Parents and young people often complain that there is nothing for kids to do in the community, and Community Board 10 has responded proactively.
Community Board 10 held the first of three youth fairs at the former campus of I.S. 192, now home to three smaller schools, at 650 Hollywood Avenue on Thursday, February 17.
Youth Committee chairman for CB 10 Bob Bieder said that the programs, which will also take place at Santa Maria School in Zerega on Wednesday, February 23 and Truman High School in Co-op City on Thursday, March 17 from 4 to 7 p.m.
“We are trying to get information to the public as to what is available for youth,” Bieder said. “Kids of all ages need something to do, whether they are toddlers or teenagers. There are many programs, but so often parents might not be aware that they are there or may not have the time to search them out.”
By having the youth fairs, which the board last held about seven years ago on the parent-teacher conference nights, the opportunity is there to connect parents and kids to programing in a one-stop-shop kind of atmosphere, Bieder said.
Participants in the program at the I.S. 192 campus included Owen Dolen Recreation Center, Preston Center for Compassion, Slyvan Learning Center, Warrior Football and Cheer, I9 sports, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, New York Public Library, TNCAP, Bronx District Attorney’s office, Department of Youth and Community Development, the New York Botanical Gardens Composting Program, Bronx YMCA, Boy Scout Troop 182 of First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck and the 45th Precinct Explorers,
The fee for printing 15,000 flyers and stipends for the schools to cover costs associated with the fairs were made possible by Citibank.
Throggs Neck Citibank branch manager Patricia Fournier said that the bank believes in contributing to events like the youth fairs because they are a part of the community.
“By supporting these events we can keep up our contacts, make new contacts, and meet with people who may not be in our branch as a client so we can find about what they need,” Fournier said. “I live in the community, and have been a part of this community for a long time, so it is important for me to give back. It is also good business.”
The fair offered a rare opportunity to learn about all the programs available after school and during the summer said Nidia Colon, the aunt of two teenagers who attend one of the three schools in the building.
“My nephew and niece have to be here tonight for parent teacher conferences,” Colon said. “Since we got in early, we came in and looked around and found a lot of information that we didn’t know about what is available for teenagers in different sections of the Bronx. Fairs like this give the children lots of different options.”