The Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) in Middle Village is proud to announce its newest undertaking: a kid’s civic – for kids, run by kids dubbed Juniper Jr.
The idea began during a cleanup day the JPCA had orchestrated on May 3rd. When JPCA members invited local schools to participate, they had no idea how eager and wonderful the teens would prove to be. After hours of raking and painting graffiti up and down Eliot Avenue, adults and students alike had such a wonderful time that they decided right away to do it again.
Their vision is simple: a mini-civic that will be led by their own President and executive board, where the kids themselves get to choose a civic activity to perform, such as graffiti cleanups. The meeting will begin immediately before the larger JPCA Town Hall meetings, during which the kids will design their own flyers announcing upcoming events. They will also discuss changes they would like to implement, which could range from wildflower plantings in a park to helping a homebound senior. Speakers from the mini-civic will also give updates at the main JPCA meeting, in the hopes of bolstering their public-speaking skills and the sheer love of volunteering. JPCA President Robert Holden says, “These kids are our neighborhood’s future, it is important to get them involved.”
In addition, the group will assist with the assorted festivals that the JPCA holds throughout the year, such as the successful Halloween Festival in Juniper Valley Park. They would also like to see politicians come and speak to the kids about their professions as well as other speakers that could offer career guidance. In the future, the group could work with other youth groups in the area for larger undertakings.
In the works is a website that will give information about the program and tally the volunteers “points.” Points will be made for every cleanup the kids attend. After a certain number, the volunteers will receive jackets with the civic's logo, as a way of rewarding them for their hard work. They will also have a section in the Juniper Berry magazine where pictures of their accomplishments will be published as well as allowing them to provide a kid’s perspective of Middle Village.
The JPCA also plans to ask community members and businesses to sponsor the future civic leaders as a way of thanking them for keeping Middle Village a beautiful place to live.
Running the program is JPCA member Bob Doocey. For more information call: (718) 651-5865 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.