fellowship, a free class for NYC teenagers that meets on Saturdays from 10am-1:00pm from January 31-April 18, 2015. The class focuses on graphic design, game design, public speaking, and community outreach, and culminates in Emoti-Con: NYC Youth Digital Media & Technology Challenge, an event taking place on May 30, 2015. To be an Emoti-Con Design Fellow, you must be a New York City teen in grades 9-12. Fill out the form here to apply. The application deadline is January 9, 2015. To learn more about Emoti-Con NYC, click HERE.


DID YOU KNOW, Federal funding is available for qualified afterschool programs in low-income areas to serve free meals and snacks to youth.

Check out: Afterschool Meal Program: Creating a Healthy Afterschool Environment Children and teenagers attending afterschool programs need good nutrition to help them succeed beyond the school day.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the New York State Department of Health. Contact the NYS Department of Health, CACFP to obtain a sponsor application or further information about program operation, regulations, and reimbursement rates. Call 1.800.942.3858.

World Hunger Leadership Challenge Accepting Student
Entries for Service Learning Projects

Administered by the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation and the Lift a Life Foundation, with support from the Yum Foundation, the Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge encourages middle and high school students to develop leadership skills by starting a service-learning project that addresses hunger. Teams of students from public, private, and charter middle schools and high schools are invited to enter. For more info, click HERE. Deadline: April 17, 2015.


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