Below you can find an assortment of photos from a wide range of community service projects throughout the year—whether they be in Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Manhattan. To volunteer or find out more information about any of the organizations below, email Diane Gnagnarelli, or comment at the bottom of the page. Check back for more photos soon!
SA Volunteers at Adoption Day
On Thursday, November 16th, Saint Ann’s high school students volunteered at Brooklyn Family Court’s Adoption Day. On Adoption Day, thousands of children are adopted; however, this process involves hours of waiting around with little to do, and in an effort to entertain the children, Saint Ann’s students dressed up as familiar characters–Harry Potter, Cookie Monster, cats, ballerinas, princesses, and kangaroos. In collaboration with the Children’s Law Center, Saint Ann’s volunteers maintained a craft station, offering origami, bookmark decorating, coloring activities, and more. Additionally, several students were able to sit in on an actual court case, gaining valuable insights into the legal process. Photos below.
(Nota bene: due to attorney-client privilege, Saint Ann’s was unable to take photographs of the children with whom we interacted.)
Halloween Decorating at Brooklyn Community Housing & Services
On Tuesday, October 24th, 2017, Saint Ann’s community service seminar volunteered at Brooklyn Community Housing & Services (BCHandS for short), an organization committed to assisting the formerly homeless, empowering them to live “productively and independently, with dignity and hope.” BCHandS helps thousands of individuals each year, providing them with healthcare, counseling, and housing, among other necessary services.
Our visit took at place at BCHandS’ Fort Greene location, Brooklyn Gardens, a series ofhousing programs cloistered around a common garden. Up to 180 recently homeless New Yorkers live in Brooklyn Gardens at any given time, where in addition to housing, they are provided with job training, child care, and counseling.
Saint Ann’s students helped Brooklyn Gardens residents prepare for Halloween by transforming its garden into a spooky forest. They decorated pumpkins, hung cobwebs, and plenty of other ghostly decorations.
Brooklyn in Solidarity
On Tuesday, April 18th, Saint Ann’s hosted Brooklyn in Solidarity, a symposium on issues of immigration and refugees organized in conjunction with three other Brooklyn schools. (Learn more about the event here.) Click here for photos from the event.
Our panelists: (from left to right) Lindsay Mullett (legal program, Lutheran Social Services), Angy Rivera (New York Youth Leadership Council), Adama Bah (activist), Zainab Abdullah (Arab-American Family Support Center activist), Kaberi Banerjee-Murthy (Brooklyn Community Foundation)
Visit to Atlas: DIY
On Tuesday, January 10th, the Saint Ann’s community service team met with administrators at Atlas: DIY, a collaborative organization for immigrant youth in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Run largely by the youth who constitute its members, Atlas provides immigrant teens with legal services, college application assistance, educational programs, and a safe space the teens themselves organize and facilitate.
The meeting that took place was incredibly productive: Atlas welcomed us to their Sunset Park location, giving us a comprehensive tour of their facilities; additionally, we discussed ways in which Saint Ann’s can partner with Altas’ teens. As we move forward, we anticipate organizing opportunities for Saint Ann’s students to get involved with Atlas’ timely work. If you’re interested in being involved, please email us. For more on Atlas DIY, visit their website here.
Photos from our visit:
In order to encourage recycling in our lunchroom, middle schoolers have been assisting high school students in properly recycling their food — and as a prize for taking the time to recycle, students get a stamp!
Saint Ann’s recently organized a school-wide toy drive to benefit Columbia University’s Early Head Start Program. After amassing a wide range of toys, two Saint Ann’s students and a parent dropped off the toys at Columbia. Primarily assisting low-income Latino immigrants, the program is dedicated to providing over 300 families with children up to five years of age, offering language workshops, parental education symposiums, and numerous other initiatives that focus “on building parent/child relationships and fostering young children’s development.” For more information on the Columbia University Head Start Project, visit their website at: https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/become-student/departments/population-family-health/programs/columbia-university-head-start
Student Volunteers at The Children’s Law Center
Two Saint Ann’s students playing with kids at the Children’s Law Center
The Children’s Law Center provides specialized legal support for children–giving them a voice in cases custody, domestic violence, guardianship disputes, among other legal services.
What you can do: Volunteer! CLCNY is just a quick 5 minute walk away from Saint Ann’s and they are always looking for new volunteers. They are located at the intersection of Court and Joralemon Streets (44 Court Street), and student volunteers are welcome to play with children, create crafts with them, as well as tutor and support them with homework. You can volunteer just one time or on a recurring bases! CLCNY also appreciates any toy, art supplies, or book donations; please contact Diane Gnagnarelli for more information, or comment below. Available for 9th-12th graders.
For more information on the Children’s Law Center, please visit their website at: http://www.clcny.org/.
Mural Painting at BCHandS
Saint Ann’s student recently helped paint a mural at BCHS.
Brooklyn Community Housing and Services (BCHS) is committed to assisting the formerly homeless, empowering them to live “productively and independently, with dignity and hope.” BCHandS helps thousands of individuals each year, providing them with healthcare, counseling, and housing, among other necessary services.
For more information on Brooklyn Community Housing and Services, please visit: www.bchands.org.
Healthy Eating Banner – M.S. 61
Banner created by Saint Ann’s students to promote healthy eating at M.S. 61 in Brooklyn!
Rebuilding Together – Staten Island
On November 24th, 2015, at 7:30AM, seven Saint Ann’s students and two teachers found themselves crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, passing from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Their purpose: to help revitalize a coastline devastated and decimated by Hurricane Sandy, to rebuild homes and buildings decrepit and crumbling, in dire need of repair a full three years after being hit. They spent some six hours at work, laying the groundwork for a multi-purpose, sustainable community garden, and refurbishing the exterior of a local church that serves as a community center for those displaced and in need of assistance in wake of Sandy. “It was an incredible opportunity,” one student recalled. “To see that families living on Staten Island are still dealing with widespread damage years after Sandy was shocking, and being able to help restore the community – bringing about tangible change – was an incredibly empowering experience.”
For more information on Rebuilding Together, please visit: togetherwetransform.org.