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Feed Our Needs Initative 2.0 Success

As the spirit of giving continues, Arete continues to reach our mission of investing in Mott Haven youth. As part of Arete’s Feed Our Need 2.0 Initiative, members of the community came together to provide over 150 Lab School families with bagged groceries and hot meals. Members of our Arete Alumni Council volunteered to serve the community alongside 25 voluteers from Arete, The Lab School, and the Corporate sponsors of the initiative - IHS Markit, Barclays, and Carvers.

To provide some history on the initiative, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic The Collective Black Employee Resource Group (CFBERG), led by Engage@IHSMarkit and Barclays Embrace partnered with Areté Education (Areté) and black- and brown-owned restaurants to raise funds for meal distribution in Harlem and the Bronx in 2020. The initiative’s objective was to support black- and brown-owned restaurants in the surrounding areas to source the meals that were distributed to disenfranchised communities. Learn more by viewing our impact report.

Alumni Council President, Brittni Ortiz, reflected on the event:

"Feed Our Needs was an amazing experience, and I would definitely do something like it again. This was a type of event that I wanted to do for a long time. We connected with families, escorted them throughout the whole process and had insightful conversations about what the school is doing and what our roles are. It was also so great to see so many parents that I have worked with before through the College Office. It was a great feeling when some of them recognized me, too! Overall, I can't wait to volunteer at future events and for the Alumni Council to have our own.”

Alumni Council Secretary, Chanel De Los Santos also added on that:

"The feed our needs event was a great way to connect with local families. The families were so lovely and wonderful.”

Reflecting as as an Arete staff member and Lab School alumni, it is amazing to be able to provide these direct services to the community. As on organization, it is our goal to make sure that we provide Mott Haven youth and families with these resources. We believe that the sense of hope that comes through creating resilient communities is something that has the power to change our communities forever. We know that our work does not end with an event but continues throughout our lives. We cannot wait to continue the work that we are doing as a team with our staff, alumni and other proud members of the community.

If you want to learn more about the Feed Our Needs 2.0 Initiative Event, visit our event page. We would love your support with a donation or volunteering.

Check out both the Alumni Council's instagram (@aretealumnicouncil) and the main account (@areteeducationinc) to say up to date with the work that is being done.

 

 - 11/29/2021 - Mariyam Sumareh

Feed Our Needs Initiative 2.0

As we approach the season of giving, we request your help and support in bringing awareness to our upcoming event. On November 20th at The Lab School, we will be having our first of three Feed Our Need 2.0 event. Our goal is to feed over 500 families in our community, but we can’t do that without the help of you all.

To find out more about the event, be sure to check out online. During this event, families will come in and pick up groceries and freshly prepared foods. There will be student work posted around the hallways to show families what is happening during after-school hours.

With such a large event, there are many ways to support. Other than giving financially, you can also give your time. If you'd like to be volunteer, please fill out this form and we'll follow up with you.

This month of giving is especially important because it allows us to reflect on the work that we are doing. Reflection is essential to our growth and is an important part of the cycle of success. Through our community events, we interact with different families and provide them with the resources that they need. We create bonds and connections with people beyond the typical "hi and bye" conversations. This is how we create a community that is sustainable and strong.

Beyond this event, Arete is fixed on bringing as many resources back into the community as much as possible. Whether it's regarding finding technology, food, groceries, jobs, internships, or volunteering opportunities, Arete is the place to go. As school is back  in person, Arete members have been working nonstop to find amazing resources for students both in middle school and high school. We aim to provide students with volunteer experiences, work experiences, and professional development for when they leave the school building. Investing in these students' success and futures is the only way to keep them motivated and going.

Our vision is to continue growing in numerous ways, and with the help of the community we will be able to do so.

 - 11/17/2021 - Mariyam Sumareh

Hope and Opportunity in Times of Crisis

April 15, 2020

We are in crisis and will continue to be in crisis. The families and students we serve in Mott Haven will be hit harder by COVID-19 than most in the nation due to the decades of historical and structural inequities that erect barriers to accessing healthcare, employment, and educational opportunities.

Not only does The Bronx have the highest number of fatalities as a share of its population of any borough — its death rate is also growing the fastest, THE CITY’s analysis of city Health Department data suggests. -Mott Haven Herald, ESE OLUMHENSE AND ANN CHOI

At the same time the Bronx is a community of strength, hope, and opportunity. With community-based relief efforts under way, political advocates, nonprofits, and governmental agencies are leading the way to spotlight gaps and opportunities for Mott Haven youth and families.

How do we move forward from here?

Areté Education is committed to responding to the COVID-19 crisis with hope and opportunity. In the face of staggeringly comprehensive environmental stressors experienced by our students, families, and staff, we are designing remote learning programming, professional learning, and direct services to the 700 youth (and their families) that we serve in Mott Haven.

Since the NYC DOE announced the shift to Remote Learning in mid-March, we have been offering supplemental enrichment and wellness programming for over 250 students online at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology through video conferencing with educators and peers as well as virtual classroom experiences. Areté and the Lab School have been supported significantly in these efforts by our partnerships with the NYC DOE Office of Community Schools, ExpandED Schools, Hayden Foundation, Heckscher Foundation, and DreamYard.

We are beginning to shift to offer open access programming on social media channels such as Instagram, Tik Tok, and Zoom. As our staff expand their capacities from an on-site service delivery model to digital platforms, we expect Areté to learn and grow to better meet the needs and interests and showcase the talents of the youth we serve. Areté is also working to convert our Census 2020 Youth Leadership Initiative into an online workshop for completing the household census online. For the past five weeks, we have been curating open source content dedicated to COVID-19 Responses by Educators and Youth Development Agencies.

Through a volunteer network, we have secured 20 hotspots for families unable to access wifi, cell, or other internet services through home access or DOE-provided devices. Similarly, Areté is setting up volunteer systems for accepting donations for grocery delivery service to our families facing enormous financial obstacles.

Our most ambitious project on the horizon is an Areté Family Hotline initiative modeled on the Baltimore Neighborhood Network where we will be able to retrain and redeploy our part-time youth development employees from on-site youth programming to staffing a phone line and support team providing referrals and resources for the environmental stressors relating to COVID-19. Similar to the context in Baltimore, we anticipate that our staff, and eventually neighborhood volunteers, will be eager to give back to Mott Haven youth and families through answering the phone with empathy, timely resources, and an opportunity to connect during a context quarantine and unprecedented social isolation.

It has been only a month since we suspended on-site programming for our students and families. The entire world has changed in that time. We are eager to meet crisis and challenge with hope and opportunity.

 

 

 

 - 04/15/2020 - sbsd@areteeducation.org

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