After Growing Pains, Great Things Are in the Works for Beacon Program

The Child Center of NY’s Beacon centers serve as a community hub for children, teens, and adults. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun place for community members to come together, and to provide them with a healthy, enriching environment through education, recreation, and the arts. We work especially with our young people to build character and set lifelong goals. These centers are truly a place to grow.

Beacon youth programs are designed to help participants acquire the skills and attitudes they need to succeed in their chosen career, and give back to the community. Programs are intended to build:

Academic Enhancement: Activities designed to help with school, including tutoring, homework help, reading clubs, performing arts, and physical activity.

Life Skills: Activities designed to increase personal responsibility, self-esteem, and confidence.

Civic Engagement/Community Building: Activities designed to strengthen leadership skills, community awareness, and civic responsibility.

Recreation/Health & Fitness: Activities designed to promote healthy lifestyles such as cooking programs and organized sports.

Culture/Art: Activities designed to provide students with opportunities to express themselves through music, dance, photography, and drama.

As we come to the end of our first year here on Roosevelt Island, we’ve had great successes but also recognize that there is still more work that needs to be done. Building a robust program from the ground up, as many of you know, takes time, energy, effort and, most of all, patience. All of which were tested in this first year.

Seeing the growth from September to where we stand as a program now, in May; it has been exponential: from starting as a single-service program offering only homework and recreation, to now offering a variety of enrichment programs such as literature, chess, performing arts, visual art, soccer, tennis, and photography, to name a few. Our Lights On and Winter Wonderland events also brought the community together for a good cause. The proceeds that were raised during our Winter Wonderland event went to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. In the coming school year we look to expand upon these programs and cultivate new partnerships in STEM to offer to the great minds of Roosevelt Island.

The work this school year would not have been possible without our community partners. We would like to thank Kristi Towey and her team at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, NYC Chess, and Adib Mansour with soccer. It was their hard work, dedication, and commitment to working with our youth that made this programming so successful.

More immediately, however, Beacon’s first summer camp is fast approaching. The theme of this year’s camp is Island Explorers. The camp will offer various recreational activities around the theme. Students will pick an island anywhere in the world and their activities will be built around learning more about the island of choice, as well as Roosevelt Island. There will also be field trips to the Intrepid, the Bronx Zoo, and the Botanical Gardens, to name a few. To register, stop by our office in the basement of PS/IS 217. We have a few spots left for grades 2-5, the rest are unfortunately at capacity.

We look forward to continue growing with the great minds on Roosevelt Island.

Nohar Ramlall

Assitant Program Director, CCNY

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