Ser Padres Magazine
Cleaning up: Kevin Klima, Clennel Charles, and Melanie Sawyer assist in the East River State Park cleanup on Saturday,
They did not have enough shovels to pass out to the nearly 100
volunteers who showed up to help clean up the East River State Park on
“There were so many of them and they were so anxious to get
everything done, we had to hold them back,” said Friends of East River
State Park member Jackie Meyer, who led the volunteers. “I didn’t have
enough equipment for everybody, but I tried to make sure there was
something for everybody to do.”
The annual cleanup was a part of a statewide push to use volunteer labor to revitalize the parks.
Longtime residents say they were happy to see how the park has been transformed during the last few year.
“I knew that park when it was completely derelict” said volunteer Melanie Sawyer, who has lived
in the area for 15 years. “Now my sons and I go down there and have fun and enjoy the open space.”Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2511.
PHOTO: Zach Paull
Community Service Leader MS 577 Gives Breezy Point a Hand
by Jeff Mann
The teachers and students of Middle School 577
were at it again last
week. The A rated North 5th Street school expanded upon its already
impressive repertoire of community service activities by raising money
for Sandy victims in Breezy Point at a flea market last Sunday. The
event did so well, in fact, that the seventh and eighth grades even
managed to collect money to help finance their schools trips.
The perfect weather, activities such as bouncy castles and face
painting as well as a DJ and fantastic bargains, gave the flea market a
festive feeling for those who came out to support the school.
This wasn’t the first time the school helped support Breezy Point.
Earlier this year, MS 577
parent Melanie Sawyer
met Theresa Flanigan,
the event coordinator for the Breezy Point Cooperative, while delivering
donated kids’ supplies to a Breezy distribution center. Since then, she
has supported the devastated community, in which more than six months
after the superstorm, fewer than 15% of homes are occupied.
Principal Maria Masullo and her staff
will continue teaching the
students to be socially aware and to maintain a sense of community when
they host another flea market / fundraiser on June 2nd.
Anyone who wants to make a tax free contribution to the Breezy Point
victims, can send checks, payable to Breezy Point Cooperative Disaster
Relief Fund, to c/o Lee & Kane, 2175 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
11234 or online at http://breezypointdisasterrelief.org/
Better Homes interview
Melanie Sawyer interviewed on www.Betterhomes.tv during wrangling on the photoshoot for the cover for American Baby Magazine 2011 competition with photographer Shannon Greer.
Brooklyn Based Kids section,
By Nicole Davis.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only parent who read that New York Magazine piece last year, “The Best Place to Live In NYC,”
and raised an eyebrow when it ranked Greenpoint schools among city’s
best. Who knew this little enclave, much maligned because it abuts a
toxic creek and is serviced by the most ridiculed subway in New York,
was really a great place to raise kids? Melanie Sawyer has been in on the secret for 11 years now, which is
when she moved to Greenpoint so that her sons could attend the
top-ranked P.S. 31. Now, Sawyer, who
works as a baby wrangler on commercial shoots for clients like Toys “R”
Us, is starting a donation-only playgroup today for newborns to
preschoolers at the Greenpoint Reformed Church Hall at 136 Milton St. PLAYTIME! Brooklyn is
held from 11:30-1:30 on Mondays and Fridays, the days that the
Greenpoint library holds playgroup and storytime sessions for babies and
toddlers. (The Friday Toddler Time at the Library is so crowded, you
have to get a number in the morning to reserve a spot later that day–a
good indication that the neighborhood is bursting with babies.) Sawyer
will set out tents, tunnels, kitchen sets, baby mats and other toys that
she’s amassed through her work, and invite the Greenpoint librarians
and others in the neighborhood to help lead the sessions. She plans on
hosting informative talks for parents too, like preparing your child for
The cost is less than the typical $10 fee of any indoor gym–just $5
per child, $8 for families–and that’s just a suggested donation, all of
which goes to the Greenpoint Food Pantry managed by the church. Sawyer
says PLAYTIME! was a reaction to a “plethora of
families”– who have moved recently into the area..creating a safe and fun space for those who can and cannot afford a typical drop-in fee–has been
a long-time dream of hers.
“Children are my passion, and my other passion is helping people. Put the two together and I can make a lot of people happy.”
By Juliet Linderman
NYTimes Sound byte:
"A good wrangler can elicit the kind of reaction that pulls at parents' heartstrings, the editors at Parents magazine said. ''It's delicate work, the gift of a wrangler is to create spontaneous reaction in a child, and that reaction has to be a joyful one, no matter what the circumstances"
excerpts from: NEW YORK TIMES, business page.
Coaxing the Smile That Sells;
Baby Wranglers in Demand in Marketing for Children
By: PATRICIA WINTERS LAURO
A good wrangler can elicit the kind of reaction that pulls at parents' heartstrings, the editors at Parents magazine said. ''It's delicate work, the gift of a wrangler is to create spontaneous reaction in a child, and that reaction has to be a joyful one, no matter what the circumstances are.''