7″ x 9″ watercolor, NFS
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Ok, so I admit that when a painting comes before the idea for a new post, I have to dig a little deeper to find a contextual match. This painting above of a scene in New York had me a bit stumped. I think my dad may have told me a time or two, “ask and you shall receive.” So, I asked fellow blogger, Anna Hackman of ‘Green Talk’, if she had any ideas. Oh, did she. How perfect is this:
New York City based nonprofit “Rocking the Boat uses traditional wooden boatbuilding and on-water education to allow high school age youth to develop into empowered and responsible adults. Through these mediums, Rocking the Boat empowers South Bronx students to deal with everyday realities that are often not addressed at home or in school…programs directly serve over 2,000 students and community members drawn from a range of New York City public high schools and neighborhoods…Rocking the Boat teaches, challenges, nurtures, and motivates, providing the tools to transition into the next phase of life. Kids don’t just build boats at Rocking the Boat, boats build kids.”
Way to hit the nail on the head Anna!
All too often I hear the ignorant gripe, “Programming like this is waste. We need to focus on pushing math and science.” Programs “like this” teach youth responsibility, leadership, confidence, and how to collaborate on goal-orientated outcomes. Becoming a successful adult who contributes to society entails far more than acing your SAT. I have personally witnessed many teenagers participate in such projects and become be far more articulate, social, engaged and invested in their own futures (not to mention less interested in peer-pressure induced activities like doing drugs and competing for bragging rights for the most sexual partners). It’s kind of hard to study chemistry when you’re high or 13 and pregnant. Organizations like Rocking the Boat are preparing our youth be learners who have the capacity to absorb their education.
Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox. I think I’m still a little heated about all of the recent across-the-board cutbacks (from state and federal to dried up foundation funds).
Ps-I should mention that this painting was created from a photo taken specifically of another organization certainly worth mentioning: the New York City Downtown Boathouse. Next time you’re in NYC, you should definitely going kayaking on the Hudson with their all-volunteer staff of instructors (one of whom is pretty cute. I think I may have a crush).