"Children’s Aid helps children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods." -The Children's Aid Mission Statement
A.C.E & P.O.W.E.R & L.I.T. The Adolescent Literacy Programs at Salome Ureña de Henriquéz (SU) Campus, Washington Heights
This Children's Aid after-school program is located in Salomé Ureña de Henriquèz Campus in the heart of Washington Heights. It has served students from two campus schools, currently MS 293 and formerly I.S. 218, and is led by day-time teachers and Children's Aid staff. In addition to literacy, Children's Aid offers a variety of after school programming, including Math, Life Skills, and a food education program called Food Justice.
A.C.E. - 2019 - 2020
In the 2019-2020 school year, SU Campus participation expanded from its 8th grade A.C.E. cohort, whose participants have been active in A.C.E since they themselves were 6th graders, to include a 6th grade cohort which named itself P.O.W.E.R -Passionate, Outstanding, Warm-hearted, Enthusiastic, and Respectful. P.O.W.E.R participants spent the Fall 2019 months finalizing their group's name, learning how to sail, conducting service projects, and beginning to construct their own boat with boat experts from Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS).
Meanwhile the participants of the 8th grade group A.C.E --for Advocate, Connect & Enlighten-- already veteran boat builders, continued to hone their sailing abilities on the waters of the Hudson. In addition, they began to a robotics research and development project by designing a remote controlled aquatic probe.
Both groups took trips to Barnes and Noble Booksellers, attended movies at AMC Theatres, engaged in synchronized swimming activities, and took field trips to the Museum of Illusion. And, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close from mid-April through the end of the school year in June, A.C.E and P.OW.E.R continued to function is the world's new remote setting, engaging in literacy and youth development activities, as well as graduations, through Zoom and Google Classroom.
2018 - 2019 A.C.E Activities
OCTOBER through JUNE Sailing (Boat Building) A.C.E Participants have engaged in various STEM activities geared to improve our students' communication, leaderships skills and increase their interests in STEM. Every Wednesday and Friday, A.C.E participants have been learning to sail 24-foot long sailboats on the Hudson River. They've also had the opportunity to collectively build one 7-foot long boat that they'll sail at the Opti Launch event on Saturday June 8th.
NOVEMBER Barnes and Noble - A.C.E Participants took a trip to Barnes and Noble to select some of their favorite books. They were provided with a $25 gift card to use in store and were responsible for budgeting themselves and making their own calculations considering price, tax and any applicable discounts to make their purchase.
DECEMBER A.C.E Holiday Celebration - A.C.E participants wrote letters of gratitude for the holiday season and were able to give those to one another. Additionally, participants were able to receive gifts that they opened at our holiday celebration.
FEBRUARY Spider-man Movie - As an incentive for great behavior, A.C.E participants attended a trip to a movie of their choice, Marvel's Into the Spider-Verse. Ironically, the film also aligned to books they received from their Book Talk with Kevin Dotson. Participants enjoyed making connections between the film and book.
MARCH BioBus - A.C.E Participants participated in the hands-on science BioBus" event, in which they explored how the brain helps us understand the world around us. Participants were able to use their five senses to discover how other animals perceive their environment.
MARCH (cont'd) State Exam Relief Bags - A.C.E Participants created and distributed State Exam Relief bags to all participants of the after-school program with words of encouragement for the upcoming exams.
APRIL Trip to Gulliver's Gate - A.C.E participated in a technologically advanced, interactive and immersive world comprised of 25+ cities from five continents. By using their complimentary key, participants were able to unlock interactive displays and models.
Perfect Attendance Luncheon - A.C.E participants with an 85% or higher overall attendance were invited to a private Luncheon at Inwood Bar ad Grill.
Consistent Behavior Luncheon - A.C.E participants who exhibit excellent behavior or consistent improvement in their behavior throughout the academic year were invited to attend a Luncheon at Dallas BBQ.
Sportime USA - A.C.E participants engaged in a day of fun at this amusement park as a reward for their hard work, and improvement on attendance and participation in program.
MAY Avengers Infinity War - A.C.E participants engaged in a Movie Trip as an incentive.
Yankee Stadium Trip in Collaboration w/ Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) - Fifteen A.C.E participants were invited to attend a game at Yankee Stadium as an incentive for their hard work on boat-building all year long.
Health Fair Presentation on Food Justice - participants presented their projects on healthy eating options and how healthy choices impact us as a whole community. A.C.E participants not only created a presentation to show at Children's Aid's annual Health Fair event, they also engaged with community members on ways to make healthier choices and bring healthier food options to their communities.
September 2018 - A New Group, a New Name, a New Logo
September 2018 - The new school year brought with it a new group of students to adolescent literacy program at Children's Aid SU Campus. The students conceptualized its new identity, designed a logo, and created an informative newsletter to keep the community up to speed with their work.
A.C.E Publishes a New Program Newsletter
2016 - 2017: Readiness for High School, College, and Beyond During year three of Leaders in Training, the IS 218 students --now 8th graders-- continued to build their literacy skills through community service work, such as creating ELA Test Goodie Bags for students in campus after-school programs. With an eye toward their moving on, they also engaged in intensive exploration into colleges and career aspirations, both in the classroom and out. At the end of March 2017, LIT participants spent a long weekend at SUNY Binghamton, where college hosts and mentors toured them through the campus, provided participants with an array of college-life related panels, workshops, and took part in recreational activities.
Below, read the summary of the trip by LIT Program Coordinator Lorena Muñoz, and Educators Lucerny Guzman and Elieris Jimenez. You can also view the slideshow of images from the weekend and read reflections written by some of the LIT participants on the Student Showcase page.
LIT at Binghamton University (State University of New York) Thursday March 30to Sunday April 2, 2017
Participants of the LIT Program at the Salomé Ureña de Henriquèz Campus had the opportunity to spend a four-day weekend at the premier public university of the northeast, Binghamton University. On Thursday March 30th. The participants arrived and were united with their host and mentor for the weekend. They had the opportunity to stay in a college dormitory on campus and be immersed in the university community. Upon arrival, the Greek life fraternities and sororities performed in order to showcase their organizations and provide the audience with an insight on the variety of organizations available to them.
Friday March 31st began with a college admissions workshop by one of the college admission counselors at the university where he shared helpful information on the college admission process and provided the participants with actionable steps they could be taking now to assist them in presenting themselves favorably before a university. It was followed by a student panel of Binghamton University students of different backgrounds, majors and years at the university. The panel allowed the participants to speak to current undergraduates on what college life is like and ask them questions regarding the rigor of college level work as well as debunking common myths and misconceptions. This was followed by a number of workshops geared towards their possible future interests, which included forums from the National Society of Black Engineers, the Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Society, and the Charles Drew Minority Pre-Healthy Society. The workshops also engaged the LIT program participants in a conversation over a variety of issues around mental health, physical health and wellness hosted by the Rainbow Pride Union, the Latin American Student Union, Black Student Union, P.U.L.S.E, Men of Color Society, Safe Space, and 20:1.
Friday evening, the participants had a break from workshops to spend time with their mentors engaging in recreational activities of their choice, such as, bowling, arts and crafts, ping pong, arcade games and having access to the east and west gymnasiums for sports related activities. They concluded Friday evening by traveling by chartered bus off-campus to a roller skating rink where they were able to further strengthen bonds with their hosts, mentors, and peers. Saturday April 1st was the third day of their stay where they were greeted by Officer Wright (member of the University Police Department) who conducted a forum on educating young adults on their legal rights. This was followed by a workshop from the J.U.M.P. Alumni Association, which was centered on the stigmas of stereotyping. Saturday evening continued with an additional break, which was also accompanied by a variety of recreational activities for the participants to chose from. The break was followed by a cultural dinner, which consisted of a variety of dishes from different cultures and a talent show. Binghamton University students performed alongside the 8th grade participants to showcase a range of talents. Saturday evening concluded with a final celebration for the 8th grade participants. On the final day, Sunday April 19th, participants were awarded their certificate of completion and were able to exchange warm regards and reflections of their experience throughout the weekend.
October 2015 - June 2016 Updates and Best Practices: During the 2015-2016 academic year, the students of this after-school program engaged in a wide range of activities designed to bolster their leadership and literacy engagement, improve skills, and foster community service. The slideshow below showcases some of the work done by the Leaders in Training at IS 218 during year two of their program.