Through videos, the website for the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance — a government and privately supported program for underprivileged youths living on the peninsula of Rockaway, N.Y. – is telling the stories of how young people are coping with the devastation on their community, and their lives, caused by Hurricane Sandy.
As part of its mission, the alliance is using video to have teens tell what it was like for them after the storm hit their community. In addition to recording the stories of Rockaway’s teens, the alliance has sought to get young people involved in clean-up efforts, including the removal of trash from the beaches, creating plans for vacant spaces and oyster farming to remove pollutants from the water to name a few, all of which can be viewed on the website.
But the alliance is not all work. Videos show the students in after school and summer programs learning to kayak and surf and swim. The teens go on bike rides and are introduced to gardening.
An additional, and hopeful, aspect of the Rockaway Alliance is the way in which students are being exposed to individuals involved in scientific, engineering and artistic careers. There is an internship program for older public-school students that revolves around environmental awareness and community development and seeks to foster leadership among those students. There are videos showing students measuring and recording the acidity levels of the water and we hear a middle-school boy describe his award-winning plan for an eco park.
The website also features videos of adult residents talking about the future of the community and the impact the alliance has had on their children. For example, a Rockaway mother describes the benefits to her two children by participating in the alliance programs. She said her children have been taught the value of the natural world that exists around them, the programs have made her children more self-confident, and they now want to spend time outdoors.
For using video to show how young-people are getting involved in the rebuilding their community, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance’s website is Government Video’s website of the week.
Click here to access the website.