Oct 31, 2018

A look back on an exciting summer with Global Kids

A look back on an exciting summer with Global Kids!

The new school year is upon us and we at Global Kids are looking forward to another action packed year full of innovative in-school and out-of-school programming. As our students and trainers concentrate on setting the foundation for another great year, many are also reflecting on GK’s exciting 2018 summer. Below are some of the highlights:

U.S. in the World Summer Institute Ends on a High Note

In July, twenty-one students participated in the U.S. in the World Summer Institute’s 2018 session held at the Council on Foreign Relations. Participants studied foreign policy and international affairs issues including: climate change, education, women’s rights, the refugee crisis, and the nuclear disarmament of North Korea. After three weeks of workshops, industry meetings and trips, the Summer Institute ended on a high note when students presented their peer education projects to Chelsea Clinton and members of the Clinton Foundation team. The Clinton Foundation’s expert feedback on students’ projects generated an insightful discussion that paved the way for further study.

 Global Kids: Youth Ambassadors in Japan

In partnership with the TOMODACHI Initiative and the Japan Foundation, nine Global Kids Leaders became part of the TOMODACHI Generation and traveled to Japan’s Tohoku region for a 10-day educational and cultural exchange journey in August. On the trip students explored themes of radiation, water quality and community health. Activities included:

  • Learning from Futaba Mirai School students about their efforts to change public perception of their community following the Fukushima nuclear disaster
  • Documenting stories of community resilience
  • Participating in homestays that exposed our young people to other facets of Japanese life including new foods, culture and sights

 Pura Vida

Deforestation, indigenous medicine, and AfroCaribbean culture were just some of the topics explored during a Global Kids trip to Costa Rica. Six Global Kids Leaders from New Explorers High School and two staff members spent a week exploring ecological and environmental sustainability in partnership with Hidden Garden Wellness Center. Highlights of the trip included:

  • Meeting with former Costa Rican congressman Edwin Patterson
  • A cultural exchange with El Cole High School students
  • Afro-Latin dance and drumming lessons
  • Viewing of a historical play presented by the Watsi Indigenous Theatre Group.

 From DC to South Africa

From July 26th through August 9th, fifteen Global Kids Leaders from the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI) in Washington, D.C. embarked on a two-week service-learning trip to South Africa. The students spent five days in Cape Town and six days in Johannesburg engaging with politicians, activists, U.S. government officials, community leaders, and South African youth. The jam-packed travel itinerary included:

  • Visiting the District Six Museum and surrounding neighborhood with a former resident who lived under apartheid
  • Tasting various South African cuisine from brais (BBQ) to Cape Malay food
  • Visiting the Robben Island prison cell of Nelson Mandela where he spent seventeen years of his life
  • A discussion about careers in foreign affairs with former GK Board Member and United States diplomat Kimberly McClure.

 Onward and Upward!

After a summer of international travel and productive study of international affairs, Global Kids is ramping up for an exciting fall. We look forward to sharing the experiences from our Global Kids’ Leaders as they continue to embody the values of informed global citizens.

Aug 2, 2018

An Enriching Summer with Global Kids

GK Leaders at the Annual Youth Conference
GK Leaders at the Annual Youth Conference

 Hello, Summer!

Global Kids Leaders finished the school year strong by continuing to learn about and educate others on the issues most important to them. Our students have kept up the momentum this summer by participating in meaningful experiences that will keep shaping them into global leaders.

Global Kids Annual Youth Conferences Are a Success!

GK Leaders spent months putting in hard work to plan and facilitate the workshops at the Global Kids Annual Youth Conference on April 20th. This year, the conference focused on the theme of Environmental Justice.

Students chose to explore climate change through a social justice lens in order to raise awareness of the environmental issues they face in their own communities. The neighborhoods they live in often lack green spaces and have high rates of asthma, and many were severely impacted by SuperStorm Sandy. Conference workshops and topics included environmental racism, the abuse of indigenous lands, and the global water crisis. Youth across the city who have been participating in the Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP), Undesirable Elements, and Power of Citizenry programs gathered to present talks and performances related to the central theme.

Youth from GK-DC facilitated the third Annual GK-DC Youth Conference on May 25th to discuss their chosen theme of Education. Workshop topics included School Safety, School Inequality, and Impacts of Gentrification and allowed the participants to further develop their leadership and public speaking skills.

Female and LGBTQ+ Empowerment At the Forefront

Throughout the school year, students have been engaging in dialogue about women’s and LGBTQ+ rights in the global sphere. Middle school students at PS 109 planned and facilitated the second annual Girl Empowerment Conference, where students ages 9 to 14 were invited to a day of workshops dedicated to empowering young women to advocate for themselves. The day culminated with a panel that included speakers from various non-profit organizations and New York City schools, and our students asked many thoughtful questions about confidence, growth, and pathways to success.

High school students attending the weekly leadership program were also fortunate to be visited by New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera, and discussed many social issues with her, including her efforts to implement stronger LGBTQ+ health services in NYC hospitals.

Middle Schoolers’ Initiatives Went to Ballot- and Won!

Global Kids leaders at PS 96 noticed a need for new water filters and water bottle filling stations at their own school, as well as other schools in their district. After learning about the participatory budget process, they engaged with City Council Member Diana Alaya to get the initiative added to the ballot. Understanding the importance of carrying out their civic responsibility, students mobilized over 100 peers to vote on the proposal, and achieved their goal of getting new water fountains and bottle filling stations installed at PS 96 and eight other East Harlem schools.

Gear Up for Summer Camp with GK

Global Kids is running summer camps at 5 middle school sites in New York City: Q300, Manhattan East, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, PS/IS 109, and The School for Human Rights. Activities include field trips to local museums, arts and crafts projects, outdoor team-building challenges, and sports.

The High School for Global Citizenship is running a Summer Bridge Program to prepare incoming students for success in high school. Students are provided with the platform and tools to ensure a seamless transition into high school.

Incoming 9th graders at Bronxdale High School’s Summer Bridge Program used VR to travel to Ethiopia and Somalia to learn about the lack of access to clean water, and how famine affects millions of people worldwide. They also partnered with MNDFL in Manhattan to get tips on dealing with stress and anxiety. Field trips so far have included the Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City to find out more about where food comes from.

International Law & Foreign Policy Summer Institutes

After a rigorous application process, 30 students were invited to spend three weeks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City as a part of an intensive summer institute program learning about and discussing foreign policy and global affairs. The program consisted of workshops and guest lectures covering topics such as climate change, cyber security, the refugee crisis, and global feminism. Site visits included the New York Times and the Clinton Foundation, where participants had the opportunity to present workshop pitches on global issues to Chelsea Clinton, and see US Ambassador Nikki Haley at the US Mission to the United Nations.

In Washington DC, GK has been hosting a six-week foreign policy summer institute that further explores the themes that students have been discussing throughout the school year. A cohort of motivated future global leaders are coming together to engage in service learning activities, participate in interactive workshops about current events, attend weekly field trips to learn more about international careers and scholarship opportunities, develop media skills by creating a film about being a 21st century global citizen, and enhance their leadership development.

GK’s Influence Travels Far and Wide- to South Africa and Japan!

For the fourth consecutive year, GK-DC participants are visiting three cities in South Africa over a two-week period: Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. Students are engaging in a service-learning and leadership development initiative.

Through a partnership with the TOMODACHI initiative, young people from NYC and Japan will have the opportunity to collaborate through a 10-day international exchange program to participate in environmentally-focused service learning and positive youth development experiences. After participating in a three-week institute on topics ranging from Japanese history and culture, digital media production, US-Japan relations, and environmental resilience, Global Kids’ nine program participants are traveling as TOMODACHI ambassadors first to Tokyo and then to Japan’s Tohoku region. Together with their Japanese peers from Futaba Mirai High School in Fukushima, program participants are conducting a social action project that explores the real and imagined impacts of the 2011 nuclear disaster in the region.

Check out our Flickr page for updates throughout the summer and to keep up with our leaders on their travels! Remember to check back in with Global Kids in the Fall for the exciting afterschool programs! 

NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera visits GK!
NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera visits GK!


May 7, 2018

Spring into action with Global Kids!

Global Kids artwork featured on LinkNYC kiosks!
Global Kids artwork featured on LinkNYC kiosks!

Happy Spring!

Global Kids leaders have spent the last several months taking action in their communities and making their impact visible through art, digital media projects, and youth activism!

Global Kids takes over the streets of New York City!

Did you notice artwork featuring Neil Degrasse Tyson, Mae Jamieson, Garrett Morgan and other prominent black scientists on LinkNYC kiosks last month? They were created by Global Kids at PS 96 in East Harlem!Global Kids partnered with LinkNYC and the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) to createIllustrations of these figures using digital tools and were thrilled to see them displayed on Link’s digital displays throughout the five boroughs in February.
This project created a unique opportunity for our students from East Harlem to conduct historical research in a culturally relevant way and to celebrate their digital murals with public viewings across the LinkNYC kiosks.
“I love to draw, so it was a lot of fun to learn how to create art digitally on the computer,” said Jamie, Global Kids 6th grader in our Digital Learning and Leadership Program at PS 96. “I am so excited to have my artwork seen by people all over NYC!”
“With more than 1,300 Links throughout the five boroughs, Link is becoming part of the fabric of New York City, and we want our content to reflect that,” said Jen Hensley, President of Link. “Through collaborations with local nonprofits like Global Kids, Link provides communities with an opportunity to share their great work and vision across the city like never before.”

Getting Out of the City to Plan for the Conference

Forty-nine Global Kids students from 13 NYC high schools headed upstate to Ramapo for Children facilities to create the framework for the upcoming Global Kids Annual Youth Conference on April 20th, which will focus on environmental justice.

Global Kids staff led the students in team-building and facilitation training activities.  The workshops focused on establishing group cohesion, as well as on learning important facilitation skills such as, public speaking, processing, time management, giving clear directions, and how to set up an ideal classroom space.

Students also began working on their conference workshops topics.  They include environmental racism, how environmental injustice impacts women, abuse of indigenous lands, the global water crises, gentrification, how wealth affects health and immigration, among others.  

Middle Schoolers Making a Difference in Their Communities

Our middle schoolers don’t want to stand on the sidelines! Our Global Kids from PS 109 and PS 96 have been engaging with their local council members in the participatory budget process. Youth from PS 109 were tired of seeing trash in their neighborhoods, so they asked Council Member Jumaane Williams' office to add a line on the participatory budget for funds for more trash cans. It didn't get on the ballot, but the students learned valuable lessons about this process and will try again next year.

At PS 96, members of the student council and GK staffer Emily Schofield have been active in the participatory budget process for months. At school, the youth learned about the participatory budget process and what it takes to get a proposal added to the ballot.  Junior, the school's Student Council President, attended the final delegate meeting with his local Council Member, Diana Alaya. The students got two of their proposals added to the ballot: one for installing new water filters and water bottle filling stations at PS 96 and other schools in their district and the other for renovations to their school yard.

Voting for takes place the week of April 7-13. Anyone 11 and older can vote. Global Kids will have pop-up voting stations during the day at PS 96 for our students. The school has also been designated a public voting site for the community. Before the vote, some of our students will even be heading to Council Member Diana Alaya's office to decorate ballot boxes. 

Democracy Now!

On a recent visit to the Democracy Now! studios, 10 Global Kids students from William Cullen Bryant High School got a chance watch a live production of a Democracy Now! segment where diverse topics were covered from the war in Syria to the sexual misconduct claims against Oxfam officials in Haiti to the execution of a death row inmate in Florida. The youth were impressed by how Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!'s host, reported on news items that are often not covered on major news networks. After hearing an in-depth interview with Raoul Peck, an award-winning filmmaker from Haiti, one student, whose parents hail from Haiti, told Democracy Now! staff that he was proud to have Haiti represented in a more positive light, something he doesn't often hear on cable news.

When her segment was finished, Amy Goodman came out of the studio to chat with the students to learn more about their lives. She asked each of them their names and where they were from, and engaged with them on current topics, like gun control in the United States. It was an incredible opportunity for our students. 

Overnight Retreat in DC

Twenty-one GK-DC students gathered at the National 4-H Conference Center for a winter retreat focused on preparing for spring action projects and upcoming conferences. Guest facilitators, Nnenna Amuchie and Jillian Burford from Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100), joined the group to deliver a workshop on organizing and racial justice. The youth made individual organizing strategies for how to address issues that impact them the most, and they'll use these plans to start actions in their communities in the coming months. The students also learned about group facilitation so that they can lead future workshops at our conferences. At the end of the retreat, the students viewed Black Panther for a final dose of inspiration!

DLL Team Brings Interactive GK Workshops to Educators 

NYC Department of Education hosted a Computer Science For All (CS4ALL) Professional Development Institute and the Global Kids Digital Learning and Leadership (DLL) team was invited to present a Scratch workshop series entitled “Historical Heroes” to be used in any K-12 classrooms. This four-day training brought together a wide array of public school teachers learned how to gamify their classrooms by integrating Scratch and tech tools like Makey-Makey into their teaching curriculums. GK trainers led the fun interactive workshops for educators. Learn more about this CS4ALL training on DLL's blog!


Don't forget to keep up with Global Kids as we prepare for a summer full of international travel, policy institutes, and service learning!

GK leaders planning for the youth conference!
GK leaders planning for the youth conference!
A field trip to Democracy Now!
A field trip to Democracy Now!


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