SoBRO's PS/MS 3 Students Win Grant from Nickelodeon to "Green Their Park"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SoBRO’s PS/MS 3 Students Win Grant from Nickelodeon to “Green Their Park”
May 7, 2010: The Nickelodeon Big Green Grants Program announced this week that students from SoBRO’s Community Justice Project (CJP) were awarded a $2,500 grant to support their “Green Our Park” campaign. The CJP students—participants of SoBRO’s after school programming at PS/MS 3—are working to transform five acres of neglected space at Quarry Ballfields in the East Tremont section of the Bronx into a lush and thriving community space.
The grant will allow the two dozen students to plant a garden, improve park grounds, paint a mosaic, and restore bleachers with the help of the New York City Parks Department. The after school program is run by SoBRO Program Manager Eva Lopez, whose sound guidance stems from over ten years of experience in the fields of youth development and education.
Nickelodeon’s prize marks a welcome final stage in the students’ extensive campaign to improve their neighborhood. The young people first began their campaign by writing a petition to renovate the park and gathering over 200 signatures at the South Bronx Earth Festival in April of 2009, including that of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. They presented their petition to local city officials of Community Board 6 in September of 2009 and asked the board for help to adopt the park and renovate it. Students collected and analyzed soil samples and researched health and environmental conditions in their community in order to bolster their case. As a result of their efforts, they were invited to present to Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte, who has given them his support. Once the project is finished, the youth will continue to monitor the park, becoming long term stewards of the resources in their community.
“The project is a great way for the kids to learn about community engagement,“ Ms. Lopez explained. “They are learning that sometimes you have to get to work without knowing what the outcomes will be…and sometimes you even win! The kids are so excited about the Nickelodeon grant.”
Students hope that their hard work and accomplishments will resonate throughout the community. “We want to inspire other people and kids,“ they wrote in an essay to Nickelodeon. “When other schools see what we are trying to accomplish, then maybe they will want to do the same.”
Nickelodeon’s Grants Program provides resources to schools and community based organizations to support environmentally friendly projects that educate and inspire kids to take care of the environment, be active and live healthily, or engage in community service. For more information about Nickelodeon’s grants, visit their website at pro-social.nick.com.
CONTACT: Ayca Ergeneman, Vice President of Development, (718) 732-7520; email@example.com.