2007-11-16 / Community

Weed And Seed Report

By Denean Ferguson, Weed And Seed Site Coordinator

"People can be divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, 'Why wasn't it done the other way?''' - Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Keeping you up-to-date with the activities of the Far Rockaway Expansion Weed and Seed site enables us to challenge you to become an active part of the solution to making our community a better place to live.

In the past year, Weed and Seed has supported programming at the Arverne and Far Rockaway library branches for homework tutoring and books. The Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation's OST Dance Theatre of Harlem program was supplemented with Weed and Seed funds. The Far Rockaway High School PAL Friday and Saturday program was primarily made possible through Weed and Seed. The Far Rockaway Youth Court, in its first year of operation, where local teens are trained to serve as attorneys, judges, and jurors, in real-life cases involving their peers, accomplished great things with grant support from Weed and Seed and Public Housing Safety Initiative.

And there are more…Over $50,000 in Weed and Seed funding was allocated to augment police overtime and law enforcement strategies in Far Rockaway and Arverne. Weed and Seed sponsors the Explorers and Jr. Investigators programs, where youth are mentored and instructed in life and law enforcement scenarios by police officers from the 101 Precinct. This summer, 27 children participated in the free, week-long Drug Education For Youth (DEFY) camp at Floyd Bennett Field. They went on field trips, participated in competitions and enjoyed barbecues and interacting with law enforcement. Many learned that police officers are people too!

Still more…Weed and Seed sponsored a Community Fair for Business and Pie Bake-Off event, where 20 local vendors, without fee, were able to market their merchandise in an indoor-style flea market and compete for bragging rights in the pie contest. During the summer, spearheaded by Weed and Seed, Project NEIGHBOR H.E.L.P. (Hoods Embracing Life and Peace) took workshops into the Redfern, Beach 41, and Ocean Bay Houses to bring the message of peace and introduce local service providers, including Coalition For Far Rockaway (CFR), RDRC, Far Rockaway Treatment Center, ACQC, Queens Library, Councilman Sanders' office, and CUNY on Wheels. These efforts help bring awareness and educate the community.

Do you have ideas about programs that would benefit our community? Would you like to be more involved in your community? Come, attend the Weed and Seed Steering Committee meetings, the third Wednesday of every month, or contact Denean Ferguson, Site Coordinator, for further information on how you can get involved and make a difference, at 646- 552-8453.


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