Archive for July, 2017

Education on the Move! Summer Trip Highlights

Posted on: July 28th, 2017 by nye No Comments

Related to SASF’s summer camp theme – Change Agents: Taking Care of Our Environment,” our Education Department developed a unique trip guide for more than 100 of our summer camp sites. From the SIMS Municipal Recycling Education Center field trip that offered SASF students like 484K’s the chance to see a material recovery facility and education center to 57K’s trip to the River Project where they learned about marine science and issues of urban ecology, SASF campers were immersed in New York City’s finest examples of eco-friendly environments.

Every student had a lesson to learn with each trip. Sole from 354K attended a trip to the New Town Creek Water Treatment Plant and shared her’s: “It is important that we conserve as much water as possible by doing little things such as turning off the water when brushing our teeth.”

484 K at the SIMS Municipal Recycling Education Center.

57K at the River Project.

In addition, the educational components of the theme was threaded through our sports and arts activities and trips. Students from IS 162K from Brooklyn and 146Q took a trip to Gulliver’s Gate. This interactive and engaging miniature world was the perfect place for our students to explore. Nicole, a student from 162K, was asked what surprised you most about Gulliver’s Gate? “How they built all the tiny people and the details!,” she replied. She also “learned little things come in big packages.”

146Q at Gulliver’s Gate.

How eco-friendly are you? Sports & Wellness Team Puts Us to the Test

Posted on: July 28th, 2017 by nye No Comments

How do you commute to work every day? How much food do you throw out at the end of the week? We may think we lead environmentally friendly lives, but can we do more? Read the ten ways to improve how eco-friendly you are, brought to you by our Director of Sports & Wellness, Shanon.

Ten Ways to Improve How Eco-Friendly You Are!

  1. Cycling to work instead of Driving. Bicycling is a great way to improve cardiovascular health and significantly reduce transportation emissions while also reducing traffic congestion.
  2. Choose Climate-Friendly Food. Food that comes from high on the food chain or arrives to your plate after extensive processing tends to require more energy and release more global warming pollution into the air. Consume foods lower on the food chain by adding more fruits, vegetables, and grains to your diet and limiting your intake of meat. This can reduce your risk of coronary disease and colorectal cancer, while reducing your grocery bill.  
  3. Buy Organic and Other Sustainable Certifications. Eco-labels like USDA Organic and others give us a way to reward environmental performance in the marketplace. Organic agriculture is a safer choice for the environment and your family because organic growers don’t use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Pesticide use degrades air and water quality, while threatening the health of workers, farmers, and communities. Organic agriculture is also often better than conventional agriculture in reducing global warming pollution. Buy organic and other certified foods when you can.
  4. Eat Locally. Buying locally can help reduce the pollution and energy use associated from transporting, storing and refrigerating this food—that’s especially true for food that is imported by airplane, including perishables such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and asparagus. Choose local food options whenever possible and avoid purchasing food imported by airplane.
  5. Try growing vegetables of your own. By adding potted plants or a small plot of vegetables, you can have easy access to fresh food which ultimately saves you a trip to the grocery store which saves you gas as well.
  6. Watch Your Waste. Nearly all of discarded food that ends up in landfills where it releases even more heat-trapping gas in the form of methane as it decomposes. Purchase foods that you can consume before they expire to help minimize food waste and lower your grocery bill.
  7. Turn waste into a resource. Compost your food waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the need for synthetic fertilizer.
  8. Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle. Millions of tons of plastic are used to produce billions of plastic water bottles each year. Save money and lessen waste by drinking tap water from a reusable water bottle. Try a water filter, or take courage from the fact that a lot of bottled water is likely no better than what’s on tap.
  9. Reuse it. Bring a reusable bag on your next shopping trip to helped out the environment.
  10. Eat it raw.  If at all possible, eat foods raw. Not all foods should be eaten raw, but many vegetables can be eaten raw which saves energy on gas from your stone. It is yet another environmentally friendly way to keep you and environmentally healthy

Justice Through Art: Change Agents Banner Contest

Posted on: July 28th, 2017 by nye No Comments

An annual tradition, SASF summer camps hosting visual arts programming participated in the annual ICAHN Stadium Track and Field event’s banner contest.

What is the banner contest exactly? “Each banner will clearly display theme, use color, show creativity, allow for the young artistic minds of the group to all contribute, will be unique and most of all will show site spirit! Each site looks to shine and take ownership and pride in their creation. Whether they place or not all the banners get to be shown in the parade around Icahn where each site get to hold their banner as they walk to display their hard work and represent their site & SASF. This is creative visual imagery at its best for SASF summer camps!,” said Michelle Durante, Director of Arts. Each site is equipped with a 6 x 4 foot banner and other art materials. The creativity is left to the group. What’s the catch? The winning banner must reflect this year’s camp theme: Change Agents – Taking Care of Our Environment using one of the below identified traits:

Students can explore a few or select one but before they choose, students must have a clear understanding of what each trait means.

At the two-day event, guest judges selected winners in the following four categories:

Winners for Session 1:

3rd Place for Outstanding Imagination and Champion of Color: IS 381K


2nd Place for Outstanding Imagination and Strong Theme Representation: MS 308K


1st Place for Outstanding Imagination, Champion of Color, Best Teamwork & Strongest Theme Representation: IS 285 K

Session 2:

3rd Place for Outstanding Imagination and Strong Theme Representation: MS 384 K

2nd Place for Outstanding Imagination, Champion of Color & Strong Theme Representation: JHS 151 X

1st Place for Outstanding Imagination, Champion of Color, Best teamwork & Strongest Theme Representation: PS 111 M

Winners for Session 3 was announced by New York Knicks Alumni John Starks:

3rd Place for Outstanding Imagination and Strong Theme Representation: PS 21R

2nd Place for Champion of Color, Best Teamwork & Strong Theme Representation: PS 309K

1st Place for Outstanding Imagination, Champion of Color, Best Teamwork & Strongest theme representation: CS 134X

The goal of each visual arts activity is to teach leadership skills and inspire creative thinking. Throughout the camp season, skills will build upon one another, as students explore themes through a variety of art media.

Another Hit! Spring Arts Showcase

Posted on: July 23rd, 2017 by nye No Comments

As guests entered NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, they were greeted by IS 51R’s jazz band playing classic renditions of musical favorites. The gallery displayed more than 170 pieces of vibrant artwork, 3D urban landscapes, and fashion forward mannequins.

Master of Ceremonies and longtime friend of SASF, Tina Cervasio, once again hosted the Spring Arts Showcase. She kicked off the evening by introducing Chief Executive Officer Maureen Fonseca who highlighted the hard work and grit that went into each site’s audition process and ultimately, what brought them to the culminating showcase.

The program included the following acts:

  1. The Star Spangled Banner, sung by Tiana Byrd form PS 189 X
  2. Dance: “American Bandstand” by IS 381K
  3. Dance: “Latin Groove” by PS 189X
  4. Hip Hop: “Essence of a Woman” by Thornton High School
  5. Musical Theater: “Bye Bye Birdie” by IS 51R
  6. Jazz Band: “Bye Bye Birdie and You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by IS 51R
  7. Steel Pan: “This Melody Sweet” by MS 354K
  8. African Dance: “Nature Blessings” by PS 116Q
  9. Modern Dance: “The Elements” by 680Q
  10. Dance: “Formation” by 462X
  11. Dance: “Tornado from the Wiz” by MS 452K
  12. Step: “College Campus” by Pathways College Preparatory School

While each act had a surprise at every turn, one thing was for certain: the sights and sounds left the audience in awe.

“Each year, this event continues to grow and evolve into a greater showcase of arts – both visual and performing. Our gallery was filled with art pieces by students from 27 of our sites and 12 different performance acts hit the stage. The talent has reached a stellar level. In describing the show this year I often used the term show stopper,” said Michelle Durante, Director of Arts. “When students smile from ear-to-ear in awe of the professional theater space and joy radiates in all they do, we see the power of the arts come to life in over 300 student participants. The success of this culminating event was evident in how much was gained and learned by our students through the arts this school year.”

The event concluded with remarks from Chief Program Officer Marisol Guzman and a finale including all the SASF performers taking their last bow to a standing ovation.

Senator Klein announces a $152,000 grant for Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation

Posted on: July 14th, 2017 by nye No Comments

Bronx, NY – July 14, 2017 – Senator Jeff Klein announced that he is supporting the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF) with a $152,000 grant in state funding. The funds have already been invested in free summer academy programs that are underway by SASF in the Bronx. The enrichment programs offer incoming middle and high school students an intensive, hands-on academic boost to ensure a smooth transition into the next phase of their education.

Senator Klein made the announcement on Thursday, July 13 at Pelham Lab High School at Lehman, one of four Bronx schools offering summer programs through SASF, benefiting from Klein’s grant. The other locations impacted by the grant will include P.S. 83, High School for Teaching and Professions and J.H.S 127.

“Students enrolled at the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation summer programs learn from top-notch teachers who are committed to providing them with the resources needed to excel in their future years. I’m thrilled to provide this funding to SASF, which is giving hundreds of Bronx students within my district the tools needed to succeed,” said Senator Jeff Klein.

“We are delighted to receive the funds from State Senator Klein’s generous grant to support our summer program efforts,” shared Maureen Fonseca, CEO, Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF). “These critical funds will provide our incoming freshmen with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate high school, college, and beyond.”

“Summer learning is an essential element to closing the achievement gap and ensuring educational equity across our city and state,” said Principal Jason Wagner, Pelham Lab High School. “These 21st century skills will help these students achieve and compete in the years ahead.”

The Pelham Lab High School 9th grade summer academy kicked off July 5, and will end on August 3. The program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, focuses on computer literacy, creative writing, photography, robotics, physical fitness and sports. The overarching goal of the freshman program is to ensure the students are equipped to succeed, both in high school and in higher education.