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Our arts-based rites of passage after school program, currently located at The Crispus Attucks School CS21 and focused on working with fourth and fifth grade girls, started five years ago as a one hour per week arts focused school day program, working with a fourth grade girls class. It has now expanded into a two-day, four hours per week after school for both fourth and fifth grade girls. We are honored to be at CS21, a public school of historical significance to the Bedford-Stuyvesant community, as Adelaide L. Sandford, the first African-American female member of the State Board of Regents, was principal of the school where she set a standard for excellence and achievement which continues today. Our program at CS21 connects us to the families of the neighborhood as often the children attending the school come to our summer program and other activities, helping us establish Bailey’s as a tradition within the community.

The curriculum for the program aligns with four themes that emerged from a number of community engagement activities with veterans and long-time community members: Holding Your Own; Being of Service, Warriorism and Returning Home, which have been adapted to our overarching goals of building sisterhood, leadership and character. The activities are arts-based, specifically dancing, singing, visual arts and creative writing. Working with local senior centers, we organize opportunities for the girls to perform and celebrate our elder community. “In My History,” a tribute to the elders in our lives who don’t receive much recognition was co-written by girls in the program and our lead teacher, Marienne Thomas and was officially recorded in winter 2018.

Audio clip from the current homepage: https://baileyscafe.org/
“In My History”
Performed in celebration of black history by the Fourth & Fifth Grade Girls in Bailey’s Arts-Based Rites of Passage Program at the Crispus Attucks School, Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn
Lyrics and Musical Director, Marienne Thomas/Music, Darin Whittington