Solar Youth News 2011 Year-in-Review Volume 11 ‐ Issued June 2012
In This Issue
Cycle of Stewardship
Solar Youth Environmental Education Org of the Year
THANK YOU’s to our supporters!
Solar Youth Continues to Expand! Into McConaughy Terrace and Newhallville Neighborhoods
olar Youth’s approach to youth development is based on the be‐ lief that to have a truly transforma‐ tional impact, we must have consis‐ tent contact with youth over time, starting at an early age. Solar Youth offers a menu of programs for youth of all ages concentrated in low‐income communities that have no local access to alternative, constructive out‐of‐ school opportunities for youth.
e call this pipeline of pro‐ grams, which we developed over the last four years in Westville Manor public housing development,
our “Cycle of Stewardship.” By ad‐ vancing through the Cycle, our young Stewards build on their experiences, maintain relationships, progressively gain more leadership skills, become positive change agents in their envi‐ ronments, and then serve as role models for younger children (see page 4 for details).
ast spring, Solar Youth expanded Cycle of Stewardship programs to McConaughy Terrace, a public hous‐ ing development in the West Hills neighborhood of New Haven. Work‐ ing out of a Housing Authority of New Haven community room, we started with our Citycology (for 4 to 8 year olds) and Steward Teams (for 9 to 13 year olds) programs. Service/ Adventure Crew (for 9 to 13 year olds) was added last Fall. Here is what one McConaughy Terrace parent had to say:
I just want to thank Solar Youth for spending time with our chil‐ dren in our community. Giving them something positive to do and teaching them how to save the planet and respect them‐ selves. Love you guys for that‐‐ thanks a million!
n 2012, we have continued to ex‐ pand our programs in McConaughy Terrace and started working in a third neighborhood—Newhallville!
hile we are challenged by the recent violence in the neighborhoods (shootings occurred within yards of SY staff in both new communities this spring), we are com‐ mitted to serving our amazing youth, and look forward to defining where we go from here in a new Strategic Planning process next fall!
(Friends of Solar Youth)
2011 Staff Joanne Sciulli EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Kenyetta Banks PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Gameliel Moses SENIOR EDUCATOR
Candace Jones OPERATIONS MANAGER
Happy 2012! I hope that our annual year‐in‐review newsletter finds you happy and healthy. Things have never been better at Solar Youth! Thanks to the generous support of FOSY, we are serving more youth than ever – over 500 in 2011, including 52 teenage Interns! We continue to provide unique opportunities for youth (who we call Stewards) to participate in outdoor explorations and give back to their communities by designing and implementing Community Service Action and Public Education Pro‐ jects (In Solar Youth lingo: C‐SAPs and PEPs). While a single season of Solar Youth is certainly a positive experience, it is unlikely to have the life‐ changing impact that we seek. To achieve that type of impact, we know that our Stewards must participate in Solar Youth programs season after season, year after year.
Jack Phillips DIR. OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Chisom Amaechi Amanda Bancroft Kate Biller Melissa Bruhn Meredith Cowart Nicole Dunnaville* Robert Goerhke Jamika Henry* Peter Kazienko Shakila McKnight* Benjamin Michalak Beth Pellegrino Stefanie Porcaro
(*=SY alum) PUBLIC ALLIES
Julie Carson Hallie Martenson Board of Directors
That is why we created the Cycle of Stewardship (see page 4 for details). By providing Stewards the opportunity to be part of Solar Youth from as young as age four all the way to high school graduation, we can offer the emotional, motivational and strategic support youth need to nurture within themselves the confidence, leadership abilities and problem‐solving skills required to be successful in life. We rely on partners to help us — from Clifford Beers Clinic’s mental health services, to Commu‐ nity Mediation’s trainings on nonviolent communication, to Start Community Bank’s Intern workshops on financial management. We are so grateful for their partnership. You can be a partner in this work, as FOSY (Friends of Solar Youth). Our supporters’ belief in So‐ lar Youth motivates us every day. We know you are entrusting us with the responsibility of helping New Haven’s youth develop into good citizens. We take that responsibility, and the faith you have in us, very seriously. We rely on individuals support, and hope you will help us spread the word about our work to pro‐ spective FOSY. Please consider renewing or beginning your support of Solar Youth by returning the en‐ closed envelope with your generous donation. Thanks again for all of your support throughout the years! Sincerely,
Joanne Sciulli Founder/Executive Director
Aviv Aviad TREASURER
Amanda Nugent SECRETARY
Cathy Jones Keiran Coleman Rebecca Gratz Shirley Jackson Shakila McKnight YOUTH MEMBER
Joanne Sciulli Don Smith Mariann Van Buren
SOLAR YOUTH’S MISSION, developed by founding youth and adults, is to provide opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self and connection and commitment to others through programs that incorporate environmental exploration, leadership development and community service.
Our is for the youth of New Haven to be healthy and happy stewards of their own lives and communities, prepared and motivated to succeed in life.
How Solar Youth Makes an
By The Numbers
Unique Youth Served
Total Program Enrollment
Includes our out of school (290) and in‐school (222) programs
Youth can enroll in multiple programs over multiple seasons
Adventure Trips Taken Steward‐led Community Service Action Projects Steward‐led Public Education Projects % of Parents who would recommend SY % of Interns who were previously involved in SY
55 101 38 28 99% 65%
GROWTH: Between 2009 and 2011, the number of unique youth enrolled in Solar Youth out‐of‐school programs increased 20% (from 244 to 290). IMPACT:
Youth are connected longer! In 2 years the percentage of youth who participate in Solar Youth for multiple years increased. Those involved for 4 or MORE years more than doubled.
The number of teenagers in leadership positions (and jobs) almost tripled from 20 in 2009 to 55 in 2011!
Graphs indicate unduplicated youth served in our out‐of‐school programs
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 3
Cycle of Stewardship Solar Youth provides urban youth with the supports and opportu‐ nities to succeed through our “Cycle of Stewardship.” In this cycle, youth build on their experiences over time, gaining critical developmental assets and serving as stewards of their communities and environment. This Cycle contains (1) a menu of PROGRAMS; (2) consistent PRESENCE; and (3) connection to PART‐ NERS.
Programs A young person’s journey in Solar Youth can start as early as age four and continue into young adulthood. Each program in the menu (see image at left) is designed to meet the developmental needs of each age group. All follow our origi‐ nal program model ‐ Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! and incorpo‐ rate environmental exploration, community service, and leader‐ ship development. In the final phase, Stewards are seasoned leaders, serving as role models and educators for the younger children.
Presence In addition to programs, Solar Youth nur‐ tures our Stewards’ development by main‐ taining a constant presence in their communities and lives. Relationships with staff as well as the organization as a whole provide supports that go beyond program‐time. We become a safe, consistent, loving place for Stewards throughout their adolescence.
Partners Through partnerships, Solar Youth provides supports and services that go beyond what we alone can offer. These include mental health services (Clifford Beers Clinic), conflict resolution (Community Mediation), col‐ lege planning (Higher Heights), financial education (START Community Bank) and more!
Current Sites Neighborhoods City of New Haven
1—Westville Manor Public Housing 2—McConaughy Terrace Public Housing (as of spring 2011) 3—Newhallville (as of spring 2012)
Schools 4—Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, West River (2 Steward Teams & HOLA in‐school program) 5—John S. Martinez School, Fair Haven (2 Steward Teams)
2011 Youth Spotlights Age 4-8
Destiny (age 8) has had perfect attendance for all three seasons she's been involved with Citycology and has been a shining example of the behavior we try to develop in that program. She began in the spring of 2011 during our expansion i n t o McConaughy Terrace, and went on to participate in both the summer and fall sea‐ sons as well. In the fall, her younger sister Samaih'a (4) began attending as well, and Destiny consistently cared for her. Whenever the group was on an excursion, or just simply having fun at the program site, Destiny ex‐ emplified leadership and kindness.
Niamke has shown incredible growth as a facilitator, a role model and a leader. He is about to graduate high school and will be attending University of Bridgeport . “Its close enough,” he says “that I can come work at Solar Youth during the year as an adult Edu‐ cator.” GIVE US A CALL NIAMKE!!
Even at age 12, Corey was already displaying advanced leadership skills among his peers. He took the lead, with‐ out any prompting, on adver‐ tising for his Team's C‐SAP bake sale, using his own time to make and print posters to hang up around the school. From the first day of LIT ori‐ entation, to several adven‐ ture trips that followed, he constantly looked after and encouraged his fellow LITs and younger participants. On our kick‐off hike, Corey helped several Citycology youth all the way to the summit! Not only is he extremely kind, but he also truly has the desire to grow as a leader within So‐ lar Youth!
“Being in Solar Youth all these years has taught me how to give guidance and be a leader.”
Niamke has been involved with Solar Youth for NINE YEARS. He attended afterschool and summer programs. In the Fall of 2008, he became an Intern, co‐leading a Steward Team. In Sum‐ mer 2009, he interned with Citycology summer camp, and then worked with the Steward Team Summer Camp and Citycology afterschool program the following three years.
Niamke’s speech at SY Public Education Forum:
Being in Solar Youth all these years has taught me how to give guidance and be a leader. [It] taught me to be responsible. I’ve also learned great work ethics through training and working at the sites. From Solar Youth I’ve gained a vast amount of information about guiding a group, whether it be the smallest of Citycology to the energetic Steward Teams.
Within Solar Youth – mainly in the past four years I have been working – I have become extremely responsible in everything I do. Being prepared, hav‐ ing great attendance, and knowing my role. This has helped mold me into the responsible individual that I am today.
Because of training and all of the time spent working at Solar Youth I have gained many skills and strengths. Public speaking, behavior management, knowledge of the environment, and much more.
Because of Solar Youth I have developed a positive sense of self, a connec‐ tion and commitment to others, and I am here today to pass down my knowledge and thank Solar Youth for what they represent.
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 5
YOUTH TEACHING YOUTH
ITYCOLOGY is Solar Youth’s program for 4 to 8 year olds. During program, Citycology Stewards learn about local ecology through outdoor exploration, participate in adventures to parks and museums and design and implement their first C‐SAPs and PEPs. Each Citycology Team, located in Solar Youth target neighborhoods, is led by teenage Interns.
n the spring, Citycology was a founding program at McConaughy Terrace (along with Steward Teams). As their only after‐ school program in the neighborhood, Solar Youth was welcomed with open arms by families and community members! Citycol‐ ogy staffers were busier than ever, offering two Teams in total. Over three days during Spring Break, Citycology Stewards joined the 2011 Solar Youth Summit, where Stew‐ ards learned about local watersheds and shoreline flora and fauna by exploring the Long Island Sound. ut‐of‐Neighborhood Explorations during the Spring included an ener‐ gized kick‐off‐hike exploring West Rock Ridge State Park, where every single one of them made it to the top! Citycology Stew‐ ards also explored Hammonasset Beach State Park, Lighthouse Point State Park, the Beardsley Zoo, and West Rock Nature Cen‐ ter!
ach season, Citycology Stewards iden‐ tify a problem in their neighborhood, design a solution to that problem, develop an action plan to solve the problem, and
excited to be recognized for their steward‐ ship of the community. veryone was acting like a veteran by the time Fall season came! Through‐ out the season, Youth Educator Interns covered topics such as Seasons and Cycles, Harvest Celebrations, Food Sources, Insect Parts, Tree Identification, Ecosystem Cir‐ cles, Adaptations, Water Pollution, Ozone, and Animal Tracks! uring the nine off‐site‐explorations, Stewards experienced new things all the time! Stewards participated in their very own campfire at West Rock Nature Center! Throughout the night, they made s’mores, sang campfire songs, and played field games! Stewards also had a chance to explore the Yale Peabody Museum, in‐ cluding an “Bloodsuckers” exhibit about bedbugs, a gemstone room, and old Native American artifacts. all Season would not be complete without a C‐SAP project for Stewards to dive into! Somehow, both neighbor‐ hood Citycology Teams decided that home‐ lessness was the issue they wanted to fo‐ cus on. They both decided to hold a bake sale in order to raise money for those who “don’t have homes or money for clothes.” Each Team was successful in getting the word out to their neighborhood about homelessness, and even raised some money to donate to Columbus House, a local shelter.
Citycology Coordinator Amanda hiking with Stewards!
follow through! One Steward from the veteran Westville Manor Team noticed that there was “too much grey” in their neighborhood. So, as a group, they de‐ cided to plant flowers in three particularly drab spots in the neighborhood. When the day was over, 12 flowers were planted, and Stewards were clearly very proud of their work! rand new McConaughy Terrace Stew‐ ards had no trouble identifying their problem; people not caring for their neighborhood. They surmised that if they put something beautiful and green in their community, people would be more willing to take care of where they live. Stewards decided to plant 10 plants in front of the Solar Youth program room, and were so
“Solar Youth is a very good place for the kids to go and learn from others. I like Solar Youth because it helps kids in more ways than one.”
Steward Teams S
teward Teams is an after‐school program for 9 to 13 year olds. In 2011, Solar Youth offered Teams at three public schools and in our target neighborhoods. Following Kids Ex‐
YOUTH ACROSS THE CITY EXPLORE! DO! AND TEACH!
plore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! program model, adult educators in partnership with high school Interns guide teams of Stewards. Below are some highlights from the CSAP’s this past year!
In the Spring, in order to pro‐ mote clean wa‐ ter worldwide, the Truman Team raised money for Life Straws—water filters de‐ signed for the developing world—by plan‐ Barnard School In the Spring, the 5th grade Team led a ning a bake sale! trash clean‐up of West River (photo above), while the 6th grade Team decided to raise money for the New Haven Bike Collective with a bake sale! In the Fall, the 5th graders made posters encouraging people not to drink and drive, and flashed them to motor‐ ists and passersby. The 6th graders decided to clean the inside and outside of their school as a service to their peers.
As the snow melted in the neighborhood this past Spring, Stewards realized just how much trash there was on the ground, so they decided to make wooden signs to en‐ courage people not to litter. When Fall came around, the Stewards wanted to beau‐ tify the neighborhood, and decided to plant bulbs in the ground that blossomed into bright flowers this Spring!
Westville Manor This past Spring, the WVM Team bought and sold alarms door‐to‐door in the neighborhood, in an effort to decrease crime. In the Fall, after learning that 90% of homeless people are dehydrated, Stewards decided to collect water bottles and deliv‐ ered them to a local shelter.
John S. Martinez School
YOUTH SUMMIT Spring Break 2011
In the Spring, the 4th grade Team decided During every Spring Break, Solar Youth runs a three‐day program where Stewards focus on to adopt and care for a tree (photo at far one theme as they Explore! Do! and Teach! The theme in 2011 was Long Island Sound. right)! The 5th and 6th graders decided to write, direct, and act in a play showing that when people bully, no one wins. In the Fall, the 4th graders had a bake sale in support of their local Block Watch, hoping to de‐ crease robberies. The 5th and 6th grade Team decided that too many people smoke, and responded by writing and acting in a movie describing how cigarette smoke is bad for the environment. DAY 1: DAY 2: DAY 3: CT Audubon Hammonasset State Park
Society Coastal Center & Lighthouse Pt.
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 7
Leaders-in-Training Hiking to their first summer campsite
Celebrating their Park Clean‐up
olar Youth’s Leaders‐in‐Training Program creates intensive opportu‐ nities for Solar Youth Stewards ages 12 to 14 to develop leadership skills. Their experiences bridge the transition be‐ tween being a youth Steward and an Intern in their teenage years.
n 2011, LIT ran during the Summer and Fall seasons, in our summer
WE GLOW WITH THE SNOW!
Talking to the Mayor about keeping Long Island Sound clean
camp, and in the Westville Manor neighborhood and Barnard School.
“...more about the environment.”
“...how to be a better person.”
“I learned that being a leader isn’t the same as being a boss, and that if we use teamwork we can do amazing things… I felt happy, adventur‐ ous and energetic.” ‐2011 LIT
hroughout both seasons, LITs took part in their own adventures and service projects and helped plan pro‐ grams and trips for other Stewards. end of the fall season to the Mystic They also shadowed a Youth Educator Aquarium for all Solar Youth Solar Stars in the Fall. They were the main organiz‐ (youth with perfect attendance)! ers of the celebration and trip at the
Winter Explorers While most kids stay inside all win‐ ter, Solar Youth kids EXPLORE!
Youth speak: This season I learned… “...about the things in the woods like the types of trees and plants.”
MOVING THROUGH THE CYCLE, STEPPING UP TO LEAD!
Winter is an exciting time for Solar Youth Stewards in our neighborhood pro‐ grams. While others bundle up to escape the chill, our Stewards head bravely into the woods to prove that, even in
the cold, there's adventure to be had!
During Winter 2011, 25 Stewards from Westville Manor bundled up for a season of outdoor adventure. Program was held a total of 21 days, and included 9 out‐ door adventure days, an end‐of‐season field trip and a Steward‐led end‐of‐ season performance for their families!
Fortunately, we were lucky enough to have an abundance of snow, which al‐ lowed us to have a larger variety of ad‐ venture days! A major goal of the pro‐ gram was to get Stewards exploring the outdoors everyday; Stewards spent a total of 16.5 hours outdoors!
Highlights included hiking to Judge’s Cave, sledding, learning orienteering skills, snowshoeing to Lake Wintergreen, learning about migration and hiberna‐ tion, going to the Maritime Aquarium, and performing in a winter showcase!
Jobs for Youth Youth Educators
ike all Solar Youth programs, the main goal Solar Youth I'm a great, of our Youth Internships is to help youth smart, outgoing young to be happy and healthy stewards of their lives lady that can do and communities. High school students ages anything I put my 14 to 18+ are hired as either Citycology or Stew‐ ard Team Interns. Citycology Interns are the mind to.” main educators for the program, working with Stew‐ ards ages 4 to 8. Steward Team Interns work in partner‐ ship with an Adult Educator. Interns work in programs twice he Green Jobs Youth Development program is a summer a week and come together on Fridays with adult staff for and after‐school youth employment program that gives trainings, planning, and review of “Roses and Thorns.” teenagers opportunities to develop job and leadership skills, learn about the Green Jobs industry, and realize their poten‐ tial of being positive agents of change in their communities. Most Interns have previously participated in Solar Youth pro‐ grams, and join Green Jobs as a continuation of the Cycle of Stewardship.
Green Jobs Interns
Fall staff retreat at the AMC’s Mohecan Outdoor Center
outh Educators participate in a staff retreat at the start of each season where they learn the unique skills and philosophy of Solar Youth, get to know each other and con‐ nect with Adult Educators. In Fall 2011, Youth Educators went on a weekend‐long retreat to the Mohican Outdoor Center in New Jersey. While there, they went on hikes, camped outdoors , and learned outdoor survival skills.
outh educators play an important role in every aspect of Solar Youth. During field trips, they rise to meet high expectations by acting as leaders of the group. During pro‐ gram they not only assist the Adult Educator, but also TEACH lessons themselves on ecology, teamwork and communica‐ tion skills.
ast summer, Green Jobs Interns spent four days a week for five weeks investigating the local ecology of their community and developing Community Service Action Pro‐ jects (C‐SAPs). These included a local park cleanup, a neighborhood landscaping project, painting boarded windows with bright colors, and the creation of permanent signs for other youth‐led garden projects. Every Intern received an official citation from the State of Connecticut General Assem‐ bly for their “great accomplishment through [their] commu‐ nity service action project. [Their] ability to identify and solve problems within [their] community is remarkable and we commend [them] for a job well done.“ “It’s good to he program ran for ten‐ see young people weeks in the fall, culmi‐ nating with Solar Youth’s first in the community College Tour. One youth has working and learning now matriculated to Fischer College with a large scholar‐ job skills, [and] that it takes hard work ship as a result of the trip!!
to earn money.” –Parent
t Solar Youth, we care about our Interns. It is through the process of being an Intern that we hope to inspire our youth to be successful and motivated young adults! Our Interns in 2011 were all super‐stars, and our programs could not have run without them! Summer Green Jobs Interns after ropes course at Hopkins School
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 9
Solar Youth Summer Camp 2011 Theme: CT Watersheds
Steward Team Campers canoeing on the Mill River
he theme for Summer Camp 2011 was Connecticut’s Watersheds. Campers learned about the relationship between CT’s watersheds and the Long Island Sound, the human impact on our watersheds, and actions we can take to protect our watershed.
Kids Explore! Week 1 — This week Steward campers (9 to 13 year olds) learned about the New Haven Watershed and its 3 main rivers by learning songs and building their own watershed! Stewards ex‐ plored the West River watershed during
Mariah getting ready for her Team’s CSAP clean‐up
a hike to West Rock Ridge State Park. Meanwhile, Citycology campers (4 to 8 year olds) learned about whales, dol‐ phins, sharks, and explored local crea‐ tures at Lighthouse Point Park! Week 2 — Stewards kicked off this week with a trip to Edgewood Park where they learned about the impor‐ tance of wetlands to wildlife! At Hammonasset Beach, Stewards learned
Citycology at their final trip to the Beardsley Zoo
about the invasive and native species of Long Island Sound. Citycology focused on “Mother Earth,” visiting Massaro Farm and learning the importance of knowing where our food comes from. Week 3 — Focusing on rivers and lakes this week, Steward campers kayaked around Light House Point Park with the New Haven Parks Department. They learned how rivers and lakes supply us with water, and how pollution affects these ecosystems. Visiting the Peabody Museum’s Hall of Earth, Minerals and Space, Citycology explored our solar system!
Jacquline Sea Kayaking at Lighthouse Point
Week 4 — Stewards spent the week learning about estuaries. They visited Lighthouse Point and explored the sig‐ nificance of estuaries to humans and wildlife. Citycology explored every as‐ pect of our local ecosystem, from sea to land. Visiting the Stratford Garbage Museum and performing a clean‐up at Short Beach had campers learning crea‐ tive ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle!
Devonte exploring at Short Beach
Week 5 — Stewards went on a West Haven Beach biking trip, kayaked on the Sound (again), and camped overnight at Devil’s Hopyard State Park! Citycology spent the week exploring our ecosys‐ tem, including some of the more exotic animals at the Beardsley Zoo!
Kids Do! Community Service Action Projects As a group, the camp brainstormed a list of problems related to CT’s Water‐ shed. The problems were assigned to the three different groups, which they named Thames, Housatonic, and Con‐
Khalid, showing off a leaf found at Lighthouse Point
necticut (after our state’s largest rivers). Each Team planned a C‐SAP that in‐ cluded the whole camp. THAMES RIVER TEAM C‐SAP: WATER CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN Wasting water was the problem chosen by this Team. Stewards presented wa‐ ter conservation facts through the crea‐ tion of posters that encouraged people (Continued on page 11)
“I want to make a change to take care of the world and not litter because that would make the world sick and not healthy.” ‐Citycology Participant
“[My favorite part of the pro‐ gram was] learning about new things and getting to see what differences we make.”
SAP; in order to help them, Stewards built three bird houses, providing homes for birds in New Haven Parks!
LEADERS‐IN‐TRAINING TEAM Stewards chose to address lit‐ ter in rivers that will eventually flow into the Long Island Sound. As they canoed the Mill River, this group picked up litter. Thanks to the New Ha‐ ven Parks Department for bringing us out on canoes!
‐Steward Camp Participant at Lighthouse Point Park to use less wa‐ ter. HOUSATONIC RIVER C‐SAP: LITTERING In order to help prevent trash from en‐ tering the water, Stewards decided to organize a litter clean‐up of the West Rock Neighborhood. Stewards col‐ lected 11 and a half bags of trash!
CT RIVER TEAM C‐SAP: HABITAT LOSS Migratory birds were the focus of this C‐
Citycology Teams A: LITTERING Stewards decided to do a garbage clean ‐up to make the neighborhood shine!
litter as a primary factor in habitat de‐ struction, they decided to create post‐ cards to build awareness of the prob‐ lem.
B: COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP & RE‐ CYCLING This group focused on teaching others about alternatives to littering. They decided to make colorful posters to hang around the camp!
D: COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP This group made posters on what they learned about garbage, and hung them around camp.
C: LITTERING & HABITAT HEALTH After Stewards explored the issue of
Kids Teach! Our “Teach” day was held at Cityseed’s Farmers Market at the New Haven Green, where Stewards taught people about their C‐SAPs! Parents and Friends of Solar Youth were also invited to the Public Education Forum on August 3rd to see campers show off what they learned and accomplished! We capped off the season with an amazing Hawai‐ ian‐themed end of the season celebra‐ tion!
olar Youth’s in school program, Hands‐On Outdoor Learning Adventure, brings a hands‐on approach to learning science. Our curriculum is aligned with Connecticut Sci‐ ence Standards and offers Stewards an oppor‐ tunity to learn through hands‐on activities including songs, games and movement. HOLA reinforces concepts learned in the classroom using different strategies to appeal to multi‐ ple intelligences.
n partnership with the Barnard Environ‐ mental Magnet School, every 2nd to 5th
grade student (a total of 225 kids!) participates in the program. Sessions are held at Barnard Na‐ “My students ture Center and the West River Me‐ were engaged and morial Park, giv‐ actively participated ing students an opportunity to to be able to under‐ learn about the stand and explain wildlife and habi‐ tats in their the water cycle” school’s backyard.
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 11
After‐school program for 9 to 13 year olds in which Stewards perform a series of service projects that im‐ prove their community and environment, and then participate in intensive physical adventures.
tewards decided that the Solar Youth trail (made by Stewards in 2010) which connects the Westville Manor neighborhood to West Rock State Park, needed a footbridge to make it easier for their neighbors to enjoy the great outdoors. They chose a spot for the bridge and diverted the trail to that area. They built the foundation out of local stones gathered Angel, Wesley & Diamaris painting the bridge in the park. "It was hard because we had to work as a team to lift the big rocks," said Tatyana Herbert. Stewards designed the bridge and helped construct the frame; some used power tools for the first time. As a team, they carried the heavy frame from Solar Youth’s office through the woods and placed it on the foun‐ dation. Stewards then nailed planks across the bridge, mak‐ ing a sturdy, safe place to cross the river. In true Solar Youth fashion, the bridge was painted in bright colors, reflecting the personality of the kids that built it! The project culmi‐ nated in a ribbon‐cutting event that included local commu‐ nity members and was even visited by a journalist from the New Haven Register!
tewards took advantage of the warm Spring weather to hit the woods every single day. By far, the Stewards’ favorite activity was to explore the local streams by donning water shoes and wad‐ ing as far as they could go. Climbing through a tunnel under a bridge only a block away from their neighborhood, Stew‐ ards were shocked to find a swimming hole Service Adventure’s trek through the woods with clean, clear water right under their noses! Clothes couldn't stop them from
jumping right in! Stewards also delighted in finding sturdy grapevines that could hold their weight, spotting each other as they swung carefully across the stream or through the woods.
e s t v i l l e Manor Ser‐ vice/Adventure Crew completed a total of nine service projects this fall, more than any other season of Service Adven‐ ture! Their service projects included three litter clean‐ups, a park maintenance day, trail clear‐ ing, and maintaining local gardens in their neighbor‐ hood. The McConaughy Terrace neighborhood also partici‐ pated in Service/Adventure for the first time ever, and com‐ pleted numerous projects, including a massive litter clean‐ up, clearing a trail into West Rock State Park, and doing a bake sale to benefit a local shelter for homeless youth.
ot letting the early darkness limit them, Stewards spent as much time outside as possible, going on hikes all throughout West Rock Ridge State Park. (They also used the darkness as an excuse to take part in numerous team‐ building games that kept them close to home!) The Westville Manor Service/Adventure Crew loved to hit their trail ‐ doing maintenance, visiting the bridge, or just to explore their backyard. The McConaughy Ter‐ race Service/ Adventure Crew stuck closer to home and took part in competitive t e a m ‐ b u i l d i n g games every day; now they are ex‐ perts at the intri‐ cate strategies involved in Cap‐ ture the Flag!
Public Education Forum At the end of every season, Stewards teach what they have learned and accomplished throughout the season at a Public Education Forum (or as we say, PEFs) using a diversity of media. They write songs and raps, perform skits, puppet shows, make videos and posters. Through PEF’s, youth practice public speak‐ ing and artistic expression while being recognized by friends, family and FOSY for their good work.
We hope to see you at one this year!! Clockwise from top left: Educator Amanda Bancroft ; SY Staff; Amir from McConaughy Terrace Steward Team; John Martinez Stewards tell the audience about their C‐SAP of raising money to donate to their neighborhood block watch program; West‐ ville Manor stewards Tinaejah and Shania explain their C‐SAP about collecting water bottles for the homeless; Educator Hallie Martenson with Westville Manor Service Adventure Team.
Solar Youth Named
Environmental Education Organization of the Year
Reflection By: Tatyana Herbert
In recognition of our role as a model for urban environmental education, in March the Connecticut Outdoor & Environ‐
mental Education Association (COEEA) presented Solar Youth with the award during their annual conference in March, 2011. Solar Youth educators also presented a work‐ shop on multiple intelligences in environmental education at the conference. Thank you to COEEA for recognizing Solar Youth and for your ongoing leadership!
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 13
More 2011 Spotlights STAFF:
Chisom Amaechi is Solar Youth’s Green Jobs Coordina‐ tor. After studying abroad in Brazil while receiving her un‐ dergraduate degree, Chisom realized she wanted a career that combined two of her pas‐ sions: the environment and youth development. A native to New Haven, Chisom wanted to return home after receiving her Master’s degree in Chemi‐ cal Engineering from the University of Delaware. She soon found a second home at Solar Youth, where she was able to fulfill her dream of working in an underprivileged commu‐ nity and teaching environmental job skills to youth. We are so thankful for all of Chisom’s hard work and positive, deter‐ mined attitude!
Jamie Lehrer was a standout volunteer for Solar Youth dur‐ ing our Fall 2011 season. She volunteered with Service/ Adventure at Westville Manor, giving more than 30 hours of her time during after‐ noon programs, on weekend trips, and at our Public Educa‐ tion Forum. T h a n k s
Kayla Millerick was an unstop‐ pable force at Solar Youth! Always ready to help out where needed around the office, Kayla tackled each of her tasks with gusto, and she seemed to constantly com‐ plete her assignments in half the time anticipated! Asked about her experience with Solar Youth, Kayla offered: “Volunteering with Solar Youth was rewarding to say the least. Solar Youth showed me what it means to be pas‐ sionate about the community in which we work. I can hon‐ estly say the youth in New Haven are growing and bene‐ fiting from the positive atmos‐ phere Solar Youth provides.” Thanks Kayla!!
Clifford Beers Clinic
The Clifford Beers Clinic, founded in 1913, is one of the old‐ est community‐based non‐profit outpatient mental health clinics in America. Their focus lies in treating the physical, mental and emotional health of children and their families. We are so grateful for the Clifford Beers Clinic, which con‐ Adam Kreiger Adventure Program; AMC’s Youth tinues to be a supporting partner at Solar Youth, providing Opportunities Program; Amity Teen Center; The Children’s critical trainings to staff and Interns as well as timely case Home; Clifford Beers Clinic; Cold Spring School; Columbus management. Through our partners, like Clifford Beers, we House; Common Ground High School; Community are able to provide additional help to Stewards and their Mediation; Connecticut Association of Nonprofits; families, which goes beyond what we alone can offer them.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection; DataHaven; Downtown Soup Kitchen; Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH); New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees; New Haven Housing Authority; New Haven Job Corps; New Haven Land Trust; New Haven Po‐ lice Department; New Haven Public Schools; Public Allies Connecticut; Riverkeeper; Southern Connecticut State University; Start Community Bank; Sustainability Research & Consulting; University of Connecticut; Urban Resources Initiative; West River Health Care Center; Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History; Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Science; Youth Development Training Resource Center
YOU Make it Happen! Thank you to our 2011 Sponsors Cedar Tree Foundation Community Fnd. for Greater New Haven Connecticut State Dept. of Social Services New Haven Public Schools Perrin Family Foundation Barnes Foundation Carolyn Foundation Dorr Foundation Greater New Haven Green Fund Samuel and Helene Soref Foundation Tauck Foundation Charter Oak Foundation, Lewis G. Schaeneman Foundation, Morris Wessel Fund, NewAlliance Foundation, United Illuminating, United Way of Greater New Haven, Watershed Fund, Anna F. Ardenghi Trust, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, First Niagara, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman LLP, Country Companions Vet, General Electric, Unilever, Walmart Foundation
Website Developed by Think Creative Group
We have a new, interactive website that not only tells you who we are and what we do, but also provides: opportunities to get involved, spread the word and support the work of New Haven’s amazing youth.
You can... Give feedback about Stewards’ projects on the blog Re‐post Stewards’ accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter Learn about volunteer opportunities (like weekend hiking trips) Donate to support our work, and more! And check us out on social media! Our Facebook, Twitter and You‐ Tube pages provide the latest news on Steward accomplishments!
F.O.S.Y. 2011 FRIENDS OF SOLAR YOUTH
Joseph & Jana Ambrose, Joe & Janet Ambrose, Mark Aronson, Aviv & Corinne Aviad , Katherine D. Bagwell, Sherill Baldwin & Kimball Cartwright, Nan Bartow, Paul & Carole Bass, Emily Bazelon & Paul Sabin, David & Kristen Bechtel, Richard & Anne Bell, Anthony Bialecki, Brian Blakeley & Terry Freeman, Hugh Blodget, Edgar Bonilla, Moses Boone, Gordon & Alisa Brown, Josiah Brown, John Buell & Beth Rosen, Diane Buxbaum, Guido & Anne Calabresi, Sally Carroll, David Casagrande, John & Wendy Champion, Star Childs, Erika Cleveland & Peter Marks, Jeremiah Coffey, Casey Cordes & Kary Strickland, Liz & David Cox, Brian Cox, Claire Criscuolo, Charlotte Currier, Barbara DeNicola, Joseph DeNicola, Richard & Lorraine DeNicola, William Dohney, William Dyson, Andy & Eileen Eder, Eric Ep‐ stein & Karyn Gilvarg, Bob Fitzgerald & Kristen Phelps, David Floyd & Jacqueline Hines, Alyson Fox, Ellen Free‐ man, Matt & Cass Garrett, Chris & Toddie Getman, Dennis Getz & Pat Preziosi, Carlia S. Gibson, Heather Gilbert, John Goehrke, Paul Goehrke, David & Joanne Goldblum, Laura Goldblum, Michelle Gottlieb, Bennett & Sharon Graff, Gratz Family Foundation, Rebecca Gratz, Bill & Jean Graustein, Meg Graustein, Millie Gre‐ nough, Francis and Elizabeth Hatch, Jeffrey Hayash & Kim Parent, David Heiser, Chris Heitmann & Cyra Leven‐ son, Rachel Hershberg, John Hughes & Pat Dillon, Cha‐ risse Hutton, Shirley Jackson, George Jafferis, Thom Johnson, Emily & Garard Jones, Peter & Meg Kassen, Thomas Kavanaugh, Jefferey Kerekes, Margot Kohorn, Daniel Krauss, Robert Kreitler, David & Trina Learned, Libby Foundation, Gina and Scott Little, Henry Lord, Mokshay Madiman, Michelle Maitland, Jim Martin & Terry Dagradi, Maureen McCarthy, Robert McGuire & Ilene Crawford, Erin McKenna, Andrew & Lucy Meigs, Susan & David Millen, Rebecca Miller, Netter Family Fund, Sara Ohly, Maryann Ott, Susan Papa, Charles & Melanie Payne, Rosalind & Stephen Pendergast, Chris Pettker, Charlotte & John Phillips, Jack & Jane Phillips, Jerome & Nancy Pine, Cathryn Poff, James & Elayn Ponet, Jose & Marcia Quiles, Christopher Randall, An‐ drew Richardson & Ellen Denny, Brian Roccapriore, David & Lisa Roger, Helen Rosenberg, Suzanne Rosenberg, Elisa Sananman, Amy Sananman and Mauri‐ cio Trenard, Robert Sanders, Frank & Barbara Sciulli, Joanne Sciulli, Judi Sheiffele, Leigh Shemitz, Claire Shubik‐Richards, Diana Smith, Don & Melanie Smith, Sofia Tecocoatzi, Joel Tolman, James Travers, Maria Tupper, Rika Visser, Susan Weisselberg, West Rock Ridge Park Association, Robin Wingate‐Pettway, Louise & William Zemina BOLD=SUPERFOSY (GIFTS OVER $200) UNDERLINE=BFF‐BEST FRIEND FOSY (5+ YEARS OF GIVING)
SOLAR YOUTH PAGE 15
In Their Words…
“Because of Solar Youth, I became more independent and open‐ minded. I also have become beyond mature. Standing in front of a group or on stage in front of an audience is not that hard.”
“Because of Solar Youth I get respect in my neighborhood. “
53 Wayfarer Street New Haven, CT 06515 (203) 387‐4189 email@example.com
“I learned from helping others that people really appre‐ ciate it when you help them.” "I learned from doing my C‐SAP [Community Service Action Project] that it is important to do service in my community." James in 2005 and 2012
From Parents… “[My daughter] wants to heal the world ‐ she likes to re‐ cycle ..., feed the birds, make bird feeders. She likes to sing songs, talk nicely about others and talks about the trips and the teachers and all the fun they have.”
"I really appreciate what you do for my son."
Abby in 2006 and 2011
Royshon in 2006 and 2011
Moet in 2006 and 2011 Kenyaya in 2007 and 2012