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Finding Safe and Creative Ways to Learn and Have Fun!

NECS is finding safe and creative ways to get the youth and children outdoors, learning, and having fun. 

Nature Connection continued into it’s second week, with a day each at Longhaul Farm in Garrison, the Peekskill Riverfront, and DewPew Park. Monday was another fantastic day at the farm. Thanks to Jason and Jocelyn for making the experience, fun, educational and memorable. Each day we have a word and theme for the day. On Monday our word was Patience and quote of the day, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu  We reflected on patience as we engaged in community service at the farm. Wednesday was a morning in the woods learning about the forest and the wood wide web that trees form via their roots, plus pond studies and fun hiking! We reflected on responsibility, inspired by a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. “The time is always right to do what is right.” Friday’s theme centered around gratitude, and in the rain, under umbrellas, we enjoyed bird-watching and learning about invertebrates. What a varied and wonderful week!

Stories and Crafts: NECS teachers and youth volunteers helped launch the stories and craft project at our Dunbar Heights in Peekskill, a program for 5-8 year olds, which will run Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.   Participants get to take home Free books each session and build their personal library thanks to the Rotary Club and the Baha’i community. Thursday we read an aboriginal story about how the earth came to be and attempted to do some dot art.  We enjoyed meeting the children and parents and finding a fun way to create community.

Dance As Activism camp also kicked off this Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00-4:30 pm, at DewPew Park.  9 youth began a collaboration with each other, and choreographer and dancer Belle Ritter. They are working on a dance piece that will speak to justice. Using their own words and movements to express themselves, issues of  justice, and the current moment, participants are dancing, choreographing, and building toward performance. It will be exciting to see their final piece!


  • Youth Social Justice Club: Once a month local youth gather locally to discuss racism in the United States, learn about the history of our country, and discuss ways to get involved in finding solutions.
  • Young Women’s Empowerment Club: Discussions on healthy relationships, body image, gender attitudes and more with Justine Finn. Justine has been been working in the field of healthy relationship advocacy for 10+ years and is the Director of the Relation-Shift Project, which works with schools and communities across the country. 
  • Parenting support Group: Adult programming happening with weekly Monday evening discussion on Race and Parenting providing parents with a safe space to share, learn, be heard, and find community. 
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