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2006 YEAR-IN-REVIEW

Volume 6 November 2006

YOUTH TEACH YOUTH ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT

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New Haven YMCA summer camper rolls the dice and peers at the picture that turns up—a cloud. Tyron interrupts his “I’m a Plant” dance to exclaim “You evaporated! Go to the cloud!” Tyron and the child are playing The Incredible Journey, an interactive game that gives children the experience of being a water molecule in the water cycle. The child moves from the Plant Station to the Cloud Station across the field. Tyron is a Solar Youth Educator for

Citycology, a six-week program in which nine New Haven teens were trained and hired to deliver hands-on lessons about water, watersheds, and the Long Island Sound to younger children.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair

“Now I know I have a voice that means something.”

Shakila McKnight Youth Co-Chair

Maureen McCarthy Treasurer

Javaughn Harris Youth Co-Treasurer

Rebecca Gratz Secretary

Youth Co-Secretary

Ed Bonilla Zoe Brookes Chris Cavallarro Peter Davis Chris Rector Joanne Sciulli Kate Walton

INSIDE

For teen participants, the program provided an opportunity to develop responsibility and leadership skills within a workplace environment. Here are some of their comments: “I feel like I now know how to live up to high expectations.”

Heather Gilbert

Nicole Dunnaville

Citycology Staff (first row) Tiffany McCrea, Kim Barnes, Tia Baker; (next row) LeShae Sparks, Jaleesa Freeman, Luquaia Melton, Angel Bryant, Tatiana Winn, Arthur Mabry, Tyron Davis and Asti Butler.

Farnam camper shows off her Water Cycle drawing

Youth Educators spent two days each week planning and practicing lessons, adapted from existing curriculum including the Regional Water Authority’s Whitney Water Center Water Science Loan Boxes. Three days a week, teams of 2 Educators taught campers at Farnam Neighborhood House, Centro San Jose, and the New Haven YMCA. Topics included properties of water, water cycle, New Haven’s watershed, and point-source and non-point source pollution. Over 75 children ages 6 to 12 participated.

see our 2006 accomplishments and how

me, it felt good because I felt like I was teaching them something. It wasn’t just me saying something.”

“At the end when we did all the games to see how much learned, they actually “Working with kids they remembered everything isn’t a joke. You we taught them, so they actually been paying have responsibili- had attention. There was a ties. As a teacher, reason for us to be out there.”

you have to stay

“The most rewarding “It made me want to be a organized.” thing was how the teacher. At first it wasn’t kids actually learned something I wanted to do, something and I felt that they trusted but now I think I might be good at it, me and saw me as a role model.” and I want to give it a try.” “When I went back and asked ques(Continued on page 5) tions and everyone started to answer

Tatiana teaches the structure of a water molecule

Jaleesa building a watershed at Camp Farnam

Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach!


2006 Adult Staff Joanne Sciulli EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Hanifa Washington DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Rosana Garcia PROGRAM MANAGER

Evelyn Diaz OFFICE MANAGER

Kimberly Barnes SCA INTERN

Gamaliel Moses PUBLIC ALLY

Meredith Cowart

First, an apology—to the reading-glass wearing population. This Year-in-Review is jam pack with accomplishments from the past year. As our once-a-year newsletter, we wanted to get as much in as possible, so you can learn about all we do, and so youth and their families can see how they are connected to something larger than their individual work. Solar Youth continues to grow and change. The coming year is a milestone - we are undertaking a strategic planning process to define where we want to go from here. If what you see moves you, we encourage you to join us and become a F.O.S.Y.—Friend of Solar Youth. Individual donations are critical to our success. See page 11 for how get involved. And thank you in advance for your continued, or new, support!

Sincerely, Joanne Sciulli Executive Director

SCA INTERN (FALL)

Brandon Ballengee TEAM EDUCATOR (SPRING) DOCTORAL CANDIDATE AT UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH

Tia Baker CITYCOLOGY ASST. DIRECTOR

2006 Youth Staff Javaughn Harris Nicole Dunnaville Jody Ann Purcell Sara Torres Tatiana Winn Jasmine McElya LeShae Sparks Arthur Mabry Tyron Davis Luquaia Melton Angelica Bryant Tiffany McCrea Asti Butler Dontae Lucky

Solar Youth, Inc. provides opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self, and a connection and commitment to others through programs that incorporate environmental exploration, leadership and community service.


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NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM—APRIL 2006

outh from our NEIGHBORHOOD STEWARD TEAMS gathered during April vacation for an intensive, three day Youth Summit. This year, the summit took place at Edgewood Park and highlighted Native American culture and knowledge.

THROWING STICK: Youth played a Native American game made with sticks and rope, requiring coordination skills. NATURE SIT: In a shady spot along the trail, youth listened to nature poems by adults and other youth, then had the opportunity to write their own poems (see sidebar for a sample).

KIDS EXPLORE! EDGEWOOD PARK

PAPERMAKING: Youth made paper from previously used paper at a hands-on station, decorating with leaves and flowers found in the park.

On the first day youth toured Edgewood Park. They photographed plants and trees for a field guide, and picked up litter along the trail. On their hike, each group encountered four interactive learning stations:

SNACK: Youth ate cornbread and flatbread of Native American recipes, and tried their hand at patting out dough rounds to make flatbread.

At the end of the day, youth reunited at the park’s sundial for an interactive performance by members of the local Mohegan tribe. They taught the youth traditional dances, described the materials and meaning behind their ceremonial clothing, and told the story of the Three Sisters Garden.

KIDS DO! TRUDY AND FIELD GUIDES

THE

TRASH TURTLE

On Day 2, Eco-artist and part-time Solar Youth Educator, Brandon Ballengee led youth in creating a turtle “skeleton” from phragmites and fallen branches, then in filling

out the frame with litter collected the previous day. The trash turtle, affectionately named Trudy, had a head made from a How the Tree Blows shopping cart fished by Carlos Inesti out of the West When the wind hits the trees River, legs made Blowing the leaves off from one from logs covered in another aluminum foil and a Scattering all over the floor, shell covered in eveJust like my little brother. rything from disThe branches fall off the trees carded detergent And sometimes wandering off to containers to empty the streets. soda bottles. Youth created the sculpWarm and Nice ture to raise awareby Alex Streater ness about how I like the sound much litter is left in Of the wind go the park by visitors. At the Mitchell Library in Westville, youth put together field guides of Edgewood Park from the photographs they took the previous day, coupled with descriptions of each plant and how Native Americans used them. Tucked in the back of the book were their nature poems.

Swish swish swish And the nice sun Light on me

KIDS TEACH!

I Like the Roses

After some rehearsal, youth presented their Edgewood Park field guide and poems to friends and family, then led them along the trail to Trudy the Trash Turtle. Youth told a Native American turtle myth and explained that they created Trudy to show people how much litter is left in the park. Three days, a little hard work, and motivated youth turned someth i n g th a t once made the park ugly into something beautiful.

Animals

by Naralee Lopez

A blue bird is singing A rose smells like caring And caring is nice like you We are not scared because We are all together That’s when we are with you We are not scared Because we like you. by Lydia Ramos

I like the rose, it’s so beautiful I like how they smell My mother likes roses, too The last time I saw a rose I took it for my mother Because she likes roses, too Every time my mother sees a rose She takes two for me and her.

Leaves

by Jacim Ruiz

Leaves, oh leaves In autumn you leaves I love to jump in The raked up piles And I love the sound When you collide together Leaves, leaves, leaves

SOLAR YOUTH, INC. x PAGE 3


school detailing their CSAP, showcasing Stewards’ poetry and providing facts about what they learned throughout the season. The principal asked for a second printing!

John Martinez School Neighborhood Steward Teams (NSTs) are After-school Programs run in collaboration with NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS and COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS. Fol-

lowing the model Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach!, adult educators and high school interns guide youth through community and science explorations, the Community Service Action Project (C-SAP) cycle and in creating a Public Education Project. Based on strong youth development principles, the program empowers youth to become positive agents of change.

Mutual Housing-George St. Westville Manor Based out of our office in the West Rock area, this Team focused on the Wintergreen Brook (a tributary to the West River) for exploration. Many times the youth returned muddy and damp from chasing critters in the brook, excited about what they saw and learned. Led by environmental artist and ecologist Brandon Ballengee, youth created recycled art and learned about spiders, insects and fish. On hiking excursions, youth performed several clean ups. Westville Manor Team

Wintergreen Magnet School This Team was established late in the season, with a new program partner, Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School, which has extensive grounds and is just around the corner from Lake Wintergreen. The Team took many walks around the lake, examining animals and plants, picking up litter (they collected several bags over the season!), as well as helping the school’s garden club. Another highlight of the season was Trash Challenge Week, when youth were challenged to keep all the trash they created for a week. During the week they learned about landfills and the 3 R’s— Reduce, R e u s e , Recycle. At the end of Acting out a scene from their C-SAP process the week, the group sorted through their trash, coming up with creative ways to conserve and recycle.

This Team was a renewed partnership with Mutual Housing’s building at 730 George Street. Intern Nicole Dunnaville led youth in building “Eco-Columns” - ecosystems in a bottle—a project she did in high school science class at the Sound School. For their CSAP, the Team participated in the Storm Drain Stenciling program through the Save the Sound project. They painted anti-litter messages near storm drains to discourage non-point source pollution. As their Teach project, youth told others in their building with an informaJuan and Algon fish litter out of storm drains around their building. tional flier.

Hill Central Teams

At Hill Central Music Academy, 2 Steward Teams are part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center program that provides after school programs for all grade levels. For their CSAP, the two Teams worked together to continue work on the flowerbeds planted by the fall 2005 Stewards. The Teams felt that adding more plants and maintaining those already planted would beautify the school area. As a Public Education Project, the Team put together a newsletter for their

The Fall 2006 NST season is underway! We have five teams this season, all renewed partnerships. In WESTVILLE MANOR, Kim Barnes (SCA Intern) and Leshae Sparks (see Youth Highlight, page 10) are leading the Team. The Team identified negative graffiti in their community for their C-SAP. On Sunday, December 10th, they painted over 100 square feet of walls. See www.solaryouth.org for a video! At HILL CENTRAL SCHOOL, Gamaliel Moses leads two teams. His interns, Sara Torres and Tatiana Winn (both from Sound School) are returning for a third season with Solar Youth. One Team did storm drain stenciling to discourage littering and dumping on the streets. The other designed and mailed “AntiBad-Graffiti” postcards to their community. Our new SCA Americorps Intern, Meredith Cowart, leads two teams as well. At MUTUAL HOUSING she and returning Intern Nicole Dunnaville guided youth through the C-SAP process. The Team elected to plant bulbs in the building’s abandoned planters.

Hill Central 4th grade Team at West Rock Nature Center

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The Martinez Team in Fair Haven created a butterfly garden as their CSAP, providing many learning opportunities as the group moved through the CSAP process. Stewards started seeds for annual flowering plants, tested the soil for key nutrients, dissected compost and then added a healthy dose of it to their garden. Youth learned not only about butterflies, plants and soil, but about problem-solving and the process of completing a large project.


On Saturdays, we invited members of all Steward Teams to day-long adventures, to explore new places and meet youth from around the city. Here are highlights: Jan Mar Planting bulbs at Mutual Housing’s New Horizon building

May

At JOHN MARTINEZ SCHOOL, Meredith and intern Jody Ann Purcell (Wilbur Cross HS), a fourth season intern, taught the Team about energy conservation, among other topics. For their CSAP they adopted a local neglected Greenspace to revive. With the help of the Urban Resources Initiative’s Chris Osyk, they cleaned, raked, and pruned, and planted bulbs for the spring.

June Oct Nov Dec

Peabody Museum-MLK Day Sleeping Giant State Park Bethany Observatory Yale Sustainable Garden Edgewood Park Peabody Museum East Rock Park Festival Peabody Museum West Rock Park Sikorsky helicopter Factory Norwalk Maritime Aquarium

At the castle on top of Sleeping Giant State Park

Interns help transform Trudy into more permanent recycled sculpture in Edgewood Park

Since not all students can attend Saturday Trips, we incorporated trips during the afterschool programs, to Beaver Pond and to the West Rock Nature Center (thank you Rangers Joe and Wray!).

Canoeing the Mill River; at the Summit of East Rock Park

Observing New Haven from West Rock Park

Youth picked up, piece by piece, 5 pounds of broken glass from West Rock Summit

Citycology (Continued from page 1) Younger Citycology participants had a rare opportunity to be taught by youth from their own communities. Educators were trained in inquiry-based teaching methods as well as asset-based behavior management. By sharing their own wonder and excitement, Youth Educators inspired interest in water and watersheds, helping students build an understanding of water as a vital resource. Below are comments from participants: “If you didn’t understand, they would help

Yale Sustainable Garden: turning the soil and compost pile

and they never got mad because you didn’t get it. They also don’t get mad when someone isn’t behaving.” “It’s always a fun time. You’re having fun and still learning. On the last day we had to use all of our knowledge to play a fun game, so we were using our brains while having fun.” Citycology was sponsored by the CT Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Long Island Sound License Plate Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Housing Authority of New Haven, and Youth@Work.

Director Kim Barnes helps prepare Educators for the week’s lesson.

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The Citywide Steward Summer Program unites youth from all over New Haven in an intensive environmental education and youth development program utilizing our Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! model. Youth visit different locations in Connecticut to learn about the watershed and come up with Community Service Action Projects to help solve environmental problems. The summer ends with a Public Education Project, where friends and family learn about all the youth have done in the summer!

AN EXCITING SUMMER OF EXPLORATION, SERVICE, LEARNING AND CREATIVITY! SOLAR YOUTH’S FIVE-WEEK SUMMER PROGRAM CHALLENGES YOUTH TO HELP THEIR COMMUNITY AND CREATE ENVIRONMENTAL SONGS, GAMES, AND VIDEOS

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having eyebrows, off-the-cuff fashion shows, trust walks in the dark, song writing, starring in videos, silly bus songs, hanging 30 feet in the air from a cable and projects to help the community. What could it be? Solar Youth’s own summer camp, the Citywide Steward Program! For a second summer our theme was WATERSHEDS. In the program, our EXPLORE, DO and TEACH activities focused on building in youth an understanding of and connection to the Long Island Sound watershed. We had a terrific summer with a great group of youth from all over New Haven, learning about ecology , teamwork and each other.

THE ORT REPORT:

Ort, Citywide Stewards learned this summer, is food waste. In an effort to reduce the amount of food Stewards threw away from their lunches, food waste was measured every day, with rewards for less than 1 pound of ort. The prize? Director Hanifa shaved her eyebrows, in front of the entire camp!

CHALLENGE DAYS: Solar Youth has always created original games and songs to teach youth about the environment. This summer, we gave the youth an opportunity to create with Challenge Days. Youth split into three teams named after New Haven’s three rivers - the Quinnipiac, Mill and West). Each Challenge Day they received three tasks: songwriting, video creation and game construction. Teams had restricted amounts of time to come up with educational songs, videos and games on a watershed-related topic. Led by staff, each group participated in three Challenge Days throughout the program, with their creations shown at the Public Education Project. GOLF: FIRST TEE

Special Thanks

to our program partners… Including...Dennis from First Tee of Connecticut for teaching the youth how to golf; Southern Connecticut State University for taking us to Outer Island; Star Childs and Great Mountain Forest for camping site; David Heiser from the Yale Peabody Museum for providing a location for our Public Education Forum; and others!

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OF

CON-

NECTICUT uses golf to teach youth development. This summer, golf lessons exposed CSP youth to a sport new to many of them. They enjoyed practicing their swings and Dennis, the instructor, was a camp favorite!

YALE-CHINA ASSOCIATION PARTNERSHIP: We had two adult staff from the Yale-China Association; Claire is a recent Yale graduate and Sonia is a student at Hong Kong University. Early in the summer, Claire visited Sonia in her home country to teach Chinese youth English. Then Sonia came to New Haven to teach with Claire in our summer program. The experience was invaluable for Claire and Sonia, as well as our staff and youth. We all participated in a cultural exchange that expanded our view of the world.


Clockwise from above: examining tide pools at Outer Island; getting silly for the camera; Sakai shows off his dance moves at the C-sAP celebration; ‘smores around the campfire at Great Mountain.

Clockwise from top: Swinging trees at Ropes course; making “swimmers” at Eli Whitney Museum; Conservation messages; Weeding at Grow Hartford; seining in Wintergreen Brook.

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he Quinnipiac River Team put together a

public awareness campaign focusing on water conservation. They created

posters with water conservation facts and took these, along with Water Conservation Jeopardy, to the New Haven Green to educate the public about ways to reduce water usage. Youth handed out water provided by the Regional Water Authority and discussed their campaign with citizens waiting for the city bus.

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he Mill River Team orchestrated a cleanup of Wintergreen Brook for their Community Service Action Project (C-SAP). The Team learned how cleaning up Wintergreen Brook reduces the amount of nonpoint source pollution that reaches Long Island Sound. They explained this to the rest of the Citywide Stewards, highlighting the importance of the clean-up. Youth had a great time pulling trash out of the brook, including a Barbie toy jeep, several bicycle wheels, a ruined television and four large bags of other rubbish.

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he West River Team organized a mailing party to discourage the public from The Team non-point source pollution. drew original postcards, which encouraged people to “Pick me [litter] up!” They planned a party to engage the whole camp in the project. Each team competed to see how many postcards they could address and stamp. Then youth celebrated their hard work with dancing, snacks and games. The West River C-SAP was the last one, so youth were ready to kick back and hang out after three successful projects!

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uring the last week of the Citywide Steward Program, youth prepared for their Public Education Forum held at the Peabody Museum. In a science-fair-esque set-up, each Team explained to parents and friends about Challenge Days, the Ort Report and our exciting trips. Challenge Day videos were premiered. During the presentation, Teams presented their C-SAP, and sang their Team chant and one of their original Challenge songs. At the end, youth were presented with certificates of achievement.

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Our in-school

Hands-on Outdoor Learning Adventure YOUTH IN 2ND TO 5TH GRADES ABOUT THE ECOSYSTEM OUTSIDE THEIR FRONT DOOR: WEST RIVER MEMORIAL PARK. Hands-on Outdoor Learning Adventure (HOLA) is Solar Youth’s in-school program that teaches science through experiential learning, aligning concepts with Connecticut Science Standards. During the 2005-2006 school year, we continued our partnership with Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School and Celentano Music Academy. With the opening of a brand-new building for Barnard in September 2006, we focused the program there for the 2006-2007 school year. Each class of 2nd through 5th graders will meet with HOLA Educators four times a year

to participate in customized sessions in the tradition of Solar Youth, including games, songs and hands-on lessons. The school is situated across the street from West River Memorial Park, with a bridge for students to cross into the park. The new Nature Center at the other side will be the starting point for each session. “Our partnership with Solar Youth is so important to the success of our program,” says Marjorie Drucker, Barnard’s Magnet Resource Teacher. “With Solar Youth’s development of unique outdoor environmental education experiences, our students can utilize our nature center on a regular basis. Their approach to education is unique and successful

Celentano youth display their “Don’t Dump” signs

because they understand the developmental needs of children. We value this relationship.”

For the forth year, Solar Youth took the lead organizing the day! Left to Right: Bicycle Jamboree; happy drummers; Lake Wintergreen; Capoeira martial arts; Dave “Baba” Coleman; pumpkin painting. Sponsors: COMMUNITY FND. FOR GNH; WEST ROCK PARK ASSOC.; NH PARKS; COMMON GROUND HS

DEMOCRACY WORKS! In April, the YAG attended the Youth and Democracy Forum in Hartford. There they learned about our state political system, and had an opportunity to meet some of New Haven’s representatives.

YOUTH TESTIFY

YOUTH START A COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY IN WESTVILLE MANOR After moving to our new office in December 2005, the YAG (most of whom are, or at one point were, residents of the area) identified the need for a Food Pantry. With the help of SY Board member Kate Walton and the CT Food Bank, the YAG initiated 3 pantries in the spring. Over 1000 meals were provided to families as a result of their initiative. The mission of the YAG is to is “to advise Solar Youth on what kids like to do, act as a youth voice, support the success of Solar Youth, and help youth grow in their attitudes, business life, public speaking, knowledge and skills we will need in the future.”

SOLAR YOUTH, INC. x PAGE 8

Also in the spring, Javaughn, Nicole and MaryAnn testified for the State’s Appropriation Committee, asking for support of our youth development programs. Thanks to our wonderful city Representatives (including Pat Dillon and Bill Dyson, seen below with the youth after testifying), we were awarded funding through the Dept. of Social Services!

YAG TEACH WORKSHOP AT ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE In March, three members of the YAG attended the Toxic Action Center and New England Grassroots Environmental Fund’s (NEGEF) Environmental Action Conference in Boston, Mass. They co-facilitated a workshop titled “Up and Coming Activists: Youth Making a Difference.” In a surprise, Solar Youth was awarded a Citizen’s Action Award by NEGEF Director Cheryl Ficsher King (above). En route to receive the award in front of a large crowd, one member said “It feels like we won a Grammy!”

2006 YAG Members Javaughn Harris Mary Ann Calo Jelisa Burton Nicole Dunnaville Shakila McKnight


NEW!

Arts & Culture Program

PUBLIC ALLY GAMALIEL MOSES FACILITATES CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES WITH MUSIC AND POETRY

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rum beats fill the air; young voices recite their own poems; heads flow to the beat; then applause. This is the Westville Manor Arts and Culture Program created by Public Ally Gameliel Moses. The program ran for six sessions at the Solar Youth office in Westville Manor, offering opportunities for youth to express themselves through drumming, singing, poetry, theater games, storytelling, arts and crafts—using the arts to explore the environment and have fun. Children as young as four were accepted, with the philosophy that art crosses the barriers of age. There is also a tremendous need for programming for younger children so this was a great way to include them. The pilot program was such a success that we plan another session in January 2007. A big THANKS to Jon Boiano for donating amazing percussion instruments.

In 2006, Solar Youth directly reached over 400 youth. Within that number is a small cohort for whom Solar Youth has become a significant part of their lives, returning year after year, taking on new leadership roles. According to Javaughn Harris, “Solar Youth has played an important part in my life because it has really helped me develop into a well rounded person with clear and direct career goals.” Here is a sample of youth we have watched grow into amazing young adults.

Arthur Mabry Citywide Steward Summer Program (CSP) 2000 Citycology 2006 Citycology

Jaleesa Freeman Board 2000-2004 CSP 2000-2003 SY International 2004 CSP Intern 2005 Citycology 2006 Citycology

Javaughn Harris Board 2000-2006 CSP 2000-2004 SY International 2004-2005 (Japan) YAG Coordinator 2005-2006 Youth-led Food Pantry

Luquaia Melton CSP 2000-2004 CSP Intern 2005 Citycology 2006 Citycology

Nicole Dunnaville CSP 2002-2003 SY International 2004 CSP Intern 2005-2006 Board 2006 Saturday Trip, Fall 2006 Drum circle poetry slam in the Manor

The Veggies I go to my garden to get some veggies and fruit. The veggies and fruits I have are carrots, apples, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, collard greens, cabbage, grapes, beets, squash, celery, strawberries, blueberries and cherries. Fruits and veggies are good for you so eat them. After you eat, don’t forget to brush your teeth and floss them.

Shakila McKnight CSP 2000-2003 SY International 2004 Board 2000-2006 Office, 2006

Tia Baker CSP 2000-2002 CSP Intern 2003-2004 Citycology Assistant Director 2006 Brainstorming “How to be a Great Teacher”, Citycology

Tyron Davis CSP 2001-2003 Citycology 2006

By Moet Charles Citycology

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GAMALIEL MOSES

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amaliel Moses first came to the United States in the spring of 2005 from the Caribbean island of Dominica. Shortly after, he joined the Public Allies of Connecticut, an organization that selects talented young adults and trains them in leadership skills, as well as places them in community agencies for internships. Gammy, as we call him, is an energetic and dedicated Educator for our NST, CSP and HOLA programs. He loved working with youth so much that he signed on for another year and is now a second-year Public Ally. Having drummed with his father since he was a little boy, Gammy has brought more music into our programs, both by creating new environmental education songs, as well as a brand-new Arts and Culture program to serve Westville Manor youth. Youth enjoy drumming with “Mister Gammy” and are empowered to express themselves artistically. Gammy has the spirit and passion of an exceptional youth worker. We’re glad to have him back for another year!

Gammy-saurus, outside Peabody Museum

LESHAE SPARKS

eShae first joined Solar Youth as a Citywide Steward in the summer of 2001. Since then she has filled many roles in the organization, including Neighborhood Steward, Junior Intern for the 2005 Citywide Steward Program and Youth Educator in the summer 2006 Citycology Program.

This season, LeShae has taken on the challenge of being the Intern for the Steward Team in Westville Manor (her home neighborhood), making her a positive role model to the youth in her own community. As a past participant, LeShae brings a unique and valuable perspective to staff meetings. Executive Director Joanne Sciulli says LeShae “has transformed over the years. She has the spirit and potential to be a great leader.” A sophomore at High School in the Community, LeShae says “What I appreciate about Solar Youth is that they want to make a future for me. In Solar Youth, I have become more intelligent, and I am ‘Lovin’ It!’”.

Teaching during Citycology

Thank You Hanifa Hanifa Washington was our first AmeriCorps Intern with the Student Conservation Association, in 2004. She became Director of Education in 2005. Hanifa helped Solar Youth grow in musical, dramatic, and adventurous directions. She is loved deeply by both staff and youth, who wish her great luck in her next adventures working with Wayooo! homeless youth in Portland, Maine.

Mt. Everest, Pizza & Helicopters An Albertus Magnus College graduate class chose Solar Youth as the focus of their group project. Because many are employees of United Technologies Corporation, they organized a unique trip for our kids. First, our kids heard from Sophia Danenberg, the first African American—and first black woman from anywhere—to stand at the top The first African American to summit Mt. Everest of the world (Mount Everest, speaks to Solar Youth at right). She also described her work as in the Environmental Health and Safety division of Pratt and Whitney. After pizza and a Solar Youth game about industrial ecology (where we acted out the journey of raw materials into the creation of a machine), we went to the Sikorsky helicopter factory. There, youth learned about the multitude of engineering careers possible, and toured the hanger where the helicopters are put together. Thank you to Angela, Tom and the whole class!!

SOLAR YOUTH, INC. x PAGE 10

EDDIE’S GARDEN:

In December 2005, a twenty-year old resident of Westville Manor was shot and killed in New Haven. In March the youth in the neighborhood (where our office is located) decided to plant flowers next to the community’s memorial to Eddie. Plants were generously donated by Pat Bender of Woodbridge.

MEN ABOUT BUSINESS: Thanks to Firefighter Aurelius Woolfolk, we connected with a Southern Connecticut State University student group, whose all-African American m al e members held “Homework Help” twice a week throughout the spring at our office. Thank You!


FRIENDS OF SOLAR YOUTH

to our...

Albertus Magnus College, Joseph & Jana Ambrose, Dave Bechtel, Alastair Binnie & Zoe Brookes, Robert and Kati Bradley, Josiah Brown, Alisa & Gordon Brown, Beth Rosen & John Buell, Diane Buxbaum, Anne & Guido Calabresi, Wendy S. & John Champion, Hannah Yuan Chen, Choice Auto, Claire Corcoran & Will Murphy, Sharon Craft, Robert McGuire and Ilene Crawford, Heriberto Crespo Jr., Lee Cruz, Ellen Denny & Andrew Richardson, William Doheny, Mildred Donohue, Eileen Eder, Chai Society Eliezer Inc, Josephine Robinson & Dean Fisher, Kristen Phelps & Bob Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick Associates, Brian Blakeley & Terry Freeman, Sarah Fitzpatrick & Josh & Lucian Gaetjen, Heather Gilbert, Alfred & Irma Gonzalez III, Will & Stella Frank Gratz Foundation, Anne Ellestad & Chris Hanson, Tom Holahan, Thom Johnson, Namrita Kapur, Peter & Meg Kassen, Kelly Keefe, Stephen & Joan King, Susan Landon, Rev David Lewicki, Martin Mador, Joshua Mamis & Julie Fraenkel, Maureen McCarthy, Jennifer McTiernan, G. & Penelope Miller, Elisabet Orville, Susan Papa, Melanie Payne, Rosalind & Stephen Pendergast, Charles Pillsbury, Cathryn Poff, Tom Pokalski, Elana Ponet, Elisa Sananman, Stuart Schweidel & Carol Mchugh, Barbara & Frank Sciulli, Dina & Michael Secchiaroli, Deb & Dan Shepherd, Claire Shubik, Shanna Strongin, Grazyna Szczerba, Kate Walton, Carla Weil, West Rock Ridge Park Association, Dan Wolf & Family

NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION LONG ISLAND SOUND FUTURES FUND

EMPOWER NEW HAVEN AND THE NON-PROFIT ACADEMY STATE OF CONNECTICUT DEPT. OF SOCIAL SERVICES CAROLYN FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S COALITION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF NEW HAVEN (In-Kind Office Space)

MUTUAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH CENTRAL CT NEWALLIANCE FOUNDATION THE WATERSHED FUND (REGIONAL WATER AUTHORITY) SAMUEL & HELENE SOREF FOUNDATION PUBLIC ALLIES CONNECTICUT WILLIAM T. GRANT FOUNDATION COMMUNITY FOUNDATION – NEIGHBORHOOD PROGRAM BETSY & JESSIE FINK FOUNDATION

BOLD=SUPERFOSY (GIFTS OVER $200)

...and our many PARTNERS! (see www.solaryouth.org for details)

Solar Youth Grows Up STRATEGIC PLANNING IN 2007 Solar Youth has grown steadily since our founding in November of 2000, as the chart below indicates. This coming year is an exciting one as we dive into a Strategic Planning Process. Our goals are to determine who we want to be and how to get there. We will develop a three year plan, and involve all of our stakeholders including youth, parents, board, partners, and supporters. If you are interested in hearing more, or being involved, email Joanne@solaryouth.com.

There are many ways YOU can become a F.O.S.Y. • Send check to: Solar Youth, Inc. 425 West Rock Ave, New Haven, CT 06515

450

• Donate online at www.solaryouth.org • Sell things on Missionfish.org

256 135

250k

211k

120k

Youth Serv ed 2

2002

4

2004

Budget 6

F/T Staff

Ebay?

Donate a % through

Extra Time?

Tell a Friend—& join the FOSY Posse!

Volunteer for trips, Committees or Board of Directors

All $$ contributions are tax deductible

2006

SOLAR YOUTH, INC. x PAGE 11


54 Wayfarer Street New Haven, CT 06515

NONPROFIT ORG

US POSTAGE PAID

(203) 387-4189 info@solaryouth.com

New Haven, CT

PERMIT NO. 67

www.solaryouth.org In Parents Words... “The staff are excellent. The support system they created will forever be remembered.”

“I think that Solar Youth is a very good program and should

forever.”

go on

“Children need challenges. Solar Youth gave them that.”

“[My son] gets challenged each time he attends

the program; his mind expands more when he’s challenged.”

I’ve seen many changes that were good ones. One that made a difference was patience.

“I have an 11 month old baby and I hope that Solar Youth is around when she grows up because she will be in

Solar Youth.”

Solar Youth's 2006 Year-in-Review Newsletter  

Overview of Solar Youth and highlights from 2006.

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