These past few months have been hard on the world and humanity. While we're doing what we can to support anti-racist efforts and training our girls to look to a better future, this Friday, we will toast to sustainable change. From June 2nd to Sunday, June 7th, 50% of funds raised towards Sips for Summer will be sent to our partner, Know Your Rights Camp to support their new Legal Defense Initiative, to provide protestors in Minneapolis with legal aid.
We're also excited to announce our New Girl City: Agents of Change program will be expanding into the summer. The 75 womxn high school-aged students will continue to work on their civic action projects, further cultivating their skills in advocacy and civic engagement.
As you can imagine, after three months of lock-down our girls will need summer fun like never before. If we can safely meet with girls, we will. We are hopeful programming will be a real possibility come July and August. If we get the go-ahead from NYC, we will offer a range of in-person programs that ensure for safety and social distancing.
So what will summer 2020 look like at the Lower Eastside Girls Club?
- Our ABC Art School will head outdoors for art therapy classes in Painting, Drawing, and Crafting.
- Illustration classes will be creating a COVID Comics Zine, with interviews with our local health care heroes and essential workers.
- We will get girls moving with Yoga, Dance, a Run Club, and a Walk Club and our Music Studio will be set up in the lobby and keep beats grooving and the mood upbeat.
- Our digital media team will be covering the Quaranteen beat with Photography, Podcasting, and Documentary Studies.
- And we will be providing many opportunities to Zen out with morning Morning Meditation and Gardening.
Classes will be held outside, utilizing our Green Roof, our Patio Space, the nearby East River Park as well as our large Baker Hall space with garage doors opening to outside. Scheduling will encompass staggered times and alternating days to allow for small class sizes of up to 5 girls.
If NYC indeed faces a prolonged lock-down over the summer months, we will keep providing the rich array of virtual programmatic offerings that we do now. The daily connection we maintain with our members is critical, so whether it's an in-person or a virtual Summer Camp, we will be there for our girls and our community this summer, offering inspiration, joy, and the best experience social distancing has to offer.
Food insecurity will remain an issue in our community in Summer 2020 and beyond. In response, the Lower Eastside Girls Club will continue providing families a weekly care package of meals prepared with love by our culinary staff, fresh fruit and vegetables from local CSA's, homemade masks created by our material arts team, and quality YA books and art supplies to keep hands busy and minds sane.
COVID-19 and its effects are putting the health, well-being, and safety of our members at risk — many who have lost their safe spaces. The Girls Club is a parallel family, a lifeline, a place where girls grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, and they need us now more than ever.
In response to COVID-19, we are:
- Providing short-term cash infusions for non-food necessities
- Providing homemade masks and cleaning supplies Sourcing produce from local organic farms, and distributing food and takeout meals for families of
- 4+ Sending books, art supplies, computers and sewing machines to members
- Daily check-ins from staff, assessing the needs of each family
- Providing online mentoring, tutoring and resources
- Running a ‘virtual’ online Girls Club to enable our staff to continue to teach classes and provide safe social spaces for our members