Eczema and End of the Year!

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The above photos are from the 2014.11.15 End of the Year walk

It’s been a long journey—362 miles walked by our adult participants, to be specific! Throw in the miles walked by all the kids and we’re easily over 800!

We capped the 2014 inaugural season with a grab bag of topics we’d been wanting to get to. A sunny day took the edge off the 40˙ weather and we have a lot of volunteers to thank for putting the walk together.

We started with teaching the families about eczema, as requested on our needs assessment survey. Vica Shakhin and Lily Grossman admirably talked about things that trigger eczema symptoms, how to treat it at home and when to seek medical attention.

Before we got too chilly, we hit the road. Our destination: Harlem RBI. We navigated the maze of scaffolding around PS 50 to find the warmth inside Harlem RBI’s main space at 101st Street. Johnny Rivera, Director of Community and Government Affairs, welcomed us as we made ourselves comfortable around the long table. Angel and Mike joined us to explain all the various athletic and youth development programs they offer and our families had the opportunity to fill out applications for their 2015 season.

Learn more about the great programming here.

Back outside, we hugged the sunny side of the street on our way up 1st Avenue to our home-away-from-home at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service, where we gathered in the lobby to take care of some business. We reviewed the eczema health education material, parents filled out the post-walk quizes, we passed around our usual apples and bananas (and collected the cores and peels for composting), AND… we engaged in some activism!

As mentioned in our Climate and Community Walk, there’s a lot of garbage truck traffic that rumbles up 1st and 3rd Avenues through East Harlem on the way to transfer stations in the Bronx. A lot of that waste is plastic bags. One little plastic bag is hardly worth thinking about. How about 5.2 billion plastic bags? That’s about 650 plastic bags per person per year in NYC! That’s 1700 tons of waste per week! (See the complete fact sheet here.)

There’s a proposal in the City Council to charge 10 cents for every plastic bag used at grocery stores. (This would not apply to customers using SNAP, aka food stamp, benefits.) Instead, customers would be encouraged to use their own reusable bags—like the Cada Paso tote bags our participants have!

Cappy led by example in calling City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s office to express support for Introduction 209. And one of our intrepid children followed suit with the next call! (See photo album.) Many of the parents signed the petition that we will drop off at Speaker Mark-Viverito’s office before the introduction comes to a vote. To express your voice, call the Speaker’s East Harlem office at 212-828-9800.

We were joined by Sister Susanne Lachapelle to conclude the first of what we hope will be many seasons of Cada Paso!



Adults: 16
Children: 25
Total: 41

Miles: 1.6
Calories: about 300*
Time: about 2.5 hours

Co-leaders: Genna Ableman, Amanada Agyemang, Laura Brown, Jenny Chase, Cappy Collins, Lily Grossman, Akilah King, Peggy Rafferty, Naeemah Ruffin, Tessa Scripps, Vica Shakhin, Kristina Shenk

Special thanks to Damiris Abu, Jorge Ayora, Sarah Downs, Carlos Romero, Inessa Lopez, Ray Lopez and Jessica Montana for their help contacting our families and translating our content this week!


View 2014.10.18 First Aid (Part 2) in a larger map


Pediatric Communitologist

Posted in 2014 Walks

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