Today’s news:

Funds for Park Slope organizations - Local civic council awards its neighborhood grants to 18 community groups

The Park Slope Civic Council has awarded its 2007-2008 Neighborhood Grants and is “delighted to support these local groups, as they reflect the range and variety of active, creative organizations in Park Slope and they contribute greatly to the diversity and vitality of our community.”

The Civic Council awarded nearly $10,000 in grants to 18 community organizations. Included are grants to four neighborhood schools, three programs intended to provide teenage recreation opportunities, and two senior centers.

The grants program is primarily funded by membership dues from Park Slope neighbors and businesses, as well as by the annual House Tour.

Organization/Project Amount Recommended

1. Groundswell Community Mural Project, Dept. of Environmental Protection Water Mural: In partnership with Gardens of Union and the Department of Environmental Protection, the Groundswell Summer Leadership Institute will create a large-scale mural exploring the water cycle and the importance of green spaces in New York City on the site of the new community garden planned for the water substation at Fourth Avenue and Sackett Street.

2. Spoke the Hub, “Miles of Tiles” Continuing Mosaic Project: Funds will help re-create the many original mosaics created by dozens of children and adults at the facility which were destroyed as part of the demolition, renovation and expansion of this multifaceted neighborhood arts center.

Funding will go toward purchasing materials to outfit people of all ages who will learn mosaic basics and then re-create the tiles.

3. PS 321, Adopt-A-Tree-Well: PS 321 classes will adopt trees around the edges of the school thereby encouraging children to appreciate the environment in their own front yard.

Children, parents, and staff will benefit from the improved aesthetics of the trees in their environment. Children will work with consultants for Trees NYC to learn how to care for the trees. Funds will be used to purchase the necessary gardening tools for the project.

4. Park Slope Geriatric Day Center, Early Memory Loss Program at Park Slope Geriatric Day Center: The grant will fund the buying of dollhouse kits, toolbox kits, and supplies that will be built by their Early Memory Loss group (along with their Physically Frail seniors, and their dementia clients.

The completed items built at the Park Slope Geriatric Center will then be donated to children’s programs located in Park Slope. The Early Memory Loss group currently meets only two days a week, but they would like the group to grow to a five day a week program.

5. MS 447 Math and Science Exploratory School, School-Wide Recycling Program: Although it’s the law, few New York City public schools actually recycle. Our grant will help launch a school-wide recycling program at MS 447, administered by students and led by a teacher who successfully implemented a similar program at a Bedford Stuyvesant middle school. The recycling program will be integrated with the sixth grade math curriculum.

6. Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Civic Sounds: Funding will be used to present Civic Sounds, a summer community concert series. Civic Sounds will be presented for eight weeks of the summer on Friday afternoons from 5:30-7 p.m. in front of the Conservatory, 58 Seventh Avenue.

Musical genres presented will include Jazz, Classical, World, Rock, Pop and R&B.

7. Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Friday Movie Night at Reel Works: This Friday night film series, curated by Reel Works teens, exposes young filmmakers to film classics in order to inform their own creative cinematic journeys. Funding will be used to purchase a movie screen, speaker set, and DVD player.

8. Old First Reformed Church, Club Loco: Club Loco, founded in 2007, is a performance space for teen musicians and a venue for their friends aged 14-20 to hang out and enjoy each other and themselves in a safe environment away from parents and authority figures.

This grant aims to increase Club Loco’s visibility and to increase the diversity of the teens that come to the club. Funding will be used to create postcards, signs and advertisements that will help to attract participants.

9. Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Opportunities for Teens in the Arts: The BAX Teen Arts Conference is celebrating 10 years of development and support for young artists.

Funding will help expand BAX’s Higher Education Opportunities in the Arts program to include a multi-workshop format that will involve double the number of teens and increase their opportunities to gain insight in both educational and vocational trajectories in dance and theatre at their March 2007 conference.

10. Old Stone House, Old Stone House of Brooklyn Education Program: The Old Stone House is currently participating in a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to examine the African and African American experience in New York during the period from 1660-1875.

The grant form the Civic Council will be used to begin to develop a drama based curriculum for seventh graders that will explore the subject matter.

11. Council on the Environment of New York City, Park Slope Computer and Recycling Day: The Council on the Environment proposes doing an electronic recycling day to coincide with the Park Slope Civic Council’s Clean sweep in April 2008.

The Council on the Environment will use the funds to create an electronics recycling day for Per Scholas to collect computer and electronics equipment. They will provide staff and volunteers to assist people who drop off equipment. They will transport the equipment that is collected to their warehouse in the Bronx.

The grant will allow Per Scholas to recondition useable equipment, and to recycle the equipment that is too old, or too broken to reuse in an environmentally responsible manner.

12. Park Slope Senior Center, Park Slope Senior Center’s “Recipes From the Heart”: The project will create a recipe book through the Park Slope Senior Center’s creative writing class.

It will meld memories and cultures through the sharing of traditional recipes of the center’s seniors’, that will eventually be sold as a fund raiser. The grant will pay for publishing costs which will turn the project into a bound book that will give credence to each of their seniors’ contributions.

13. Gardens of Union, Sunday Afternoon Music Series: The Sunday Afternoon Music Series will feature free live musical performances in the serene community garden on Union Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues. From bluegrass to chamber music, with refreshments to boot. Tentative dates: May 31, June 21 and October 19.

14. PS 39, PS 39 Parent Involvement: PS 39 offers a series of parent involvement workshops throughout the year. Workshops ranging in subject matter from “How to Better Communicate With Your Child” to “Discipline without Punishment” are held.

Funding will be used to create the handouts for the workshops.

15. Park Slope Christian Help, Soup Kitchen and Pantry Program: Funding will be used to purchase supplies in to serve the 200-300 meals daily at their Soup Kitchen. Supplies will be purchased for the clean-up as well.

16. The Green-Wood Historic Fund, Serving Educators to Better Serve Students: The grant will support Green-Wood Cemetery’s school program by funding the creation of permanent lesson plans/guides that will be targeted to the neighboring elementary schools that come to the cemetery for tours and instruction from the cemetery’s director of School Programs.

The lessons will be bound in presentation folders that will be given to the schools (and local libraries if requested) and will include lessons targeting science (i.e. acid rain on monuments), math (statistics, graphing, etc.), language arts, and history.

This will allow teachers to prep the students prior to visiting, and to follow-up after their students’ tours, with sets of lessons that will be kept at the school.

17. Prospect Park Alliance, Bartel-Pritchard Square Planting Project: The Prospect Park Alliance will use funding form the Civic Council to replace the Japanese Barberry at Bartel-Pritchard Square. Barberry is an invasive plant species not native to Brooklyn and the Alliance would like to replace it with more appropriate, native shrubs.

The plants that currently grow in the Circle are overgrown as well, and detract form the World War I monument that honors the soldiers for whom the Circle is named. Planting will take place in the spring of 2008.

18. MS 51, The Partnership Gardens Program: MS 51’s Partnership Gardening Program will use funds to purchase plants and gardening materials.

Eight gardening areas

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