Chancellor Walcott Visits AileyCamp Washington Heights
Students of the Children’s Aid Society Alvin Ailey Summer Camp in Washington Heights received an enthusiastic visitor today. Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education dropped by to observe and take part in the dynamic classes offered at this unique summer camp in the Mirabal Sisters Campus, a Children’s Aid Community School. Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, National Director of AileyCamp, along with Richard Buery, President and CEO and William Weisberg, COO, both of The Children’s Aid Society gave the Chancellor a behind-the-scenes tour. Mr. Walcott energetically joined in during the ballet lesson and percussion workshop and read out the daily affirmations with all campers and staff. He commended the students for their love of artistic expression and shared that he has always wanted to learn ballet.
Each summer, AileyCamp Washington Heights, one of 10 camps nationwide, offers a variety of dance classes and developmental workshops that helps over 100 deserving inner-city youth develop positive self-esteem, problem solving skills, and healthy self-expression. Students memorize daily affirmations, such as “I will not use the word ‘can’t’ to define my possibilities,” to serve as a guide to becoming productive and motivated individuals.