Graduation Day had a festive air. Students dressed up, brought in food and sweets, with many parents in attendance for final presentations. When it came time for the big event, the room was packed, the excitement palpable in the air.
Several students---Ava, October, Justin, Henry, Ezra, Santos, Charlese, Miguel, Annabella, and Isabela---chose to redesign the rooftop garden, working in three separate groups. The results were all different but equally inspired.
Other presentations ran the gamut from Jeremiah’s DJ performance to Shadab’s animated short about healthy soil to Noel's one-man show to Mariela and Peter sculpting Play-Doh figures of fellow classmates, UDSP teachers Monica and Josh (including his dreadlocks), as well as a compost bin. (Mariela and Peter got extra credit for also doing a fabulous collage commemorating the UDSP.)
The hard work and creativity of UDSP students wasn't lost on those in attendance. Parents, friends, teachers, and TRCS administrators enthusiastically responded to the different mediums and methods used for permaculture design or simply artistic expression.
UDSP students are now officially eco-citizens as they move forward with their lives in school and beyond.
It’s hard to believe the Urban Design & Sustainability Program is over so fast. So much ground was covered in such a short period of time. Students and teachers alike were enriched by a unique opportunity to bond and expand their awareness of the world in an urban context.
For our final UDSP post, we'd like to share some more images of students during our six-week summer program.
Here's a few extra samples of their artwork, too. UDSP students know how to design, build, and draw in equal measure.
Attention, parents: All 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade UDSP students, as graduates of the summer program, are automatically eligible to attend our 3rd to 5th Grade after-school Permaculture Club at Renaissance Charter School. It starts Monday, September 19th. Please call Peggy Heeney for more information at (718) 803-0060 (ext. 111) or email her at email@example.com.
Special thanks goes to Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya, the Laura B. Vogler Foundation, and the Department of Youth and Community Development (COMPASS Explore Program). Their generous funding made the Urban Design & Sustainability Program possible. Beyond Organic Design would also like to thank Rebekah Oakes, who was instrumental in making the UDSP a reality. Thanks as well to Peggy Heeney for your assistance throughout the program.
UDSP students, we will miss you!
Justin Remus is the Communications Director of Beyond Organic Design.