If a picture is worth a thousand words, than the students from Throggs Neck are speaking up in volumes
The Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership invited students from throughout the area to participate in the ‘Safe Communities’ Poster Campaign, which had them select a topic on community safety and create a poster depicting their thoughts.
According to Julia Geronimo, TNCAP Community Organizer, in years past students were given a specific topic for the campaign. This year however, the group decided to broaden the options to see what the youth came up with without limitations on their selection.
“This is a way to get the youth involved, and the community involved, and the parents involved, on the topic of community safety,” said Francis Maturo, chair of the TNCAP coalition. “This project shows support for kids in the community who are choosing to get involved in a positive way.”
The event was held at the Citibank on E. Tremont Avenue, on Friday, June 5, where the top 18 pictures were selected for display and the students artists were awarded a $ 50 scholarship.
“Citibank is a member of TNCAP, so every year we try to do our best to get the bank involved in as many community-focused activities as we can,” said Mark Angeli, the bank’s assistant manager and a local resident. “We try to make sure Citibank give back to our community.”
The broad ranges of topics students’ choose included graffiti, drug use, smoking, littering, alcohol, curbing your dog and many more.
“Our communities have to be safe, and in my picture I show what the differences are between a safe community and an unsafe community,” said Elizabeta Bushaj, a 10-year-old student of P.S. 72. “In a safe community there are street lights, stop signs, and garbage cans. In an unsafe community there are drug dealers and criminals.”
Over 452 posters were submitted and can be found on display at various locations along E. Tremont Avenue.
Yasmin Salih, of Senator Jeff Klein’s office, Tommy Messina, representing Congressman Joseph Crowley, and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto were present to show support to community youth and activism.
“Over 450 entries is a wonderful thing,” said Benedetto. “Throggs Neck has been my community my entire life. The boys and girls in this community through this project have learned what quality-of-life issues means.”