Giving Tuesday, 11/29/16, is a day of generosity that follows the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, #GivingTuesday has grown into a global movement since it emerged in 2012 — more than 45,000 organizations in 71 countries participated last year. This #GivingTuesday will inspire even more giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities.
When deciding how to celebrate #GivingTuesday at The Child Center of NY, we found it natural to highlight our concurrent ”Dreams Take Flight” campaign. Launched on November 18, the two-week initiative aims to create awareness of The Child Center’s multifaceted, innovative work by turning the classic act of making paper airplanes into a learning and sharing opportunity. We created an introductory aviation project, an idea that we hope will “lift off” and inspire other schools to follow suit. What better way to kick off the charitable season than demonstrating a way in which The Child Center gives back?
The Child Center of NY is a leading provider of NYC Community Schools, which help youth thrive by providing high-quality academic instruction in their own neighborhoods and offering comprehensive services, including behavioral health, to students, families, and the entire community. August Martin High School in Jamaica is one such school.
In early November, we brought together students from August Martin and younger students from PS 182 for an afterschool Project-Based Lesson (PBL), in which the high schoolers mentored the younger children in an introductory lesson on Aviation Studies. Supervised by service learning and other staff, groups of three created paper airplanes, discussing key elements in flight, such as weight, lift, drag, and thrust. They then wrote dreams, aspirations, or empowering statements upon, and then they launched them.
We encourage students and faculty at other schools to create your own, similar lesson plans, as well as individual children and adults of all ages to make a paper airplane, write your dreams on it, and take a picture before launch. We ask everybody to share your photos or videos with us via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, utilizing the hashtag #DreamsTakeFlight.
“At The Child Center of NY, we strive every day to help children and families with wraparound, ‘whole child’ services — and we’ve been doing so for over 60 years,” said Traci Donnelly, CEO and Executive Director. “Dreams Take Flight reintroduces us to the public at a moment in time when we are particularly poised to accomplish even more by reaching even more children — and helping their dreams to soar.”
It’s never too late to dream a new dream. We can’t wait to see your photos and watch your Dreams Take Flight. To learn more, head over to ChildCenterNY.org/DreamsTakeFlight.