Hicksville Boys & Girls Club

"We incorporated all of the different projects people are working on and put them into one picture."

15-year-old Zainab Ansari and 11-year-old Berlyn Tirbaniesingh from Hicksville Boys & Girls Club in New York led the effort to draw the winning design for the 16th annual Lights On Afterschool poster contest. Blake Blakewell (11), Jasmin Campos (15), Jonathan Campos (12), Tyler Delgado (14), Danny Joyce (12), Sean Joyce (14), Ryan Khan (12), Raghav Khurrana (15), Ryan Kingdon (14), Samantha Melish (15), Andres Rivera (16), Cassandra Russo (17), Christopher Russo (13), Kimberly Russo (11), Andrew Scarpaci (14), Jordan Schroeder (13), Brianna Squilace (12), and Kobe Thomas (13) also helped create the poster—a true team effort!

Their artwork was chosen from thousands of entries submitted by afterschool students from around the country. Their design will be displayed at Lights On Afterschool events from coast to coast, and their program will receive a supply of syrups courtesy of Torani.

Zainab and Berlyn both love art. Zainab has been honing her skills with drawing and painting classes since middle school, while Berlyn got a very early start. "In first grade, I won an art contest to tell people about safety when you're crossing the street," she shared. They're both new to the Hicksville Boys & Girls Club-both joined earlier this summer—but they've jumped right into the creative outlets available at the Club.

Zainab and Berlyn love that there are lots of different activities and projects that let them express their creativity, like designing animals crafted from beads and string, or helping paint a mural of what they do at the Club to show off their talents (and their program!) to the local community. With Wise Guys STEM projects, they get to blend their artistic talents with science, technology, engineering and math to create cool things like rockets and kaleidoscopes—which has helped inspire Zainab to think about pursuing a STEM career. And when they're not exercising their creativity, they also love getting active with sports like basketball and soccer.

All of these different activities at the Club influenced their winning artwork. "We incorporated all of the different projects people are working on and put them into one picture," Zainab explained. The team of artists decided to bring those different activities together with a pattern full of color like the kaleidoscopes they built earlier in the summer, and their creativity and hard work paid off.

"We were happy when we found out we won! We weren't sure if we were actually going to win," Zainab said. "Because the poster is for millions of people," Berlyn added. They're happy that their work paid off and excited for people to see their design at Lights On Afterschool events around the world!

America's Afterschool Storybook tells the stories of people and communities transformed by afterschool programs.

The Afterschool Alliance launched the Storybook to help commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the only federal initiative dedicated to supporting community afterschool programs.

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For more information, email info@afterschoolalliance.org

Press Contact:

Gretchen Wright