Taking a step back.

Our Focus Group series finished in late May and we here at the Sunset Park Promise Neighborhood (SPPN) had a moment to pause (sort of!) and take stock of the work we’ve been doing, the relationships we’ve made and what the next few months are going to look like. We thought we should share some of the stuff we came up with!

The Focus Group series was issue-based, covering the four main concerns of the project: Early Childhood, Education, Health and Community. Here’s a picture of the Early Childhood group kicking off the meeting with some “community agreements” to help guide their discussion.

The purpose of the Focus Groups was to brainstorm program ideas to meet different needs that exist in each of the project areas.  In the Early Childhood group people discussed the need for more flexible daycare hours to help parents whose work schedules don’t fit the nine-to-five mold.

Participants in the focus groups looked at information from the Community Needs Survey we conducted in March.  The community-wide survey asked questions about needs and wants of Sunset Park residents. We had a big kick-off/training session before the survey started to help survey volunteers learn ways to engage their neighbors, family, friends and co-workers with the survey and get people interested in the project.

Here are a few pictures from the training. Karen Lopez trained everyone in good community outreach skills…

And our trainees…

In April we worked with the Fresh Air Fund to co-host a big event at PS 169, right across the street from the park.  The event gave us a chance to invite a large number of families to complete our survey and apply for Fresh Air Fund summer opportunities for their children.  The Fresh Air Fund provides free summer vacations for kids from NYC to places outside of the five boroughs. Check their website for more information about the Fresh Air Fund.

We had a great turnout, with over 200 parents completing surveys!

People arriving at the event…

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