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A Message from Director of Sports and Wellness: Giving Back to Brooklyn

Jan 26, 2018

The Sports and Wellness Department runs an annual Elementary School floor hockey tournament on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This event, like most sports events, showcases our diverse group of students coming together for one common goal: to have fun!  There was once a time where children from different neighborhoods and ethnicities could not do something as simple as that; where floor hockey was a focus of the day and giving back to the Brooklyn community truly stole the show.

At the event, each child took a moment to learn about what a food pantry was and the importance of eating healthy, no matter your circumstance. Everyone had a chance to design brown paper bags and fill them with healthy snacks that would later be donated to a food pantry in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. The bags included an apple, 100% juice box, granola bar and pretzels! But what made the bags special is the handwritten notes that each child wrote and put in the snack bags.

Here are a few samples:

250 bags were made. This means 250 people not only had healthy snacks, but also felt the love from one of our students. The bags were donated to Urban Strategies Inc, a Food Pantry in Brooklyn. They were so pleased to accept the donation. They shared that the messages made some of the Food Pantry clients emotional.

As you can see, compassion is something we are born with and it’s clear our children are filled with it. I aspire to be more like our SASF children – the future leaders of the world.

“ Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts”

—Martin Luther King Jr.


The Year of the Innovator: Art Day

Art + Technology + Leadership – Boundaries = Innovation. Art + Technology + Leadership – Boundaries = Innovation. This was the winning formula for another inspiring Art Day.

Art Day is part of the SASF Art Department’s educational series designed to build self-confidence and empowerment. Throughout the day, students from about 40 schools learned that art has the power to transform perceptions of identity and reality. This is an opportunity to use artistic expression to explore difficult social situations and work collaboratively to find solutions.

This year, the theme was “innovator in you.” The inspiring day combined STEAM with an educational, hands-on arts experience. The day concluded with a culminating event featuring fashion garments, music, dance, theater and spoken word.

With the help of professional teaching artists from all over the New York metropolitan area, Art Day was another successful occasion where over 200 students explored, created and found the innovator in themselves.

Check out some of the highlights! Credit: Ben Ko Photography

​Ready for #SASFspells?

Each elementary school grade will have the opportunity to compete in their own Spelling Bee. The day will also consist of storytelling and literacy activities for both students and families as well as an interactive game show hosted by Hollyrock Entertainment.

Staff Spotlight: Meet Sean Wynter

Meet 354K’s Program Director Sean Wynter.  For over a decade, Sean has worked for SASF and shares his moments of inspirations from his students and staff members. Read more in our latest interview.

Tell us how you first got involved in with SASF! How long have you been with SASF? 354K?

September 2017 will mark my 11th year with SASF. My very first introduction to SASF was at MS 352K. At that time, the school was in great need of an afterschool program. Fortunately, United Way would fund this program. I started as a counselor working in the sports department. The Assistant Director at the time took me under her wing and helped a young shy kid like me to develop my leadership skills while also giving me the tools needed to develop the confidence in myself. As a result of this, I would later become one of the staff members who played a very active role in program management.

When it comes to your site, what are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the growth of each of our students at the site. The students that walk through the doors on the first day of program to the last day in June leave completely filled with new experiences and memories that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. As a team, we have all (students, parents, school administration and staff) worked very hard to make the program the best it could possibly be for the students. Our goal is to provide the best possible service to each of the students by any means necessary.

Tell me about someone who has inspired you at SASF.

There are many individuals who inspired me along the way but I have always had a special place in my heart for my “line” staff who work day in and day out, always giving 110% effort at all times, with very little reward. They show up everyday and make it their goal to ensure each student leaves with a new experience or had a great time.

How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?

I am very religious and try my best to take life one moment at a time. I read somewhere that we should not worry about problems and should only worry about solutions. That has helped me to stay as balanced as possible…and when all else fails, a game of pick-up basketball on a Friday with my 8th grade boys is always fun.

What do you think is the most important quality you need to have for success?

Self-reliance, patience and willpower.