During the school year, Teen Leaders work hard to identify issues, build solutions, and plan activities to keep students engaged while mentoring, educating and inspiring younger students.
Summer of Service Learning
The Liberty CITY Project connects students from Binghamton and Union-Endicott High Schools to act as Teen Leaders within their districts.
Established in 2011, the Liberty CITY Project has held STEM camps, Art Literacy Camps, Community Revitalization Projects, “Stop the Violence” Positive Conflict Resolution Camps, and multiple Community Clothing Giveaways. These camps and programs have reached over 300 community youth since the summer of 2012.
Each project is a culmination of year-round student engagement and learning focused on providing developmental opportunities to promote growth and community involvement. Our approach to all projects and programs follow the guidelines outlined by the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC), which focus on preparation, action, reflection, and celebration. These guidelines encourage Teen Leaders to identify and analyze problems, plan projects, positively impact their communities, build an environment for discussion and learning, and receive recognition for the hard work and time spent on each and every program.
During the summer of 2016, the Liberty CITY Project partnered with BOCES Summer Youth Employment Program to increase youth involvement. That year also marked the sixth consecutive year of partnership with the Binghamton Housing Authority which allows the Project to offer support at the Authority’s centers throughout the City of Binghamton. In partnership with Visions Federal Credit Union, Family Planning of South Central New York, Howes Caverns, and SUNY Cobleskill, Liberty CITY Project’s annual STEM camps reached 60 local children between the ages of 6-12.
Liberty Partnerships Program and Conklin Summer Fun
This summer the BU Liberty Partnerships Program members from Susquehanna Valley worked as teen counselors at the Conklin Summer Fun Program. Liberty Partnerships partnered with the Town of Conklin, Susquehanna Valley School District, Summer Food Program and the BOCES Summer Youth Employment Program to organize a 4-week summer camp for elementary students in the SV and Windsor school districts. The teen counselors had 2 paid weeks of training prior to camp starting. They worked for a total of 6 weeks.
Conklin Summer Fun camp ran weekdays during the summer for four weeks. Each day the campers attended three stations led by our Camp Directors, Tracy Parker and Sarah Masters, and teen counselors. These stations were designed to embrace learning with a range of activities. Each morning campers had time to read independently and take part in a presentation by author, illustrator and publisher, Daniel Jude Miller. Our STEM station offered activities that included biology to physics by dissecting owl pellets, making exploding baggies, slime, and kinetic sand along with a visit from the Ross Park ZooMobile. Other activities included creative time where campers were able to make jewelry, sand art, pinch pots, clay figures, paint and many more fun crafts. Recreational time was spent enjoying indoor and outdoor activities along with supervised free play.
By partnering with the Summer Food Program, we were also able to provide breakfast and lunch for our campers (and any child under the age of 18 that came in). Not only was Conklin Summer Fun a great way to keep students engaged in reading and learning throughout the summer, it was also a way to make sure every child had access to healthy meals, proper supervision and summer fun! We look forward to Conklin Summer Fun next summer!
Owego Liberty Partnerships Summer Program
The Owego LPP students participated in a 4 week adventure based outdoor program with NYS Licensed Outdoor Guide and Nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Brandon Cruz. Summer program objectives included learning and discussing safety in nature, construction of equipment, general use of equipment, and team building activities based specifically on the history and nature within Tioga County. Our students used physical activities, exploration, discussion and team work to help develop a better understanding of the natural world around us, as well as tips and tools for a better sense of survival. Activities included hiking, river/creek exploration, canoeing/kayaking, compass use, plant identification and overall knowledge building.