As local schools come to a close for the 2016-2017 school year our programs, Clark Creative Minds (CCM) and Maturing Champions in Treme′ thru Extended Learning (MCTEL) are also drawing to a close. This month, CCM students have started to turn their ideas into tangible products which includes hand painted art pieces, tie-dye clothing, desserts served in Mason jars, and screen printed t-shirts. All of the ventures are solely youth led with them designing and producing their own products while consulting professionals in their area of interest. Some participants will sell their products at the upcoming MCTEL Culminating Activity and Purposeful Block Party which will serve as an opportunity for them to have a trial run of their products and their customer service skills. Of the seven participants, three of them are graduating seniors who will continue to work on the ventures after graduation and all of the students are preparing to vend their products at the Treme′ 7th Ward Festival (T7 Fest).
MCTEL students are also ending their spring semester strong through exposure to local landmarks and events in our neighborhood on fieldtrips. On April 20th, we brought a small group of MCTEL students to Jazz in the Park, a free festival that is held in Armstrong Park located minutes from our site. While at the park, the students made keychains, listened to local musicians perform, and observed local vendors selling products. We also brought participants to City Park on April 28th which included a street car ride to the park and a light lunch donated by a local restaurant, Parkway Bakery & Tavern. After students ate their light lunch, they engaged in physical activities on the nearby playsets. In a couple weeks, MCTEL will conclude its fourth year of programming with a purposeful block party on site that will include a mini STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) festival and other enriching activities for them, their families, and the Bienville Basin community.