We've been working with the kids for three weeks now, and last week asked them to jot down story ideas or news "that are not, but should be news in your community" with them making their own decisions about what they feel should be news.
These are the stories that 8 children who attend MS 45 S.T.A.R.S. Prep Academy in East Harlem chose, many of whom live in the immediate neighborhood. One child lives in the Bronx.
- a car accident that took place btw 108th and 109th last week, when a car turned onto 110th, hit one car, and that car hit another.
- Me and my brother were walking down the street and we saw a gang and one of the gang members screamed at my brother. The gang member was drunk and my brother didn't pay him no mind because my brother already beat him up
- More After School Programs in the school. Who chooses them? How many are there?
- All the new stores opening up in the neighborhood
- gangs killing each other
- people who spit all over the ground
- a building that was demolished 2 years ago is still an empty lot, and people used to live there and where did they all go and why did they demolish the building if they were not going to build a new one.
- P.S. 101 got changed to P.S. 375 Mosaic Prep Academy, why?
- Old men who play dominos in competition, do they play for fun or money and why?
- A new pizza shop opened
- A new corner store opened
- A person moved into my building and we became best friends
- A gang killed someone on my block
- A girl walked out of the deli and the deli guy came out after her and grabbed her bag and asked her if she paid for that sandwich and she was like, yes. But I don't really think she paid for the sandwich
*Started in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools has recently begun their first year of programming into NYC, with four participating schools, two in East Harlem, and two in Brooklyn. Citizen Schools is an organization that operates apprenticeship programs for middle schools students that take place over a period of 11 weeks. The programs are run by volunteers who work with a group of students to create, execute, and produce a final product, what Citizen Schools calls the WOW, which will be presented to the community at the end of the apprenticeship. The best apprenticeships address a problem, and has community value such as creating a cleaner neighborhood park, addressing violence in school, etc.
The apprenticeships are intended to be taught in a way that allows the student to be an active participant in the learning process, making some of the key decisions, and empowering the students to be invested in the outcome. You can sign up here.
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