NYC Middle Schoolers Literally Put Issues on the Table

by Kelsey Schappell
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kids display lunch table art

Kelsey Schappell, WFUV

Artsy cafeteria tables showcase strong messages.

Middle schoolers from all 5 of New York City's boroughs literally brought issues to the table Thursday in Union Square Park.

They unveiled cafeteria tables they decorated to display their thoughts on controversial topics, like bullying and gun violence.

It's part of the public arts program from a community organization known as LeAp, which stands for Learning through an Expanded Arts Program. Director of the public art program Alexandra Leff says it's a great way for students to get their voices heard.

"Kids are part of our communities and experience all of the same things we do, so I felt like this program really gives them that voice, to express themsleves in a constructive and creative way."

LeAp paired up with middle schools from each borough to help students decorate the tables with meaningful messages,addressing topics ranging from teen pregnancy to gun violence.
 
Students from the International School for Liberal Arts in the Bronx used their table to speak out against bullying. They even wrote a rap to go with it.

"You can be small, you can be big.
Please don't bully, it's not gettin' cooly
You are not gonna get education and go to school
If you bully, you're a fool."

The 10 tables - 2 from each borough - will be shown off at parks near each school, including Central Park. They'll be there from June to August, and then go back to school with the kids.
 

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