Concrete Safaris: Afterschool in East Harlem

The Concrete Safaris Afterschool program serves forty 7-11-year-old children who will mobilize 1,200 children in East Harlem to exercise outdoors in 2012.

Concrete Safaris’ 7-11-year-old Afterschool participants will:

  1. Become healthy leaders as neighborhood change makers and outdoor fitness lovers during 5-day/week programming from 2:20 – 6 p.m. between September and June throughout the school year. Children will garden, run, cycle, swim, fish, hike local and regional parks, make nature or recycled art, eat snack, and finish their homework.
  2. Design, install, maintain, and harvest organic produce as well as butterfly-attracting shrubs at the largest children’s gardens on public housing property, located in Washington Houses and called Mad Fun Farm, Paradise Garden, and Sunshine Slope. They will learn and teach gardening techniques as well as leadership skills to 1,200 peers from local schools and agencies. Children will beautify these formerly underutilized spaces into safe, healthy, living “classrooms” and exercise outdoors in them, teaching basic fitness techniques and gaining confidence.
  3. Embark on weekly, local, outdoor field trips, which they will suggest and help plan. Examples are hiking the Brooklyn Bridge, cycling on the East River Esplanade, or visiting Central Park for bouldering and outdoor education.

Concrete Safaris will work with our current participants as they move to the 3rd - 6th grades and add a class of twenty 4th and 5th graders. Concrete Safaris has a 1:10 (or smaller) ratio of staff:child for all activities. In 2011, just 7% of African American and 8% of Latino children in the United States participated in regular outdoor physical activities. It is our goal to arm the children who have created Concrete Safaris with the skills and knowledge to lead healthy lives and break the cycle of obesity in East Harlem.

Financé par New York City, NY (August 2012)