Year in Review Part 1 January to June 2019

January

PS 346’s Students Go Shopping with NYPD at Target

By Pamela Stern

On December 15th the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) 75th precinct invited ten students at Abe Stark Primary School (PS) 346 to have breakfast and go shopping at Target in the Gateway Mall. This is the second year that the NYPD’s 75th precinct hosted this event for the students at PS 346.

Photo courtesy of PS 346

One Woman’s Journey to Beating Diabetes

By Amanda Moses

There is a quote from the children’s book Winnie the Pooh that reads: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” These words of encouragement may seem on its surface as something you tell a child, however, this statement is a true testament to Maria Cruz’s experience in beating Type 2 diabetes.

Cruz is a longtime Spring Creek Towers’ resident who is easily recognizable by her smile. But that positive demeanor was caught by surprise when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2014.  It was a day Cruz will never forget but it was also the day she decided to lead a healthier lifestyle, which in turn helped her beat diabetes.

February

IS 364 Shows School Spirit

By Pamela Stern

On January 30th, students, faculty, and administration of IS 364 showed off their school spirit by participating in School Spirit Day. The students wore jerseys of their favorite teams to show their support, loyalty, and spirit.

Photo courtesy of IS 364

The Public Advocate Candidate’s Forum

By Amanda Moses

On February 2nd, the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC) played host to a Public Advocate Candidates’ Forum to help Spring Creek Towers’ residents and other Brooklynites learn more about these officials.  Former District Leader Nikki Lucas and The People First Democratic Club coordinated this event because they felt that the public should hear firsthand from candidates, granting attendees greater insight into their platforms and their intentions upon election. 

Photo by Dean Moses

Middle Schoolers are Preparing for Spring

By Amanda Moses

The capricious weather conditions have many New Yorkers feeling like they are on a rollercoaster, diving between winter and spring.  These beautiful, sunny days give off the impression that flowers should be blossoming, but Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman explained to her students that this climate shift is considered a false spring. Botanists use this term to describe a brief warm weather shift that tricks plants into waking up earlier than they should.  

This false spring also has middle schoolers from Gateway Intermediate School (IS) 364 and Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) VIII itching to enjoy the sunshine at the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC).  For now, Roytman has her students learning about hydroponics and germinating seeds, which will be transplanted into the UGC by the end of March.

Photo by Amanda Moses

March

Finding Your Voice Through Art

By Amanda Moses

Late at night, Megan Casey sits in the corner of her bedroom in Spring Creek Towers, pouring over her drawing desk with a variety of colored pencils sprawled across it. As an artist, Casey is at the whim of her craft and when inspiration strikes she has to immediately take pen to paper, no matter the hour.

At merely 15 years old Casey has something that others take years to strive for—and that is an unwavering passion.  With a small stature and timid voice, Casey’s humble demeanor represents only a fraction of her larger than life personality.  Accepted into the elite Fiorello H. Laguardia High School Of Music & Art and Performing Arts as a sophomore applicant, Casey aspires to become a graphics designer for video games.

Photo by Amanda Moses

Full STEAM Ahead for Local Middle Schools

By Amanda Moses

On October 10th, the principals of local middle schools Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) VIII and Gateway Intermediate School (IS) 364 were awarded hefty STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) grants from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams while at an unveiling ceremony in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

Photo courtesy of Chantal Grandchamps and Nicole Fraser-Edmund

Taping into Creativity with Family Paint Night

By Amanda Moses

On February 27th, IS 364 hosted their third family paint night this school year. Parents and students huddled over their individual canvases as Visual Arts teacher Dianne Ferrer explained the process of painting a female silhouette. This project paid homage to Black History Month (February 1st to 28th) and kicked-off their celebration of Women’s History Month (March 1st to the 31st). 

Photo by Amanda Moses

April

Judokas Proudly Win Medals

By Pamela Stern

On March 24th, eleven of the students who were registered in the Starrett Judo Club participated in an Annual Championship Tournament at the New Rochelle Open. These Judokas went to the San Yama Bushi School of Judo and Ju Jutsu for this tournament.

Photo courtesy of the Starrett Judo Club

New York International Children’s Film Festival

By Amanda Moses

On March 16th, the Spring Creek After School Program’s Media Club went on their very first field trip to the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) in Manhattan at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theatre. 

Photo courtesy of the Spring Creek After School Program

District 19’s Local Schools Show Off Their Interpretation of Art

By Pamela Stern

Each of the three schools nestled in the Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) community participated in District 19’s Showcase of Excellence in East New York: Celebrating Cultures of East New York through Art in the schools. PS 346, IS 364, and FDA VIII all had their students display art in different forms for their entire district to see. Administrators, teachers, parent coordinators, parents, and the students admired all of the hard work that was exhibited on Wednesday, April 10th at PS 224, located at 755 Wortman Avenue.

Photo courtesy of IS 364

May

Holocaust Survivor Yakov Ryaboy: This is My Life

By Amanda Moses

May 2nd began the Days of Remembrance, also known as Yom HaShoah, an annual commemoration of the Holocaust established by the United States Congress.  Even after 86 years, Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) resident, and Holocaust survivor, Yakov Ryaboy can vividly recall the sharp barbed wire fences surrounding his small town in the Ukraine—but even more prevalent is the memory of living in constant fear. Ryaboy was born on August 29, 1935—just two years after Hitler began his systematic extermination.

Like a phoenix rising above the ashes, he has cultivated a life not just well-lived, but a life that has focused on helping others.  He has served in the military, as a conductor at prestigious institutions in Russia, a teacher for 40 years, and even a health professional. He is also a skilled painter who enjoys capturing the essence and beauty of life.

Photo by Dean Moses

All the Frills Were Out at the Pre-Easter Luncheon

By Amanda Moses

On April 18th, the East New York community and Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) residents were invited to don their Easter bonnets with all the frills to the Pre-Easter Luncheon and Hat Pageant in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) gymnasium.   This third annual extravaganza was hosted by Community Leader Nikki Lucas and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. 

Photo by Amanda Moses

Intergenerational Gardening

By Amanda Moses

Over the course of the winter and early spring months, Garden Educator Jacqui Roytman hosted indoor gardening lessons for students and members of the Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) Gardening Club.  During that time, Roytman coordinated a few intergenerational classes with seniors and students in the Spring Creek After School Program’s Media Club, which is held in conjunction with Teen Central (TC) Vision.

Photo by Amanda Moses

Annual Starrett Cherry Blossom Tournament at the Brooklyn Sports Club

By Pamela Stern

The Starrett City Judo Club hosted their Annual Starrett Cherry Blossom Tournament on May 5th at the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC). This event was free to the family members and the community. The Judokas were at the BSC bright and early preparing for the event.

Photo by Pamela Stern

June

Celebrating Diversity at PS 346

By Amanda Moses

Every June, Abe Stark Primary School (PS) 346 rounds off the academic year by celebrating diversity with a multicultural lunch inside of their gymnasium. Parent Coordinator, Onika Hawker loves hosting this event because it invites more parent involvement and allows students to embrace their heritage. She particularly enjoys seeing the wonder and awe on the children’s faces as they discover food from a multitude of cultures.

Photo by Amanda Moses

Around the World in 160 Days

By Amanda Moses

On May 30th, the Spring Creek After School Program, Teen Central and the Spring Creek Youth Symphony hosted an end of year performance in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) gymnasium, showcasing all of the wonder that takes place in the world of after school.

Photo by Amanda Moses

SELC Says Thank you Dad!

By Amanda Moses

On June 12th, the Starrett Early Learning Center (SELC) hosted a Father’s Day extravaganza, featuring family-oriented, creative building activities and an interactive breakfast with SELC Director, Tammy Moore.

Photo by Amanda Moses J

Be’er Hagolah Institutes Hosts End of Year Celebration

By Amanda Moses

On June 17th, Be’er Hagolah Institutes hosted their annual end of year “Learning Celebration” with their elementary school students.  Coordinated by the General Studies Principal, Chana R. Zucker, the event took place in the school’s auditorium /lunchroom where the children sat on folding tables aptly listening to their instructors.

Photo by Amanda Moses