GreenArts Afterschool Program - 2016
In 2016, the GreenArts Afterschool Program was offered at two different schools: P.S. 55 and P.S. 274.
1) P.S. 55 GreenArts’s children conducted their own health-awareness campaign that included letter-writing to local grocery stores and elected officials for healthier foods in their community and an end-of-year parade to distribute healthy foods to the community.
This year, thirty-five children from Morrisania conducted their own in-school health-awareness campaign using the arts as their main vehicle and children wrote letters to local grocery stores and elected officials advocating for healthier foods in their community, which is considered a food desert. Children also participate in an end-of-year parade as part of the Bronx Day Parade to distribute healthy foods to the community.
“The Green Arts After School Program has been an incredible program for our community. The program brings the arts to life while exposing the children to green initiatives. From recycling materials to painting murals of vegetables and plants the program has introduced to our families a healthier lifestyle for them to follow.”
–Luis Torres, Principal of C.S. 55
“The Bronx Children's Museum Program has been a beacon of positive expression and engagement within the CS 55 Community and beyond. It is a joy to watch the children work together and coalesce around self expression aligned to greener, brighter and healthier landscapes and mindsets; children love the program and there is a multiplier effect across and through every aspect of our school - everyday we hear from community members who appreciate the work and projects. Green Bronx Machine is proud to partner with and support the outstanding work and incredible efforts of the entire Bronx Children's Museum Team; together we are growing something greater while changing lives in this and future generations. Thanks for all you do and we look forward to working with you in the future!”
–Steve Ritz, Green Bronx Machine
“The GreenArts Program helps you get healthy and helps you follow your dreams!”
– Aaliyah P.
“My favorite thing about the GreenArts Program is my teachers and to make art with them.”
Dear Mayor Bill De Blasio,
I want you to have more sushi places because around the Bronx sushi places are really far. Also more smoothie places here in the Bronx because some people like to make their smoothies unhealthy and that is not good. With an unhealthy smoothie you will have no energy so if we have more smoothie places people can get more energy so you can run and do more exercises for like a marathon or race.
2) Bronx Children's Museum, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and P.S. 274 recently collaborated in a unique afterschool mural program called GreenArts at Roberto Clemente State Park. From January to May, Bronx Museum artists Javaka Steptoe, Katherine Perez, and Natalie Wood collaborated with a total of 40 2nd and 3rd graders from P.S. 274 to create four gigantic murals in a series of six murals celebrating the Harlem River and its habitat. The first two murals were created last fall with a different group of 40 inspired 2nd and 3rd graders from P.S. 274. All six gigantic murals were unveiled to the families of the children, the park community, school officials and private funders on May 11th. As Elhadj Bah, one student artist noted, "I wish there were more art programs in the Bronx so that kids can draw and paint because sometimes kids need a break from homework and tests."
All six murals (totaling 120 feet in length) are currently decorating the extensive construction fence surrounding the park's main entrance plaza while the park is substantially renovated. Once the renovations are complete in 2017, the six murals will then be permanently installed inside Roberto Clemente State Park.
According to Natalie Wood, Bronx Children's Museum Program Director, "Bronx Children's Museum is ecstatic to unveil six large scale murals created by children from P.S. 274. The second and third grade artists have been working for the past five months integrating science, art, and community stewardship as a theme together to create six impressive murals. With newfound knowledge about the natural resources in their neighborhood, children of the Morris Heights neighborhood have created whimsical landscapes inspired by the Harlem River. When walking by the park one can explore a nocturnal baseball game where the players are raccoons or a luminous underwater environment exploring aquatic life. By finding inspiration in their own neighborhood students have created a series of murals that will inspire their peers to connect with nature, the environment, and create stewardship."
As Leslie Wright, NYC Regional Director of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation noted, "NYS Parks has been delighted to partner with BCM and the inspired students of P.S. 274 this year at Roberto Clemente State Park. The mural program has been a wonderful addition to the park's programming and squarely in line with the agency's mission to provide quality recreation opportunities, nature interpretation and environmental stewardship to all our park patrons. BCM's fine teaching artists have strengthened the students' connection to the natural environment, their responsibility toward the environment, and given them the precious opportunity to develop the critical skill of artistic self-expression. The murals inject the park with a colorful joyousness that we are honored to display."
According to Carla Precht, Bronx Children's Museum Executive Director, "For many of us, learning about one's environment and developing empathy and respect for it is heightened when you understand the real live flora and fauna specimens that depend on that environment. Our goal was to support children in creating a textural, visual, and multi-sensory context from which they could learn more about their largest neighbor- the Harlem River- and the ways that they can care for it and its flora and fauna. Children who had no connection to the Harlem River which sits along their beautiful State park studied the Harlem River habitat from below, above, on the shore, and as a whimsical baseball field and now care for it as if it were their neighbor."
ROBERTO CLEMENTE STATE PARK
Roberto Clemente State Park is a 25-acre waterfront park located along the Harlem River in the Bronx. The park offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities year-round for youth, adults and senior citizens alike. The facilities include a multi-purpose recreation building, an Olympic-size pool complex, ball fields, basketball courts, picnic areas, playground and a waterfront promenade along the Harlem River. As the first New York State Park in New York City, the park opened in 1973 as the “Harlem River Park” and was later renamed after Clemente, the first Latino-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the park is currently undergoing a $35 million renovation to create a greener, more storm-resilient waterfront along the Harlem River to protect the park and neighborhood from flooding, as well as a complete renovation of the park’s upper plaza to create a more welcoming gateway for park visitors. Learn more here.