C.E.S. 73 hosts Project Morry meeting to help students

Deb Jones and the Project Morry staff help the students of C.E.S 73 engage in games and discussion to establish goals and implement plans to overcome obstacles. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Students of the Bronx have been given an outlet to assist in their success and a brighter future.

C.E.S. 73, located at 1020 Anderson Avenue, hosted its monthly Project Morry meeting on Tuesday, October 14, to help 25 participants, age nine to 13, establish long and short-term goals for themselves.

Project Morry is a nonprofit developmental organization, aimed at providing children with a network of support. Through this continuous program, which follows the students through high school, students increase their social skills, enhance their self-esteem, and establish core values and personal responsibilities.

The program anchor is Morry’s Camp, a four-week summer camp for students, which they must commit to for four consecutive years. Following each summer camp, Project Morry visits the home base school once a month throughout the school year.

“It’s a great program. My first experience was good,” said John Escolastico, 11, a Project Morry participant at C.E.S. 73. “It’s the best camp. They teach you from wrong to right and I met some of my friends at camp.”

Project Morry’s six home bases can be found in schools in the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island, Connecticut, and two in Westchester. Students in Project Morry all originally derive from these designated schools, but may transfer out or switch schools, and continue to return to the home base each month to participate.

“The home base is where we meet our kids. Once a kid is in our high school program we know that are graduating on time,” said Project Morry staff member, Luke Jones. “We ask the kids to bring their report cards in and will help the kids connect with extra help. If we see grades are falling in October, we have a good chance of turning that around quickly.”

Students in the program are selected by teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, or after school program staff.

The October meeting began by asking students to read and analyze the newsletter, that each month focuses on a different designated theme.

Kids selected a section of interest to read out loud and follow by explaining what they had read, showing a deeper understanding and comprehension of the meaning.

“This program gives the kids the ability to take control,” said 11-year executive director of Project Morry, Dawn Ewing. “We are not going to make a difference in this community, but these children are.”

Games and discussion relating to the theme of goals followed. Students established realistic goals, discussed how to implement a plan to accomplish these goals, how to overcome obstacles that may deter or sidetrack them, and resources available to assist them.

“Project Morry is designed to help kids realize what their potential is,” said Ewing, “for them to reach their own goals, not ours.”

For more information on Project Morry, visit www.projectmorry.org.

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