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Classic Cornerstone Community Center Summer Rising

Seven children pose in front of a sprinkler. They are smiling or making silly faces.

BronxWorks Cornerstone Community Center staff were excited to be able to welcome elementary-age children back to summer camp in 2021 after COVID forced BronxWorks into hybrid in-person/remote programming, drastically reduced the number of children that could attend in 2020.

This summer, the Cornerstone theme is Cultural Diversity & Sensitivity, and the DYCD sub-theme is “Youth Empowerment”.

Fourth graders at the BronxWorks Classic Community Center learn about the history of the Dominican Republic during the summer of 2021.
Fourth graders at the BronxWorks Classic Cornerstone Community Center learn about the history of the Dominican Republic during the summer of 2021.

At the BronxWorks Classic Cornerstone Community Center, student groups started by talking about their own cultures, then explored the multitude of other cultures that reside in the United States collectively.

A window is plastered with handmade posters describing different parts of the world. A large banner at the top reads "We Are All Culturally Diverse".
BronxWorks Classic Cornerstone Community Center Summer Rising participants made posters exploring their cultural diversity, which is on display in the center lobby.

During those discussions, the participants and the youth workers thought about selecting countries to highlight. Each grade started gathering specific information about the areas they had chosen like the language spoken, the food, the sports, the cultural activities, and the meaning behind the flags. The participants also learned vocabulary words about the countries and incorporated them in a spelling bee contest.

 

Five children stand behind a green posterboard. There is a cutout of Africa and other smaller pictures.
BronxWorks Classic Cornerstone Community Center fifth graders present their Ghana poster.

On August 20, the activities culminated in a Culture Day showcase, demonstrating what they learned about the cultures over the summer. Kindergarten and 1st grade represented the United States, 2nd grade represented Mexico, 3rd grade represented China, 4th grade represented the Dominican Republic, and 5th grade represented Africa, with a focus on Ghana. The students each also learned some different dances having to do with the different areas they covered.

Children and camp counselors dancing on a stage together.
Students from BronxWorks Classic Cornerstone Community Center dance on stage during Culture Day.

Working in concert with our Classic staff, we wanted to empower our youth about the climate of our world today and what they can do moving forward as a community, knowing that we are all in some way culturally diverse.”

Denese Mars, Program Director, BronxWorks Classic Community Center

While the Summer Camp program stressed education for the participants, students also had other fun during the day. A popular activity was computer time, where students got to play popular games like Roblox together online.

A student shows off his Roblox avatar to a BronxWorks staff member.
A student shows off his Roblox avatar to a BronxWorks staff member.

On particularly hot summer days, many students cooled off outside.

Children playing in a sprinkler.
BronxWorks Classic Community Center Summer Camp students cool off in the sprinkler.

Children had a blast playing in the sprinkler in the lawn outside the center, with some filling up water balloons and have a water balloon fight.

Many children standing around a lawn sprinkler.
Students working to fill up water balloons.
A young boy shows off his water balloon.
A young student shows off his water balloon.
A girl stands to the side just having thrown a water balloon at another student on the right who is laughing.
A student hits another student with a water balloon.

BronxWorks is always excited to see our youngest participants have fun and learn and can’t wait for the school year to start!

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