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Turn 2 After-School ProgramThe Turn 2 Foundation and the New York City Parks and Recreation Department formed a partnership in 2000 to administer four, free after-school programs that reach approximately 300 children in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, participants ages 6 to 13 attend one of the four programs located at St. James Recreation Center in the Bronx, St. John's Recreation Center in Brooklyn, Jackie Robinson Recreation Center in Manhattan and Sorrentino Recreation Center in Queens. Program activities include cultural and visual arts, physical fitness and dance, environmental issues, computer literacy, and academic enrichment. These activities strive to carry out the NYC Parks and Recreation Department's mission to provide a safe, supportive, structured environment that builds the overall health and well-being of children. The activities also fulfill the Turn 2 Foundation's mission by supplying signature programs with activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles.
Each year, the Turn 2 After School sites are filled with many educational and enjoyable activities. The 2009-10 year is no exception. Daily learning initiatives, athletic competitions, environmental discoveries, educational field trips, and new opportunities for children to learn about their communities are ongoing throughout the four programs. Nutrition and physical fitness topics are discussed and practiced each day through the Healthy Living/Healthy Eating Snacks program.
Members of the New York Jeter's Leaders program visit the youth of each Turn 2 after-school program numerous times throughout the program year to facilitate mentoring activities. Older students are paired with younger students to enhance learning experiences, build lasting relationships, and model positive behavior. The Jeter's Leaders will also visit each site in December 2009 to host the Turn 2 Holiday Express. As each site celebrates the holidays in their own unique way, the Jeter's Leaders will join the children in a day of fun to reward them for all of their hard work throughout the year.
Each summer, outstanding students from each site are nominated to attend Turn 2's camp program. More than 30 children will attend one of three overnight camps for one-to-two weeks, offering swimming lessons, arts and crafts, athletics, horseback riding, hiking and new friendships.
After School Showcase
To culminate an exciting year, each site will host an Annual End of the Year After School Showcase in June 2010. Families and peers will be able to see the skills the students developed over the course of the year. The showcases consist of dance, drama and musical performances, in addition to a presentation of the artwork created by the children throughout the year.
Turn 2 After-School 2009-10 Program Year
JACKIE ROBINSON RECREATION CENTER
Harlem - New York, N.Y.
Physical fitness initiatives include a wide range of sports enabled by the center's large gym and Olympic swimming pool. The pool also converts into athletic courts during the winter and spring months. Arts and crafts projects include puppet workshops, holiday art and décor, and creating posters for special events like the NYC ING Marathon.
In the Computer Resource Center, students learn computer literacy, typing skills, and creative architecture with Google Sketch. The Comic Life Initiative was also added to the CRC curriculum. Children are able to build their own comic books using templates. Additional programming is provided by various organizations who visit the center to deliver their service. MMAC Dance is a seven-week program in ballet and modern dance, SPARKS counselors bring in various physical activities, and a drumming consultant visits the program one-to-two times per week to teach the children multiple West African beats. The New York Jeter's Leaders also visit the children and teach them about Derek Jeter's 10 Life Lessons including "Set Your Goals High", and "Find Role Models". NYCares volunteers also attend the program bi-weekly to help the children with homework and read in one-on-one sessions. Afterwards, the group creates a project based on the day's topic.
A Scholastic book fair will be hosted at the center where parents and children can purchase books to promote reading for pleasure. Parent meetings and events are held once a month to give information about upcoming events. Parents are exceptionally involved at Jackie Robinson and constantly seek ways they can support their child outside of the site.
ST. JOHN'S RECREATION CENTER
Students spend the first hour of each day on homework help. Afterward, the students make their way to a variety of activities. The center features a swimming pool, music studio, weight room, and a full gymnasium for athletic events.
Physical fitness initiatives include the Dance Program that teaches modern dance and stepping, and track and field events. Running enthusiasts at St. John's participate in track and field events around NYC. They compete in numerous events and usually place very high among the other athletes.
Culinary Arts is also offered at St. John's. Students explore food from a chef's perspective, learn basic culinary skills, and practice safe food handling.
The participants at St. John's also enjoy educational field trips to exciting sites such as the Bronx Zoo.
ST. JAMES RECREATION CENTER
One partnership the site has is with Literacy Incorporated, a teen tutor-reading program with students from nearby Monroe College who serve as interns at St. James. Other outside volunteers from Fordham University help expand the children's physical fitness and visual art skills.
Students are very involved with monthly celebrations including Black History Month, Diversity Awareness Month, National Poetry Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. The students are actively involved in giving back to the community themselves, stepping outside of the site and volunteering at local homeless shelters and hosting food drives.
SORRENTINO RECREATION CENTER
Far Rockaway - Queens, N.Y.
To improve academic achievement, children at Sorrentino start each day with homework help from the after school coordinators. A physical fitness activity follows the homework with choices including basketball, soccer, and double-dutch instruction.
Sorrentino offers multiple educational opportunities to enhance the participants' computer literacy skills, artistic creativity and cultural awareness. Sorrentino also collaborates with Global Partners Junior, a peer exchange program via an internet forum, which aims to foster global understanding and communication between New York City students and other students their age from countries around the world.
A new initiative at Sorrentino is the Positive Identity and Self Improvement session. Students learn about hygiene, how to handle situations appropriately and other topics meant to increase their life skills.
Another exciting opportunity for the children of Sorrentino is the Youth Council Elections. Students can campaign for certain student officer positions. Throughout the year, they will lead their peers and make important decisions on behalf of their age group. Besides developing the students into positive leaders, the program prepares them for responsible citizenship and decision-making.
Music, singing, and dance sessions are the most popular sessions among the children because they are able to show off their creativity. Recently, a read-a-thon was introduced to motivate the students to increase their reading through incentives.