July 25, 2017
On July 25, 2017, New York City Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) STEAM Division – in partnership with the Learning through Expanded Arts Program (LeAp) nonprofit education organization, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the New York City Department of Education (DOE) – hosted a Community Service Day at J.H.S. 22 Jordan L. Mott on East 167th Street in the South Bronx. The High School and College interns participated in the event, along with the J.H.S. 22 middle school students.
Community Service Day promotes neighborhood engagement and the importance of collaboration and teamwork. The interns participated in various activities and experienced the significance of making connections and role modeling as a big brother or sister for the younger students. They were able to give back to the community and inspire others to take pride in their city.
The High School and College Interns were split into three groups and each group participated in a specific activity with the middle school students from the LeAp organization. The first activity was a vertical gardening activity which consisted of three stations; a seeding station, a harvesting station, and a utopian station. At the seeding station, students place soil onto seed flats and planted seeds in them. The next station contained a mixture of seeds, such as lettuce and spinach, harvested from vertical gardens. Finally, at the utopian station, the participants learned how vertical gardens can help ease farming in an urban scape without the need of a large amount of space. The students also learned about the five categories of food justice: availability, affordability, accessibility, adequacy, action and how each can help create a thriving sustainable food system.
Interns and middle school students also had the opportunity to put together survival kits for Teacher Appreciation Day. The kits will be given to the J.H.S. 22 teaching staff when they return to school for the Fall 2018 semester.
The final activity consisted of a basketball tournament. Our interns demonstrated their athletic abilities on the court. A good time was had by all.