The Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership held a celebration for the winners of its annual poster contest at the Citibank branch in Throggs Neck, where the award winning posters dealing with the theme of a safe community will hang for the next two weeks.
The annual poster contest draws on the aristic talents of kids in 11 schools and after-school programs. The students in grades three through eight created posters on how they interpret the theme of a safe community with the help of a curiculum from TNCAP, a program run by the Archdiosese of New York that focuses on preventing teen drinking and drug abuse.
The posters created by 564 students also hang in stores on the East Tremont Avenue shopping strip. The winning posters and their 17 student creators were celebrated in a ceremony at Citibank at 3924 E. Tremont Avenue on Thursday, June 17.
Representatives from Congressman Joseph Crowley, Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca were on hand to present award certificates to the winners.
“The annual theme of the poster contest is safe communities, so the students create posters based around what they believe creates a safe community,” said TNCAP community organizer Julia Geronimo. “Some of the different things the students came up with are don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t hate, save the environment, and don’t smoke. These are things that they feel will keep the community safe,”
The winning students were Egzon Balidemaj and Samantha Schaeffer from P.S. 14, Laiba Nur and Jason Badillo from P.S. 72, Kyle Brandstetter from P.S. 304, Alyssa Burgos and Alissa Dumey from Mott Hall Community School, Briana Bazan and Melissa Rinaldi from St. Benedict School, Chelsea Rossello from Preston High School, Victoria Hernandez and Judianne Sieber from First Lutheran Church, Monet Samuel from Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, Sanjay Mohammed from Phipps Beacon program, Shadaya Nesbitt from Urban Assembly Academy of Civic Engagement, and Ciara Rosado and Janelly Mercado from St. Frances de Chantal School.
Geronimo said that the goal of the poster campaign was to not only have the young people thinking about what makes a community safe, but also to help them learn what a media campaign is.
“This is a media campaign that uses the kids artwork to target the adults and inform them about issues related to a safe community,” Geronimo said. “Last year we had a lot of positive feedback from the community especially because these were local kids who were working on these issues. I don’t know how anyone could look at the posters and not enjoy them.”
A Citibank representative said the bank was happy to play host to the winning posters, which included both drawings and text to get their messages across in a quick and easy to understand way. Citibank is part of the TNCAP coalition,which brings together community members and groups, as well as businesses, to help keep the community strong.
“We are always looking for ways to infuse Citibank into community outreach,” said bank relationship manager and vice president Mark Angeli. “We look to bring people together.”
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742-3393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.