Teen ACTION Club Wins Free Trip and New Service Learning Opportunities
As part of a Service Learning Grant awarded to the Teen ACTION Club at Children's Aid Society's Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics community school by New York City's Department of Youth and Community Development, students embarked on a month-long canned food drive in collaboration with ASPIRA.
Beginning in early November and extending through mid-December, the teens collected 9,900 cans of food for local food pantries! In the process, they learned about homelessness and poverty and its impact on our communities.
Teen ACTION students met outside of their regular club hours to assist with the counting and boxing of the cans, and even assisted the local pantries with loading the trucks for deliveries. They did a remarkable job and their work did not go unnoticed.
Another service learning agency that participated in the project, The League, recognized their efforts and awarded our students 15 free Jet Blue tickets to fly anywhere the airline flies and perform service activities in the destination of their choice.
Teen ACTION chose Las Vegas due to its most recent anti-graffiti movement and went there this spring. In Las Vegas, the students helped clean up a neighborhood: cleaning streets, painting over graffiti and clearing parking lots. They also worked with the organization Youth with a Mission, aka The Pier, to distribute Easter baskets to community members and advertise that agency's services.
Our youth left Las Vegas with a greater appreciation of the extent of poverty beyond New York. Katherin Ramirez, one of our students, stated, "It was quite heartbreaking to see the conditions these families were living in and see young kids at home rather than at school so early in the day. I've gained respect not only for those working at The Pier but also a great appreciation for what I have back home."