SC Village gives kids ice cream cones
After a two-year hiatus from the coronavirus, the Sea Cliff Youth Activities Council hosted its first major event on June 15 – an ice cream study break for local middle and high school students. It was the first major program organized by the group for approximately 50 years.
The Youth Activities Board was founded in the 1970s to oversee youth events at the Sea Cliff Community Center, which no longer exists. The original organization also went out of business, although a provision to that effect remained in the village charter.
Then, at the start of 2020, local parents breathed new life into the council and began planning a range of activities for the year ahead. But then the coronavirus pandemic began. The organization therefore had to wait until last Wednesday, when, during the study period of middle and high school students, it invited them to Roslyn Park.
Amie Sanborn, a YAB member since 2020, explained that she and her colleagues felt that primary school children had so many activities offered by schools and the village that the council wanted to focus on older students.
“Our target audience is . . . our middle and high school kids,” Sanborn said. and unique social opportunities and diverse community connections for this particular age group.
Another YAB member, Alison Camardella, says it’s especially important to encourage community activities among tweens and teens. As president of the North Shore Coalition Against Substance Abuse, Camardella has emphasized how important it is to provide teens with alternative outlets for fun in a safe environment.
“As President of CASA, my mission is to reduce youth substance use and abuse and support the well-being of our children,” Camardella said. “YAB, to me, feels like a great extension of that, and a way to practically implement that mission in the Sea Cliff community by finding a safe place and spaces for our tweens and teens to come together to get excited for youth activities we can bring.”
The ice cream study break offered free ice cream from the local Mister Softee truck, as well as plenty of games including a corn hole, Frisbee, basketball and outdoor chess. The village covered the cost of the ice cream. The YAB currently has no way to raise funds, as it lacks an associated “friends of” organization, such as the Friends of Sea Cliff Village Library, to help raise funds.
About 150 students took part in the study break. Tannaz Nasirzadeh-Balooch, the village council’s liaison with the YAB, said he was pleased with the turnout.
“For me, it was amazing to see the teenagers come out, and they came out in groups and in herds,” Nasirzadeh-Balooch said. “It was amazing to see over 130 kids come out, and that’s exactly what this board is about.”
The YAB also handed out questionnaires at the event, asking students what other types of events they would like to see the board hold. Some of the suggestions included karaoke night, movie nights, poetry slams, open mic nights and game nights.
Sanborn said the YAB will do its best to meet their needs. She also noted that the council would rely on youth advisers at different levels to act as liaisons. “One of the great things about this council is that we’re going to have these young councilors,” she said. “We really hope they can educate and guide us on what kind of events their friends will enjoy.”