It’s hard to believe that during The Sylvia Center’s first year in operation in 2007 we taught just 200 children through programs at Katchkie Farm. By comparison, in 2015 alone, we taught over 3,500 children, teens, and families on the farm, in Columbia County, and in New York City. In the past several years, we have worked rigorously to both widen and deepen our impact: by teaching at more sites, offering more intensive programming, and expanding our partnerships in the communities in which we operate.
This year, The Sylvia Center will be teaching at a total of 10 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) community centers in all 5 boroughs in New York City. Upstate in Columbia County, we will continue offering immersive programs directly on Katchkie Farm and in schools and community centers. We are also doubling one of our most impactful programs, the ExpandED Apprenticeship program, in which high school students in the Bronx and Brooklyn take an intensive culinary-teaching course with us before becoming culinary instructors in their own communities. In its first year in 2015, 25 teen apprentices taught over 800 young summer campers how to cook healthy in their own neighborhoods. This time around, in our second year of the Apprenticeship Program, we will be training 50 teens to teach a projected 1,600 children this summer.
Since our inception, we have taught over 15,200 individuals how to cook healthy, delicious food and each year that number keeps growing faster.
This is why we are incredibly excited to start 2016 in style with a brand new website that truly showcases our work. Over the past few months, we have worked diligently in collaboration with a dedicated team of brilliant digital strategists, designers, developers and copywriters at Blue State Digital to update our website to reflect what The Sylvia Center is—a serious and dynamic organization dedicated to building communities of healthy eaters. Our new website not only reflects how we have expanded our reach programmatically, but illustrates our philosophy and goals moving into the future. While huge strides are being made in the fields of food, social justice, and public health each year, we still believe that there is much work to be done—collaboratively and in the community—and that’s why we continue to grow our programs every year.
So, we invite you to explore our brand new website and tell us what you think. Also be sure to check back here on our blog regularly, where we will be producing exclusive content—interviews, stories, recipes and thought pieces—about how we can work together to inspire the next generation of healthy eaters.
Here’s to a great 2016!
The Sylvia Center Team