Last year was our pilot launch of Project HAND, developed by our AmeriCorps KEYS teachers. Project HAND (Helping Allentown Neighbors Dream) is a community service project guided by teachers, and led by youth. At the beginning of each school year, the KEYS teachers meet with the youth of ALEC to discuss how they would like to contribute to their neighborhood. This initiative encourages civic engagement, community interaction, awareness, and finding your voice in the least expected places. This has been an empowering opportunity for our youth to have a 'hand' in their community and encourage their peers to do the same.
ALEC received a grant from Remake Learning, the initial intent was to purchase two street trash cans, starting with the Allentown borough, however, another idea flourished; Why not buy trash cans for our neighborhood?
Saturday, May 18th was Project HAND's first Neighborhood Trash Can Distribution. Not only did we serve over 50 households, we also held a painting event for those who would like to decorate or add their personalities to their new trash receptacles.
We had a great turn out and it gave our neighbors a chance to come and see what ALEC is about. Now only are we focused on learning and enrichment, we are connected to our communities and with this pilot start, we look forward to branching out further to extend our hand and our hearts to our neighbors.
While ALEC is located in Allentown, we are also open to other South Pittsburgh communities. Summer is just around the corner, do you have plans? If not, please join us for our Brashear Kids Summer Camp at ALEC. We are still accepting applications, the price is free and a great way to get more youth together and involved with one another. We are looking forward to a fun summer of kayaking, bike riding, art camp, tech, and learning how to garden. If you would like to know more about our Summer programming, please call us (412) 620-8282 or stop by and visit us! We are located at 827 E. Warrington Avenue, right next door to Mr. Leon's and across the street from Zone 3 Police Station.