Catholic Charities observed the 48th anniversary of Earth Day by teaching children how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Ocean Bay Community Center, in the Arverne section of Rockaway, hosted an activity day to teach students how to better care for the planet. The kids participated in different games and activities to win prizes. Stations included recycling, ocean preservation and endangered species.
Sheldon Peters, Catholic Charities project manager, helped organize the day.
“We are celebrating Earth Day today and it is able to give the kids a new look at their world and how they can impact it,” he explained.
“The kids are learning recycling and the proper way to do their part at home. Also, we have some fun games on how to take care of our oceans and our water. We even have some activities on endangered species and each activity provides a different lesson on how the children can pitch in and hopefully, help teach their family or friends to do the same,” Peters said.
“The kids have a fun day learning about the process and being able to join in and do their part.”
Catholic Charities is part of a coalition restoring the Ocean Bay Community apartments, thanks to Rental Assistance Demonstrations. Catholic Charities is the social services unit of this coalition helping to restore and provide services to almost 1,400 units that are home to more than 4,000 residents. Part of the project is providing programs for seniors, youth, and even job outreach.
Dyshaw Williams, an activity specialist, was happy to see the kids being able to learn they can make a difference.
“A day where the kids can actually have fun and learn makes a big impact. Getting them away from technology is always a help. These kids can even help their parents now and be proud of what they learned today.
“One of the kids told me he was going to start a compost as soon as he got home. They even learned how throwing out their garbage can help to save some of their favorite animals, so I think they are all learning how every little thing helps and they can make a difference.”
Joel Cruz, a fourth-grader was enjoying learning about different ways to help his community.
“Today and the games are a lot of fun but also seeing how things affect the ocean is cool to see,” he said.
“So many animals get hurt because of trash, which we have to stop. I love the Earth. If we don’t take care of the Earth, then none of us will be here.”