These past 2 months brought many new events and experiences to NIA - we had our 1st Youth Leadership Summit, 1st Dance Festival, and our 1st All-Star Basketball Game. We also made an appearance on Univision to promote our services and free community classes. And while the school year has officially ended, NIA is still as busy as ever! 



NIA/IS 192 students pose outside of IS 239 Mark Twain in Coney Island
Over 200 NIA after-school program participants from our middle school sites, NIA staff, and special guests including NIA President Michael A. Bové, NIA CEO Mary Anne Cino, DYCD Deputy Director of Middle School Programs Yessica Erenberg, and DYCD Program Manager Harry Pang were invited to attend our 1st Annual Youth Leadership Summit on Wednesday, May 22nd at IS 239 Mark Twain. Over 80 students from six after-school NIA/SONYC programs signed up to take the lead for the afternoon by teaching peers about their leadership activities and empowering them to take on meaningful projects. The event was organized by NIA Director of Education Sarah Harlow and Director of Operations Annette Scaduto.

Students chose specialty workshop sessions from topics like self-acceptance, the transition from middle school to high school, health and environmental effects of fast food, the diminishing bee population, and how to solve real-world problems. Teams from NIA/IS 192 also presented their business concepts from DYCD's 2019 2nd Annual "Young Sharks" Entrepreneurship program, which included providing education to those in need through school assemblies, eliminating water pollution via an app, and creating a hotline for child abuse victims. The event concluded with a moving performance by the NIA/IS 281 dance team that addressed the NYC Stonewall Riots and promoted acceptance and LGBTQ rights. The event was so impactful and empowering for all in attendance!
NIA/IS 239's Future City presentation
NIA/IS 281 promotes acceptance & LGBTQ rights
Bee Colony Collapse Disorder by NIA/IS 468
Self-Acceptance by Chris Minott from NIA/PS 627


NIA main office staff poses at Appreciation Night
Our Culminating Event & Appreciation Night was held at the Dyker Beach Golf Course on June 13th. While many of our events are held for after-school students, seniors, and the community, our annual appreciation event celebrates NIA leadership, staff members, funders, elected officials and our dedicated principals and school partners! Guest speakers included DYCD Program Manager Harry Pang and ExpandED Schools Director of the Pathways Initiative Marissa Badgley. Other special guests in attendance included VP of Expanded Learning Schools Monica Ingkavet, District 20 Superintendent Karina Costantino, District 20 Director of Early Childhood Education Dianne Gounardes, and NIA Board Members VP Jerry Saporito, Treasurer Joseph Iervasi, and Mario Costantino. 

The event was hosted by our CEO Mary Anne Cino, President Michael A. Bové, Executive Director Rosa Casella, and our Director of Operations Annette Scaduto.
Shanelle Jenkins, NIA/PS 95 Program Director, opened the event with a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Our multi-site supervisors Vera Ekht, Darryl Robinson, Anastasio Pollari, Jennifer Padilla-Howard, and Jonathan Lugo introduced their school sites, directors, and principals. The rest of the evening was filled with team-bonding, food, drinks, dancing, and a special appreciation video featuring highlights from the past school year, and staff and program participants expressing why they love NIA!


VIDEO: Elaysel Germán goes on Univision to speak all about NIA and promote our free classes!
NIA had the opportunity to be featured on Univision, an American Spanish-language television network that is the country's largest provider of Spanish-language content! Our Literacy Manager, Elaysel Germán, who represented NIA, spoke about our history and the free programs and services we offer, including a free adult yoga class that runs every Saturday during the school year at the NIA/PS 247 Beacon Community Center in Bensonhurst. The class is open to the public and is run by Instructor Veronique Alaimo, who aims to make the practice accessible to all ages and physical abilities. A big thanks to Univision for inviting us to promote our vital services to our Spanish-speaking communities!


Michele Crea
Evaluation & Capacity Building Specialist

Michele Crea graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in Psychology. She has been working in the non-profit and youth development sector for 19 years in many different capacities. She is so excited to rejoin the team at NIA as our Evaluation & Capacity Building Specialist, a new position within NIA. Michele is eager to help support staff development and sustainability. Welcome to the team, Michele!
Sam Rosen
Assistant Director at IS 30

Sam Rosen graduated with a BA from Sarah Lawrence College where she first started working in education. She spent three years teaching performing arts through the Sarah Lawrence Theatre Outreach Program and continued working in arts-based childcare until she joined the NIA team at MS 443 teaching theatre. Her passion for helping students grow has led to her recent promotion as Assistant Director at IS 30. Congratulations Sam!


The NIA/IS 192 Step Team takes the stage at the NIA Dance Festival
Students, families, and guests were invited to IS 281 Joseph B Cavallaro on May 9th for our 1st NIA Dance Festival, showcasing the talents of multiple elementary and middle-school NIA after-school program participants on one stage! Performances included everything from Bollywood dancing to stepping to even throwback vs. modern dancing competitions. Special thanks to NIA/IS 468 Program Director Tiffany Bruce for DJing and making the audience get on their feet!


NIA celebrates the 3rd Annual Luna Park Day
NIA's SONYC after-school program participants, Multi-site Supervisors, and Program Directors took over the amusement park in Coney Island for several hours on June 4th and had a blast going on the rides and playing carnival games! This marks our 3rd Annual Luna Park Day.


NIA at IS 98 (left), PS/IS 30 (top right), and PS 627 (bottom right)
Our after-school programs have held a number of productions at the end of this school year! NIA at PS/IS 30 and PS 627 both performed The Lion King Jr. and NIA at IS 98 performed Shrek. Other performances include Aladdin by NIA/PS 52 and a Spring Showcase by NIA/PS 229 (below). Congratulations to all for fantastic performances!


NIA at IS 187 & IS 281 celebrate the end of the school year
The end of the school year also means carnival season for NIA! Several of NIA's SONYC after-school programs celebrated a successful year with fun-filled carnivals throughout middle school sites. Students, NIA staff, teachers, and principals all came together to unwind, play games, eat from the best food trucks, and dance! 


NIA Basketball League all-stars were given awards and played on the Brooklyn Nets practice court
The Barclays Center invited NIA to play at the Brooklyn Nets practice court on June 11th and for the first time, NIA held an All-Star Game led by NIA Basketball League Commissioner Jonathan Lugo, with the assistance of IS 229 NIA Program Director Erik Paz. Students who were deemed all-stars of their basketball team were chosen to participate in the All-Star Game, a Skills Challenge and Shooting Competition, and a Staff-Student game. Congratulations to students Tyshawn Davis of IS 303, Ivan Kosyak of IS 192, Anny Chen and Ashley Lam of IS 187, Sam Hu of JHS 227, Nick Senhouse, Angela Terrone of IS 95, and NIA Multi-Site Supervisor Darryl Robinson for their awards!


NIA/IS 95 Basketball Team
At one point during the basketball season, the NIA/IS 95 team was in the last place, but with the leadership of their Coach O, they were able to work on their weaknesses and make them their strengths. Congratulations to the NIA/IS 95 basketball team for becoming the 2019 NIA Basketball League Champs of the Girls Division!


NIA gave seniors their own proms in May
With the support of Assembly Member Peter J. Abbate Jr., Council Member Justin Brannan, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Senator Andrew S. Gounardes, Congressman Max Rose, and Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus, NIA hosted three Senior Prom events at the Dyker Beach Golf Course in May. NIA President Michael A. Bové, CEO Mary Anne Cino, and Executive Director Rosa Casella hosted the events and thanked the seniors in attendance for coming and for their many contributions to the community. Student chaperones from NIA at IS 281 danced with the seniors and ensured they all had a wonderful night. Seniors gave rave reviews and danced the night away!
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