As a product of the NYC Public Education system and an art lover, I am excited to let you know about a Benefit for Public School Art Programs, taking place at Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave) tomorrow February 25, 2014 at 8pm.
Kids need art, and we all know that art programs are underfunded. This article on the importance of art in child development from PBS.org cites that, “art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life.”
Our wonderful Yana hosted a Salo Pop-Up Dinner at Sindicato Cocineros in Greenpoint on Monday to raise money for typhoon disaster relief and Bedford and Bowery made this short video about it – paying special attention to the pig hearts that were served. Mind the after school special narration and enjoy gorgeous Yana and her beautifully prepared Philippino food! You may also recognize a lot of Greenpointers in the video…PETER!
No Light No Lycra, the weekly dancing in the dark party at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell St) is having a special group show benefit on December 14th, 2013 to benefit Common Ground, a homeless outreach program. Tickets are only $7! (in advance), $10 at the door.
100% of ticket sales will be donated!
Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic)
Jo Schornikow (of Phosphoresent)
Laura & Greg
& DJ Pumpkin Patch
Raf Delalande (guest artist who just arrived yesterday from France!), Rob Banks and Rachel Hauer will be tattooing their own flash pieces ranging from $50 ‘charms’ to $150 flowers/other stuff and donating the proceeds to Threads for Teens from 10am to 1pm.
Duke Riley’s Project Manager Kitty Joe, an awesome Greenpointer, wrote in to let us know about this charity that her niece Allyson Ahlstrom started in 2011 when she was 14. Allyson runs a boutique in Windsor, California that welcomes teens in foster care and cases of extreme poverty to ‘shop’ for free in an upscale boutique. The project started out simply to satisfy 10 hours of required community service through her school. After graduating from high school in May, she outfitted a 62′ trailer as a mobile boutique and is currently on the third leg of her 48 state tour of the country, making daily stops in cities to distribute clothing to deserving teens recommended by social agencies. Continue reading →
My breakfast in high school was Manhattan Special and a bag of cheetos. For lunch I’d eat a bagel or an ice cream sandwich. By 5th period, I was starving and I’d scrounge around in my backpack for a few quarters to buy M&Ms that a student in the next row was selling – in order to fundraise for the school.
Obviously Health Ed. classes didn’t sink in, and fundraising just meant a sugar rush, but among other amazing programs, the school did have a great after school program. I learned some of life’s most important lessons on the basketball court. And during the off season, when I wasn’t shooting hoops, I was out getting into trouble and eating Wendy’s.
Yesterday I met with Tamia Dantzler and Laura Arroyo, students of IS318 in Williamsburg, who with the guidance of Greenpointer Jane Pool, have organized a fundraiser this Sunday June 23rd from 6-9pm at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave) called “Bring Back The Music,” in order to raise money for their after school program, which has been the victim of recent city budget cuts.
While elected officials create tax abatements for high rise buildings on the water front, funding for public schools has been taken away.
“Selling candy bars is not enough,” Tamia said, who receives homework help after school and whose grades have improved because of the program.
IS318 has received a lot of attention because of its brilliant chess team. A documentary called Brooklyn Castle, “tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country.” IS318 is that school.
Walking down the hallway seeing championship banner after banner shows year after year of success, confidence and team building that will impact these students for the rest of their lives.
Not only is the chess team’s funding gone, but after school activities like basketball, art, math, science and music for students like Tamia and Laura are affected by the budget cuts, too.
“It’s a big deal. This is our school. This is our future. We can’t have a bright future without a good education,” Laura said.
And without an after school program, Tamia said she’d be “at home bored to death struggling with homework.”
Laura added that without it, “most kids go home, watch TV, hang out and do nothing productive.”
Jane Pool, a school mother, who described herself as a former “hardcore punk rock chick” who used to book bands for shows, uses her organization skills now to produce fundraisers for local organizations like OSA. She has wholeheartedly made it her mission, not just to fundraise on behalf of IS318, but to give the students the tools and know how to understand the issues and to organize this upcoming event themselves.
“This is a good age to get real about stuff, ” she said tearing up while looking at the girls and describing how inspiring and how she has “learned a lot from them,” during this process.
“I didn’t know I was going to care that much about the kids,” Jane said.
Jane’s care and support has in turn been uplifting for the students.
“We understand how to think. The group matured a lot. We learned how to act professionally to get things done. We learned how to write a proposal, kids our age don’t know how to write proposals,” Laura said.
Tamia said, “This is the most exciting thing in my life so far!”
Sunday’s benefit at Brooklyn Bowl will surely be exciting with performances by Assemblyman Joe Lentol and Council Member Stephen Levin as well as the school band, the guitar ensemble, Newtown Creek Ramblers and the Jazz Band, which formed because of Sunday’s concert.
Valerie Keingstein, the schools incoming PTA President, whose son is in the newly formed Jazz Band said that the kids show up at 7am to practice 5 days a week, a period called double zero period, and her son is anxious to be there by 6:45am every morning.
This “culture of caring” at the school, as Jane described it, really shows.
“This is an amazing school that is trying to help kids stay active and focused in school so they don’t have to worry about a lot of struggles in life,” Tamia said.
If you do one this weekend, come out to “Bring Back the Music,” this Sunday at Brooklyn Bowl and support the students of IS318′s after school program. It’s $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
We have a choice to make. These students are the future of our city and will soon be making decisions about the world we live in. It is our responsibility to support them, even when our own city government decides not to.
As Jane put it, “this is a real fork in the road time for these kids.” After school can be an enriching time that will help these young people grow into happy and successful New Yorkers. It’s up to us to help them get there.
If you can’t make it to the event Sunday, consider making a donation directly to IS318 now via paypal.
Tonight (12/4) from 7-10pm is the Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive Party at Red Star (34 Greenpoint Ave). They will be collecting toys and raising money for local kids affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Many lost almost everything they had. The toy drive will focus specifically on the children affected by the hurricane and attempt to bring them some joy through toys this holiday season.
Open bar/Raffle/50/50 Cover: $20 or a new, unwrapped toy valued at $20 or more (all proceeds to go the Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive)
If you can’t make the party, you can drop off unwrapped toys on any East River Ferry vessel, from Nov. 25 until December 16th.
-Vacation voucher good for a 3 night cruise, with your choice of destinations including Mexico, the Bahamas and several Caribbean destinations. Airfare included!
-ONE YEAR PASS on the East River Ferry
-$75 gift certificate to Calyer Restaurant
-$75 gift certificate to Anella Restaurant
-At the Corner Barber: Haircut, hot shave, & Amercan Crew Dopp Kit (value $102.00)
-At Mousey Brown Salon: Haircut & Pureoloogy hair care gift box (value $107.00)
-Two pool passes for the King & Grove Hotel in Williamsburg
This looks like so much fun and a really great way to help out this season!
There are a ton of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Williamsburg and Greenpoint that are participating in Dine Out Williamsburg, in which they pledge to donate a percentage of gross profit to Red Cross Sandy Relief Efforts.
Where will you be dining out tonight? Let us know in the comments.
Restaurants who want to participate: email dineoutwilliamsburg (AT) gmail.com
Old Favorites: Brooklyn Star (593 Lorimer St) - Try the Brussels Sprouts & Pig Tails. Diner (83 Broadway) – The waitstaff writes the entire menu on your table. Pies n’ Thighs (166 So. 4th St) – Chicken Biscuit! Nighthawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave) - Menu inspired by the films. Roebling Tea Room (143 Roebling St) - Always satisfying. Steak Tartare, Raviolo. Rye – (247 S.1st St) Great Old Fashioned, Berkshire Pork and Mushroom Lasagna. Spuyten Duyvil (359 Metropolitan Ave) – Perfect spot for a date. Wine, beer, cheese. Best Pizza (33 Havemeyer St) – Best regular slice in town and a nice meatball hero.
Been Meaning To Try:
St. Anselm (355 Metropolitan Ave) Three Different Eggplants!?! Lotsa steak. Saint Austere (613 Grand St) Forcella (485 Lorimer St) They have rice balls!
Blues for Sandy Concert tonight at Trash Bar (256 Grand St) in Williamsburg at 8pm with music by Nowadays, Lizzie & The Makers Plus a Blues Jam. $5, all proceeds go to hurricane relief, plus clothes, food, supplies drive. RSVP on Facebook.