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!


Feb 6, 2018

Read about our amazing youth leaders!

Dear Friends,

Happy Winter! It may be cold in New York (and D.C.) but our youth show no sign of stopping in their efforts to make change in their local and global communities. Read below to hear about some of the amazing work they have been doing!

Middle Schoolers Help Those in Need

Global Kids middle schoolers at Manhattan East School for Arts and Academics have been examining poverty in their communities and around the world. Their culminating project was a food/item drive where they collected canned food, medical supplies, and basic hygienic products to donate to organizations who help those in need. After considering their options, students chose two organizations - The Bowery Mission in New York City, and The Puerto Rican Family Institute for those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico.

Students created flyers, decorated collection boxes, and spread the word about the items. Global Kids will also be running a "Cupcakes for Cans" campaign during the last week of the drive, encouraging students to bring in canned goods in exchange for a treat. The students have learned that helping others is important for our community and it feels great!

High School Students Pitch In to Help Their Community

Global Kids Leaders from John Adams High School's Newcomers Small Learning Center volunteered on their day off on Election Day to participate in a community clean-up project. They were tasked with the responsibility to clean up around the school, community and the underpass by the A train. Over 34 students participated in this community service project to advocate for a cleaner community.

Making Connections in DC

Global Kids-DC's city-wide program has partnered with nearby Dunbar High School's English Language Learners (ELL) department to bring their youth to GK-DC's Friday afternoons at Shaw Library. The students who are from Washington, DC have an opportunity to meet with young people from Cote D'Ivoire, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, and Ethiopia. Recently, they exchanged both language and perspectives on human rights.

GK Human Rights Activists Take on Climate Change

Youth from Global Kids’ Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP), which addresses the absence of youth voices in the public policy decision-making process, have spent the last several months mobilizing community members in the fight against climate change and amplifying their collective voice through public speaking and art activism. In collaboration with Rachel Schragis--a visual artist, cultural organizer, and youth worker referred to HRAP by participants created artistic renderings for the Sandy5 March, which celebrated the 5th anniversary of SuperStorm Sandy. Just a few days later, youth from across school sites joined the HRAP cohort to attended the Sunrise Movement’s Day of Dedication.  The Sunrise Movement, a campaign focused on capturing the current political discourse regarding climate change and climate justice, created the Day to unite young people and provide space to “reflect and recommit” to fighting for a better future and stopping the climate crisis. GK youth participated in the Day by bringing letters or artifacts to be placed in a time capsule that will be opened in 100 years. Prior to the event, HRAP students wrote letters to their future grandchildren and future selves to be placed in a time capsule. The letters spoke to students’ hopes and aspirations for the fight to end climate change and injustice.

Citywide Leadership

Students in GK’s Friday Citywide Leadershipprogram, representing 16 different schools, have spent their weekly meetings exploring how their diversity facilitates a strong learning environment. Soon they will focus on human rights topics, such as women's rights and immigration in preparation for the start of Annual Youth Conference planning!


We expect a busy spring and hope you will tune in to hear more about the work of Global Kids’ phenomenal youth leaders!


Nov 9, 2017

Happy Fall from Global Kids!

Global Kids 5K Run/Walk/Push participants!
Global Kids 5K Run/Walk/Push participants!

Dear Friends,

After a busy summer of international travel, internships, and summer institutes, our afterschool programming has kicked into full gear. Here are some highlights about the amazing work our young people are undertaking!

New York City Events

The war in Syria, International Monetary Fund policies, climate change, and global election trends were among the many hot-button foreign policy topics at the Global Kids’ Summer Institute at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Twenty-one students from across the city spent three weeks at the CFR hearing from such international relations experts as Ambassador John Campbell, former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, and CFR Senior Fellow Shannon O'Neil, and participated in daily workshops and seminars led by GK staff and CFR staff. They took field trips to the World Economic Forum, the United States Mission to the United Nations, the United Nations, and Adelphi University.  They also visited and heard from journalists at The New York Times on the importance of journalistic integrity, the future of print journalism and some amazing stories of their reporting from around the world.

On October 14th, Global Kids held our annual 5K Run/Walk Push at Flushing Meadows Park. It was a great success! With support from runners, walkers, volunteers, sponsors, and donors, we raised over $30,000 for our College and Career Readiness Program. The event brought together 250+ participants, and all the proceeds will support college exploration workshops and trips, one-on-one help with applications and financial aid, career days, scholarships, and more. Check out more photos of the event on our flickr page!

International Travel

In partnership with the DC Department of Employment Services, 12 GK-DC Leaders in the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute traveled to South Africa for a cultural exchange and service learning trip. The students engaged with politicians, activists, US diplomatic officials, community leaders, and South African youth.  Some highlights from the trip included exploring the intersection of apartheid and youth activism at the Apartheid Museum, visiting the Langa Township, seeing the conditions at Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 17 years in prison, and celebrating the end of the trip with a half-day safari at Pilanesberg National Park. Through the trip, the students gained insights into the aspirations of the South African people and learned about the complex legacies of historical injustices, some of which persist to this day.

For the third year in row, Global Kids took students from New York City to Japan for a service learning and cultural exchange trip. Global Kids students worked with youth from Futaba Mirai High School creating narratives to dispute prevailing negative notions of their communities. The town of Futuba had its "no-return zone" status lifted a few years ago, but the community still encounters negative media attention. Our students learned how the high schoolers are participating in the revitalization of their community and their efforts to change public opinion of their community. GK youth worked on a service project tending a local garden with their Japanese counterparts. As in the past trips, students lodged with homestay families to gain a greater understanding of Japanese culture.

Summer Programs

This summer, Global Kids ran free four-week middle school summer camps at five schools! The camps provided a enriching, fun space where middle schoolers had opportunities to go on field trips, learn about current issues, develop leadership skills, participate in sports, and create art.  Some of the highlights included going to El Museo del Barrio to work on art projects and learn about local Latin culture, participating in an all-camp wide basketball tournament, visiting the American Museum of Natural History and taking bike riding lessons through the Bike NYC program. It was an awesome summer!

To help rising 6th and 9th graders in their transition to middle school and high school, Global Kids partnered with five of our school sites to help run their "Summer Bridge Programs."  Almost 250 students participated!  High schoolers and middle schoolers had opportunities to get to know their fellow students through team building workshops, service projects and conflict resolution activities.  The students also had opportunities to go on field trips, such as planting a garden at La Libertad Farm and meeting PR professionals at Hill + Knowlton Strategies.

More than 30 students from our program at Transit Tech High School participated in the Summer Internship Program (SIP).  They interned at companies and organizations from TJ Maxx to the African Film Festival to the Brooklyn Public Library.  One of the highlights from the program was having two students produce and co-host an hour long music program on City College's student radio station, WHRC.

We are so proud of the work our young people have already accomplished this year and cannot wait to see the rest of the school year unfold!


Best Wishes,


GK Leaders discussing foreign policy at the CFR!
GK Leaders discussing foreign policy at the CFR!
Global Kids in Japan
Global Kids in Japan
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