Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer in the City 2015 Week 1

The first week of Summer in the City could not have gone better. Students developed new relationships while learning about social skills, managing problems, leadership qualities, and more.

On Monday, the group visited the Museum of the City New York. Students were exposed to the Tiffany & Co. jewelry of the Gilded Age in NY, an exhibit of NYC Activist Movements, the architectural influence of Guastavino, and a short film representing 400 years of NYC history. This allowed the students to walk around and get to know each other. Once the students were acquainted with each other, we began a lesson about goal setting, relationship skills, and expectations for the program. Each student set a goal for themselves and came up with ways they can achieve this.

On Tuesday, students visited the Museum of Natural History and explored three floors of exhibits dating back to the earliest of times. Walking around the museum not only helped the students continue to build relationships with each other, but also lead us into our lesson about patience and stress management. One can get impatient at a museum if they are uninterested, which may lead to increased stress levels. Our lesson taught the students ways to cope with this stress and what they can do in situations where they feel impatient and uncomfortable.

On Wednesday morning, the students visited the Central Park Zoo and were greeted by a variety of animals such as penguins, seals, and more. Students were especially intrigued by the two grizzly bears playing in their natural habitat. While waiting in the long line for tickets to enter, students showed great progress in coping with impatience as all remained calm and used techniques from the past lesson. In the afternoon, students discussed the concept of communication and identified their own communication challenges, while creating personalized communication goals. The day wrapped up with the students completing stress charts as a follow up to Tuesday’s managing stress lesson.

On Thursday, we visited the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan, showcasing medieval art in a French monastery overlooking the Hudson. The students were quite fond of the classical art. Social communication is a necessity, so the students continued to learn about techniques, specifically targeting peer-to peer conversations during this trip. They also discussed and practiced social boundaries and how one must adjust their behavior depending on the setting they are in.
On Friday morning, the students toured the famous Madison Square Garden. This was an amazing way to finish off the week and it certainly seemed like a favorite for the students thus far. As students learned about the rich history of the building, they were also able to show off what they learned about social boundaries as we traveled in a large group. The lesson following was regarding leadership, what qualities and characteristics it takes to become one, and how students can incorporate these traits in their everyday lives.
In just one week, growth was evident in all students, and we look forward to seeing them continue to progress this coming week!

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