Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spotlight: Truancy Intervention Program at M.S. 352

The Mediation Center coordinates the Truancy Intervention Program at Ebbets Field Middle School 352, a program that has the goal of increasing attendance of students who are habitually absent from school.  To accomplish this, coordinator Sylvia Mungin works systematically with individual students and their families to determine the reasons for absence and set goals for attendance. Sylvia also meets with groups of students who have growing numbers of absences as a preventative measure.  One day last week, she reminded middle schoolers that they were not in trouble, that they should just "be aware of their absences."

In addition to working specifically with the issue of truancy, Sylvia acts as a support for students in the school, building mentoring relationships and assisting in mediating conflicts when necessary. She also runs Rites of Passage programming with girls at the school, a group of nine middle schoolers who meet with regularly for sessions on navigating young adulthood and building self-esteem.  Thanks to Sylvia for all of her hard work at M.S. 352!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Apply for Census Jobs

The 2010 Census is hiring! Temporary, part-time jobs with flexible hours start at a rate of $18/hour. The Mediation Center has more information, including sample tests which people need to take to be eligible for the jobs.

More information is available here, by calling 347-328-5768, or by stopping in to the Mediation Center.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Highlights from the past two weeks

The Mediation Center has been buzzing with activity these past few weeks! Here's a rundown of some of the recent goings on at 256 Kingston Avenue.
  • Last week, we launched our new Youth Entrepreneurship Program, a unique program which is bringing a group of young women from the Jewish and African American communities together to participate in skill-building sessions on photography, graphic design, and entrepreneurship to start a collaborative media company together. This week, the girls were hard at work building pinhole cameras to kickstart their entrepreneurial skills and get the creative juices flowing.
  • The third cohort of Leadership Training Institute also had their first session last week. A diverse and enthusiastic bunch with varied experiences, backgrounds, and interests, but with a common goal of improving Crown Heights, gathered at the Mediation Center to meet each other.  Our guest was Teri Coaxum, Deputy State Director for Senator Charles Schumer, who spoke to the group about the importance of networking as a leadership skill.  It was a great first session! 
Leadership Training Institute participants meeting with Teri Coaxum at the first session.
  • Last week we partnered with the Legal Aid Society to host a Temporary Protected Status immigration clinic for Haitians, and assisted fifteen people with their applications. More information about TPS is available here. 
  • Mediation Center staff lead a two-day training on conflict resolution with Brooklyn College Community Partnership.
  • Training has also begun this week for our new (still unnamed) anti-gun violence program. We welcome the new team and the trainers from Chicago to our office!