Last week, schools, banks and government agencies all kept their doors closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day but some dedicated youth leaders at the Children’s Aid Society East Harlem Center were hard at work inspiring their younger counter-parts to give back to their community.
In honor of the late civil rights leader, Keystone and Torch club youth at the East Harlem Center hosted a full day of service on January 20 for the center’s after-school program participants. This annual project was themed, ‘Dreaming of a New Tomorrow.”
Youth leaders, with the guidance of their adult advisor Midge Caparosa, began the day with ice breakers and workshops that focused on tolerance, unity, leadership and giving back. After lunch, Keystone and Torch club members led discussions about inequality and positive change after watching the animated film, “My Friend Martin.” During the afternoon, participants assembled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed the homeless, made organic lavender scented dog shampoo to donate to the local animal shelter and created “thought bubble” pillowcases decorated with affirmations of hope and strength.
Keystone and Torch clubs, popular Boys and Girls Clubs of America adolescent clubs, provide a unique leadership and character development experience for young people. Youth participate in, and work together to implement, activities focused on academic success, career preparation and community service at their club site and in the community.