Our past programs
Reading Our Writing (ROW Since 1998): Our signature program offers writing basics to students before they take more specialized programs, with exceptional results. Guided by writing mentors, students write oral histories about their cultures and communities. The best work is shared through publication and community events including readings, puppet shows, plays, comedy skits, book clubs, and any vehicle that allows students to shine.
My World in My Words (Since 1999): “How does writing relate to my world?” Students explore through journal and memoir writing, recording oral histories. Best writing is edited, published, and produced at events.
Looking for Shakespeare ( Since 1999): The Know, in association with NYU’s Steinhardt School of Theatre Education and Tisch School of the Arts, was given a Community Building Support Award in 1999 for Looking for Shakespeare in the Bronx. The expanded program, Learning from the Masters, offers four sequential sections: students study one play while focusing on a master playwright and write new scenes guided by a playwright, and they are introduced to the theatre arts by professionals. A dramatic reading or the mounting of the play is the concluding event. WordWorks’ partners: Shakespeare & Co., The Public Theatre, Fordham University, Theatre Development Fund.
Broadcast News/Journalism 101 (Since 2005): Communication through creative writing, visual media and IT, raises the bar for performance as well as academics. Fact and opinion about daily news are examined in articles on issues young people care about. Partners: El Diario, The Bronx News, Columbia School of Journalism, Community Boards 2, 9 and 11, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.
Today is History (Since 2001): Social Studies, Theater Arts, and Literacy combine when students write about events in their lives and research events in the lives of historic figures. They write monologues and historic-fiction narratives. Oral presentation and social skills, mentorship and collaboration are built in. In the follow up program, History Repeats Itself, students compare past and current events, and identify sociological patterns.
The Green Institute (Since 2005) - Awarded Best Educational Program by the Bronx Coalition for Environmental Equality in 2006 and 2008: The study of local ecosystems leads to intra and inter-after school Bridge and Career Education programs. Enrichment, internship, peer mentoring and entrepreneurial opportunities were the focus.
The Green Institute expanded into other areas in the Bronx, including: Soundview, “Pugsley Creek Park Initiative”; Hunts Point, “The Smelly Calendar”; and, in Wakefield’s Bissel Gardens, “Green Stewardship & Urban Farming.” Students in current Green Institute programs collect data and continue to cultivate a greener environment, identify ways to improve quality of life, and care for open spaces and parkland. Mentors engage students in robust, interdisciplinary media literacy projects, such as creating newsletters and PSAs.
“An important piece of the newsletter we produced is “Pugsley Creek Park Initiative.” Students are not only learning how the political hierarchy works in at community, city and state levels, but how to use what they learned about the process so it can be used for positive change in their community.” – Laura Wallace-Rhodes, Editor/ Journalism Mentor, The Know
“For two years, The Smelly Calendar project engaged our students in research, writing, graphic design, photography and applied technology to create the calendar. The community outreach processes required to distribute the calendar throughout the area…and collect the data provided them opportunities to make a connection with environmental and health-concerned organizations…” – Principal Marianne Kraft, St. Athanasius School
Kids’ Have the WRITE Attitude (Since 1999): Students research and write about community issues of direct concern and impact. Students “pitch” their idea to be selected and produced into an animated PSA by peers guided by animators. See also, Animated Science and Point of View/Public Service Announcements.
Kids’ Guide to New York (Since 1999): Combines civics, writing, data collection, graphic design, illustration and photography. Students venture out to observe and document landmarks and cultural points of interest. They review and rate local establishments and services. Selected work is published in print and online as neighborhood guides, which can be sold to fundraise. The guides’ data can also be developed with IT into Apps and made available to the school community or shared with other communities.
Animated Science (Since 2012): The Know received ASIFA EAST Animation Award for “Excellence in Education”, May 2012. Science literacy; media professionals work closely with classroom teachers in choosing Science concepts to write about and illustrate through the creation of animated shorts.
Point of View/Public Service Announcement (POV/PSA Since 2014), formerly Kids’ Have the WRITE Attitude: Guided by media writers and animators, students write about issues of interest. Stories with the most powerful messages are chosen to be produced and animated.
POV/PSA’s mission is to “take a proactive role in nurturing students’ pro-social behavior by providing students with meaningful opportunities for social emotional learning,”
As Alex Spencer, Borough Principal, wrote: “As the Principal of the Manhattan Alternative Learning Center, under the Office of Safety and Youth Development – NYC DOE, I endorse The Know’s work and recommend continuing to develop its MediaWorks program “POV/PSA.”
Master the Media 101: Media professionals guide students to develop a podcast series, radio or television show from concept to production. They examine effective uses of media and learn about global communication, targeted marketing, sensationalism, sales data, Analytics, etc.
Culinary Arts (Since 2007): Developed by CIA chef, Gary Maxwell, catering diva, Ame Gilbert, and enhanced in 2018 by Vegan Chef Janie Rodriguez, other guest chefs, and restaurant owners. Aspiring chefs, bakers, caterers, and restauranteurs learn and practice cooking prep, kitchen hygiene, food service, knife skills, nutrition, and more, on the job.
The Know culinary arts graduates have been placed with Food Network Chefs and in the restaurant business with Restaurants Associates, Yankee Stadium, Mohegan Sun, etc. The Know team has guided student entrepreneurs in setting up a student-run bakery, a catering company, and farmers markets. Partners: Baldor Food Purveyors, the Culinary School at Monroe College, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and BronxNet.
Professional Development and consultation before the launch of any program is offered.