Harlem Children's Zone Visits Port Clyde

Teenagers from Harlem, New York learn about tide pools and ocean currents at the Marshall Point Ligh

Posted on 05/02/2011 at 07:17 amViewed 1,339 times

Six high school students from Harlem, New York spent their April break experiencing the sights and sounds of Mid-coast Maine. The trip was organized by Ruthie Scarpino, Port Clyde native and art teacher and tutor for the Harlem Children's Zone.

Students were selected by submitting essays on their perceptions of rural life. "Many of my students have never left New York City. I wanted to challenge them to ask questions about conservation and sustainable living while addressing their stereotypes about rural life." she said. The young urbanites spent five days exploring the area, being challenged all along the way to recognize and reflect on the similarities and differences between rural and city life. Most had never seen above ground power lines, they asked why people would want to keep boats in their yard instead of in the water, and marveled at all the space between houses and stores. "It was interesting to talk to them about how far one place is from another, as they measure distance in city blocks not miles" Scarpino commented. The students learned hands-on about aquaculture and marine science by spending a day at Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde. Led by Island Institute Fellow Alex Brasili, they fed tilapia, examined urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars and crabs and conducted a squid dissection. Lunch featured lessons on how to eat Maine lobster and mussels; strange yet enjoyable fare for the city teens. The afternoon was spent exploring sea life at Marshall Point Lighthouse and culminated with an art project using trash, shells and pebbles found along the shore to describe and reflect on their coastal experience.

The Harlem Children's Zone is a pioneering non-profit organization focused on delivering education, social service, and community-building programs in New York's Central Harlem. The organization serves more than 10,000 children and 13,000 adults with a unique network of interlocking programs that help children break free of the cycle of generational poverty.The Harlem Children's Zone is a pioneering non-profit organization focused on delivering education, social service, and community-building programs in New York's Central Harlem. The organization serves more than 10,000 children and 13,000 adults with a unique network of interlocking programs that help children break free of the cycle of generational poverty.

 

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