In preparation for SOTRU’s new season beginning September 16th, we offer you a sneak peek of a featured city you can look forward to learning more about. This week’s School Spotlight will focus on on two New York City public schools in the Bronx, recently recognized by the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Service initiative during their first annual “Service in School” awards.
These public city schools have refused to tarry at the threshold of a predictable fate confined to mediocrity. Students are stepping outside of comfort zones (yes, sometimes that “step” is more of a “push” from faculty who believe and dream bigger than expected by students.), taking back control of their neighborhood with service to the community. They are being recognized for one of two service award categories:
- Excellence in Service, which acknowledges exceptional service programs demonstrating significant student engagement and initiative, community partnerships, and sustainability.
- Remarkable Growth in Service, which recognizes new school service programs that have significantly impacted its community during its first or second year in operation.
P.S. 132 Garret A. Morgan completes a series of community-based service projects. Students are able to witness the direct impact of their community service efforts through projects like school beautification on Earth Day and a grassroots campaign to raise asthma awareness among parents. They also engage service partnerships with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Two afterschool clubs at the Bronx Early College Academy for Teaching and Learning give students an opportunity to improve their community. The “Community Service Club” and “No Place For Hate: the Anti-bias Club” have generated partnerships with community organizations like City Harvest, the Anti-Defamation League, the LGBT Community Center, and an orphanage in Uganda.
The Mission for Service in Schools: Strive to expand the number of NYC students engaged in transformative community service and service-learning experiences that enable them to use their voice, skills, and critical thinking to affect positive change in their communities and the world.
These are just two of the schools in New York City participating in the Service in Schools program. There are many more students who are rising to the call and rallying for the betterment of their community through actions of service. To find out more about the program and additional schools awarded, click here.
Through the Service in Schools program, they are taking control of their futures, for both children and community. Young men and women are learning firsthand how being a responsible and caring steward of their neighborhoods can influence lives. They are rising above and wiping away the less-than-stellar stigma associated with this borough. Small steps pave the way to hope, and these small steps will affect a change raising the bar that was set too low in past years. These Bronx youths are now being held to higher standards, creating an understanding of just how capable of they are achieving extraordinary goals.