This month on the blog, we will be following New York Cares’ Education Programs department, which coordinates a wide range of education projects for children, teens and adults. Get to know the members of the department, why they love working at New York Cares and what you can do to get involved in academic enrichment and skill-building programs in 2012!
For many people across the city, it was a bit of a challenge to return to work after the holidays. Our offices were closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s and much to the confusion of my roommates, I was excited to get back to work on January 3rd. It is rare to like your job as much as I do, and in breaks between my roommates’ gasps of disbelief, I explained that perhaps what I most looked forward to was seeing my colleagues again – particularly those in the Education Programs department.
EP, as we are called around the office, coordinates some of our signature programs, such as SAT Prep and Tax Prep. We provide academic enrichment opportunities for everyone from kindergartners just learning to read, to seniors looking to gain computer literacy. A typical day in our department might include trying out a new robot to use in the Lego Robotics program, making a model popsicle stick suspension bridge for a volunteer project with Morgan Stanley or piloting Lenny, our inflatable, remote-controlled shark. Assembling Lenny was a serious and worthwhile team-building experience – really, Gary Bagley, we promise!
But life in EP isn’t all fun and games. Budget cuts are a constant concern for our partner schools, libraries and social service agencies. Bringing dedicated volunteers free of charge to these organizations is an increasingly necessary service. Site visits are one of the best parts of our job because we get to see first-hand how volunteers are helping people develop the skills they need to improve their lives. Now is the perfect time to fulfill your resolution to volunteer more. Many of our programs run on a semester-by-semester basis, so there are a lot of children’s education and adult education opportunities this month. We hope you enjoy getting to know us better on the blog in January, and we look forward to seeing you on an education project very soon!
By Brianna McGurran
Pictured seated from left: Alisha Freeman, Heeyeon Park, Brianna McGurran, Elizabeth Crowley, Lauren McContha, Carol Chang.
Pictured second row from left: Lenny the Shark, Andrew Perricone-Dazzo, Priscilla Lam, Elizabeth John.