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Students from the Theatre Arts Production Company School joined with volunteers from Blackstone, who partnered with 92nd Street Y serves for a day of service at the school on July 29. Volunteers built plant towers and a small stage and painted the teachers lounge. Photo Courtesy of 92Y Serves
BY JAIME WILLIAMSA local councilman and
city organization are work-ing together to realize a Bronx schools dream.
Councilman Ritchie Torres recently announced he will al-locate $750,000 to build a roof-top garden and performance space at the Theater Arts Pro-duction Company School, the plans for which were developed in a digital design class run by the 92nd Street Y at the school.
On July 29, 92Y Serves partnered with volunteers from Blackstone for a service day at the school, where they built two garden towers and an indoor stage for the arts school, in addition to painting the teachers lounge.
The smaller projects offer students a taste of what will come with the eventual roof-top garden and performing space, which will offer oppor-tunities for interdisciplinary learning, said principal Ron Link.
The school plans to use the garden to grow produce for the schools cafeteria and Part of the Solutions food services down the street, said Link.
Bronx students design rooftop garden, theaterThe garden will also pro-
vide chances for interdisciplin-ary educational opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math fi elds.
The school already focuses on incorporating STEAM in student projects, said Link, be it creating a music video about exponents or building stage set designs.
Our teachers are working in a cross-curricular fashion to make the academics rele-vant, said Link.
The rooftop garden and per-forming space will offer even more opportunities to do that, as well as providing beautiful greenspace in a neighborhood where its lacking, he said.
And as excited as Link is about the long-term prospects of the rooftop garden, he was equally excited about the proj-ects undertaken by volun-teers.
Youve got an amalgama-tion of public and private work-ing hand in hand on things that matter every day to teach-ers and kids, said Link.
Councilman Torres also provided support for the part-
nership between the 92nd Street Y and the school for the digital design class, and said the rooftop garden will pro-vide additional enrichment for the students.
The students of the Bronx deserve nothing less than a fi rst--class education, he said.
The digital design class, en-tering its third year at TAPCo, is helping students get that ed-ucation.
It allows students to com-bine STEAM skills with cre-ativity and imagination, said 92Ys director of educational outreach Larisa Gelman.
It also helps them develop
problem-solving skills, and lets them design things that meet their wants and needs, such as the rooftop garden, which students designed ren-derings for.
We inspire them to think about their school and their community in what theyre doing, said Gelman.