Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader

Joseph Addison once said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

On June 21st, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps hosted their 3rd Annual Kids Book Fair at the Red Hook branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Children came from all directions and gathered around our tables to pick out books to read over the summer. Our JJC members were more than prepared and greeted every child and parent that passed by our tables filled with books. The kids looked with awe and wonder as they saw books of mystery, of adventure, and of their favorite cartoon characters. Kids left the book fair with smiles on their faces and bags full of books. A 12-year-old at the book fair said, “My mom is going to be upset that I brought all these books in the house but, I don’t care, I love to read.” Corps members also gave out handmade bookmarks with quotes about the importance of reading and tips to prevent the “Summer Slide.”

Corps members gear up to help kids find the perfect summer reading book
 The “Summer Slide” is a slippery slope; it describes the 2 months of learning loss that occurs with children over the summer break. It causes a significant achievement and learning gap that causes children to fall behind on their studies. Our goal is to promote and encourage the excitement of reading and to increase access to age-appropriate books.

Corps member Lisa makes a recommendation to a pair of friends 
This could have not been a success without our supporters and partners. We would like to thank Tymberly Harris of the Packer Collegiate Institute for donating all of the amazing books. Thank you to Ronell Jack and Nelson Rivera and the Red Hook community service crews for their assistance moving the books.  A big thanks to Nate’s Pharmacy who donated wonderful tote and plastic bags for the youthful readers. Last but certainly not least, a thank you to the Red Hook Community Justice Center and New York Juvenile  Justice Corps members for supporting, organizing,  and for making this amazing day possible.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Closed.

Take a look below for some more photos of the wonderful day!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What is Your Teen Doing this Summer?

Summer employment and activities are critical to the social and economic development of our young people. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2012, 16- to 19-year-olds in New York City have experienced an unemployment rate of above 30% for three years in a row, three times the city’s unemployment rate. One in five New Yorkers between 18 and 24 are out of school and out of work. A report issued this year by New York City’s Workforce Investment Board described the consequences of young adults struggling to find jobs. “Research has indicated that work is ‘path-dependent’: those who work at age 17 are more likely to work at 19, and more likely to work into their early 20s and beyond.” And unfortunately, many young people without employment, extra-curricular activities, or in school, get bored and get into trouble.
Our young people are eager to work, earn money, and learn new skills if given the opportunity. To that end, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is providing several exciting opportunities.
On May 7th, the Justice Center hosted its Annual Summer Internship Fair for teens and young adults at the NYCHA Miccio Community Center. Over 200 young people came out to learn about exciting opportunities with organizations like: Exalt; Added Value; Groundswell Mural Project; Youth Made Media, and Green City Force.
The Justice Center will offer an exciting new photography program called JustArts: Photo Voice in partnership with the Brooklyn Arts Council. Twenty participants ages 16-24 will be selected to participate, and will receive a $600 stipend, metrocards, and a camera. Participants will learn the technical and artistic skills of photography and explore various themes through the photo voice curriculum, with the instruction of professional photographers.
The Justice Center will continue its successful collaboration with the local and renowned Red Hook gallery, Kentler International Drawing Space, and provide summer programming for local pre-teens though our JustArtsDrawing Program: Make Your Mark. Students will explore the many ways and artist can draw INSIDE OUT. The will learn to use their imagination skills and create drawings like never before. Students will be led by K.I.D.S. Teaching Artist, Meghan Keane. Participants must be 11-13 years old and preferably live in Red Hook.
The Justice Center has just finished recruitment for our Summer Internship Program for high school students. Teens will receive professional development training at the Justice Center and are then placed at local organizations and businesses. Nearly 200 applications were received for just 15-20 spots.
The Justice Center will also begin recruitment for its AmeriCorps program, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps shortly, so look out for more information.


Make Your Mark

In collaboration with the Kentler International Drawing Space (K.I.D.S.), the Red Hook Community Justice Center is excited to announce that we are recruiting for the JustArts: Drawing Program "Make Your Mark."

Students will explore the many ways and artist can draw INSIDE OUT. The will learn to use their imagination skills and create drawings like never before. Students will be led by K.I.D.S. Teaching Artist, Meghan Keane.

Participants must be 11-13 years old and preferably live in Red Hook. The program will meet at the Red Hook Community Justice Center on Monday, Tuesday an Wednesday from 11:00 - 12:30, from July 15 - July 31. For more information, contact Sabrina at 718-923-8261.

Find Your Photo Voice

In collaboration with the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is excited to announce that we are recruiting for JustArts: Photo Voice. Participants will learn the technical and artistic skills of photography and explore various themes through the photo voice curriculum, with the instruction of professional photographers. The photographs will be professionally exhibited.
Particpants will receive metro cards, a camera and a $600 stipend. Applicants must be 16-24 years old. Those not working or enrolled in school are encouraged to apply. The programs will run from July 29th - September 6th, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 2-5pm at the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Brooklyn Arts Council in DUMBO Brooklyn. Residents from Red Hook, Gowanus, Sunset Park, and Park Slope are encouraged to apply. No previous photography experience is necessary. The DEADLINE TO APPLY IS FRIDAY JULY 12!

For more information and to apply, call Sabrina at 718-923-8261.
Photo Voice is funded by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Apply NOW to become a NYC Service Fellow

What does it mean to be a NYC Service Fellow?
The NYC Service Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to obtain practical City government experience in the areas of volunteerism and community service at the City level. The centerpiece of this year-long fellowship, offered to recent college graduates, is a work experience at NYC Service — Mayor Michael R Bloomberg’s comprehensive program to engage more New Yorkers in volunteer service and target those volunteers towards the City’s greatest areas of need.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for consideration as a candidate, applicants must meet the following requirements as of the time of their application:

• Applicants must be recent graduates, no more than two full years out of college. We accept applications from students who achieved their undergraduate degree in Spring of 2013, 2012 or 2011.

• Eligibility is based on when you achieved your undergraduate degree.

• Applicants must have one year service related experience.

• Fellows must be prepared to participate in the program on a full-time basis for one full year. While a NYC Service Fellow, fellows may not have any additional job and may not attend graduate studies. This Fellowship requires a full time commitment.

• Fellows must meet the eligibility requirements to work in NYC, i.e. full compliance with the I-9 form from US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What do I get out of this?

Fellows, who in addition to meeting all other stated requirements, must have one year service related work experience are paid a taxable stipend of $45,768.

How can I get involved?

Check out the following link for more info and the application: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcas/html/work/nycservice.shtml or email urbanfellows@dcas.nyc.gov with any questions. The deadline is TODAY! Apply now and get involved!

Apply To Be A NYC Civic Corps Member!

Are you committed to making change in NYC? Are you interested in promoting volunteerism throughtout NYC? Apply now to become a NYC Civic Corps Member!

What is NYC Civic Corps?
The NYC Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps program run by NYC Service, unites a diverse group of professionals to serve full-time with partnering organizations, working to increase their organizational capacity to engage volunteers and build sustainable volunteer initiatives.

Small teams of NYC Civic Corps members are assigned to partner organizations for 10 months of full-time service and charged with recruiting, engaging and managing volunteers and volunteer programs. Corps members help nonprofit organizations and City agencies meet New York City’s most pressing needs in:
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Environment & Clean Energy
  • Education: Tutoring & Mentoring
  • Health

What's in it for me?
  • Educational grant award of $5,550 which can be used toward tuition or student loans
  • NYC Civic Corps members receive a monthly stipend of $1,270, pre-tax
  • Professional Development and Networking Opportunities
  • Basic health coverage

What are the requirements?
Any individual who applies to be a member of the NYC Civic Corps must:
  • Complete and submit an online application by July 10, 2013
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Hold a Bachelor's Degree (or expect to complete one by July 31, 2013) and be willing to provide a transcript to verify the completion of the degree
  • Submit to a background check by the Office of the Mayor and NYC Service, pursuant to AmeriCorps regulations
  • Attend NYC Civic Corps Orientation, to be held September 5-6 and September 9-10, 2013
  • Be willing and available to serve full-time (40+ hours/week) for ten months, accruing an AmeriCorps minimum of 1700 service hours (qualifying corps members to receive the Segal Education Award of $5,550).
  • Understand that the stipend for NYC Civic Corps is taxable, and is valued at $1,270 per month before taxes
  • Understand that a basic medical plan will be available to NYC Civic Corps members, at no cost to Civic Corps members
  • Certify that they meet the criteria listed above when completing the application.
How do I apply?
Check out the following link for more info and the application:
Applicants should contact NYC Service with any questions at corps@cityhall.nyc.gov or 212-788-3209.
The deadline to apply is July 10th, 2013.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

14 Shades of Justice

Connecting art and photography as a means of communication and an exchange of ideas is at the core of 14 Shades of Justice, the latest exhibition from Red Hook’s JustArts photography program. JustArts: Photography is an after-school digital photography workshop for teens at the Red Hook Community Justice Center done in partnership with the Brooklyn Arts Council.

Participants found the power they have to tell stories, personal or representational, and learned to articulate their thoughts on what social justice photography looks like. This theme was examined during the course of the program, led by a professional teaching artist, through students’ work and ideas, teachings from professional photographers as well as lessons exploring historic photographs and photo essays. Students in this group exhibition participated in the spring 2013 JustArts: Photography program, meeting once a week, for 18 weeks in workshops that provided them with in-depth, hands-on training in shooting, editing, camera use and visual literacy. The students’ knowledge of the professional photography world was expanded through exposure to various artists, gallery visits and artist talks.

Brooklyn Arts Council will exhibit 14 Shades of Justice from June 6 through August 9, 2013, in their gallery space, BAC Gallery,  in DUMBO, featuring the work of 14 students ages 14-18. The BAC Gallery is located at: 55 Washington Street, Suite 218Brooklyn, NY 11201

About JustArts Programming and Positive Youth Justice Initiative
The JustArts: Photography program is part of the Red Hook Community Justice Center's JustArts Programing and Positive Youth Justice Initiative, which reframe the conversation about juvenile delinquency. Instead of pathologizing and criminalizing our teens for adolescent behavior, the Red Hook Community Justice Center works to serve all young people within a positive development framework, drawing on their strengths and contributions to their communities.  Proceeding from a strengths-based approach, the Positive Youth Justice Initiative provides services in four areas—opportunities, educational advocacy, clinical assessments and referrals, and family engagement—to youth on the entire spectrum of court involvement, from prevention to intervention.  They provide internship and employment opportunities and connect youth with creative outlets through JustArts programs, which include the photography program as well as drawing and mural projects.

The JustArts Digital Photography is a program of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, in partnership with the Brooklyn Arts Council, and is supported by the New York State Council of the Arts and the Robin Hood Foundation.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Celebrating It's My Park Day and Red Hook Little Legague Opening Day

The New York Juvenile Justice Corps and our John Jay College of Criminal Justice partners joined the Brownsville Community Justice Center in celebrating “It’s My Park Day” on May 3rd, 2013 in Betsy Head Park in Brownsville Brooklyn. New Yorkers across the five boroughs gathered to beautify their local green spaces and parks in celebration of “It’s My Park Day.” 
AmeriCorps members alongside members from the Brownsville Justice Community spent the afternoon scrapping and repainting a large retaining wall on the perimeter of the park. Visitors to the park are no longer greeted by a wall of peeling paint but a bright newly painted wall. Volunteers also worked in the garden weeding, removing debris, and laying wood chips. Members conducted park audits at several other local Brownsville Parks, assessing parks’ level of activity, quality, safety, signage, and aesthetics.

John Jay members working in the garden
JJC members scrapped and repainted a large retaining wall
JJC members after providing a fresh coat of paint

JJC members, John Jay members, and Brownsville Justice Community members after an afternoon of beautifying Betsy Head Park
The 16th Annual Red Hook little league baseball season kicked off Saturday May 4th, 2013. Opening Day commenced with Red Hook youth in their bright new uniforms bursting with energy to play. The opening balls were thrown by Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, Honorable Judge Alex Calabrese of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Captain Jeffery Schiff of the 76th Precinct, and Jessica Colon Deputy Director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center. 

AmeriCorps members helped to found the League and continue to support every aspect of the league through their service coaching, recruiting, or distributing uniforms. Hyne’s Heroes and The Defenders quickly got to the business of playing ball. JJC members along with family and friends were happy to cheer on the players at their first game! 
Red Hook Little League 16th Annual Opening Day Hynes Heroes Vs The Defenders
Before thorowing out the Opeining Ball Honorable Judge Alex Calabrese of the Red Hook Community Justice Center
Council Woman Sara Gonzalez, Captain Jeffery Schiff of the 76th Precinct

Let's Play Ball!!

JJC memebers cheering on the players

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Making Justice Present on MLK Day

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."
- Martin Luther King Jr., in a 1955 response to an accusation that he was "disturbing the peace" by his activism during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama
Youth from Red Hook and throughout New York City made signs and participated in a peace march through the neighborhood to celebrate Dr. King's lecacy.
Monday was a big day for Red Hook. Over 200 volunteers came to the Red Hook Recreation Center to honor the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by pitching in towards the neighborhood's continued recovery from Hurricane Sandy, facilitating workshops on nonviolence and inequality, and participating in a peace march through the neighborhood. Choosing to make Monday "a day on, not a day off" when schools and many businesses are closed was particularly poignant in light of this year's MLK Day coinciding with President Obama's 2nd inauguration, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 20th anniversary of the murder of beloved local educator Principal Patrick Daly. 

The day began with a visit from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who came to Red Hook to celebrate the service of AmeriCorps members from the New York Juvenile Justice Corps and volunteers from NYC Service. Volunteers donned face masks and plastic jumpsuits to scrape paint and restore the flood-damaged basement of the Recreation Center, an important community resource that has not been fully functioning since the storm.

In the Recreation Center's gym, dozens of local youth and teen participants from the Center for Court Innovation's youth programs, including the Red Hook Youth Court, the Brownsville Youth Court, and the Harlem Youth Court, were treated to a presentation on Dr. King's life and lecacy, followed by workshops facilitated by AmeriCorps members that connected his achivements and activism to the role of leaders and role models in participants' own lives. Afterwards, AmeriCorps and Youth Court members served as role models themselves to younger participants by working together to create signs and crowns for our peace march, and to paint MLK-themed murals to be distributed to local community organizations. 

Check out photos of the workshops and art projects (click to enlarge):

In the afternoon, over 100 youth, AmeriCorps members, staff, and other community members braved the weather to brighten up the bitterly cold, gray day with colorful messages of peace in a march through Red Hook. The march was a powerful visual reminder to the community that Dr. King's legacy lives on, and an inspiration to continue to embrace his message of unity and nonviolence, and to persevere in achieveing "true peace."

Check out photos of the peace march (click to enlarge):