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Friday, August 2, 2013

HCZ Summer Games 2013

By Ryan Ngala

[New York] Let The Games Begin!!!, Today was a gorgeous and sunny day when the Harlem Children’s Zone hosted the Summer Games located at 216 Fort Washington Avenue and West 168th street, this event took place on Friday July the twenty sixth of twentieth thirteen.

Some HCZ staff and students arrived on a school bus, while others walked; all of them went upstairs to the third floor to be seated as the HCZ Summer Games were about to start at 10:00am and ending at 4:00pm on the dot. Many of the main events were shown on a large projector screen including the fifty-five meter dash, the shot put, the two-hundred meter dash, the 4x200 meter relay, and the long jump.

The 55 meter dash was for eleven - fifteen year olds who ran so fast at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory; the crowd gave the runners a round of applause. The shot put contest was for the CSO site group and 19 year olds who Threw the heavy ball and had to spin themselves around in circles just to see how to throw it so far and so high. When The shot put athletes were finished it was on to the next event, which was the 200 meter dash for 13 - 15 year old students; and they were running so fast around the track which was splendid indeed. Next it was the long jump for the 11 - 14 and 16 - 18 year old students who ran and jumped as far as possible in the sand. The audience watched it all, and all the while many refreshments were served to each HCZ site, including Learn To Earn, Truce Media, Truce Fitness, Employment and Technology Center, College Success Office, A Cut Above and Promise Academy One.

After all that, the HCZ students and staff from each site group stood for the national anthem, then on to the next event which was the 55 meter dash for the fastest staff member, both men and women.Each runner had to race at his or her own pace to see who could reach the finish line, Each and every last runner had a turn to compete.

Finally comes the best events of the Games: the 11-12, 13-15, & 16-18 year olds competed in the 4x200 meter relay; four students from each site group ran in this event at his or her own pace, From what I saw, the students who won the 4x200 meter relay ran the fastest of all. Just to see who reached the finish line, the winners who earned the Bronze, Gold and Silver medal, were from A Cut Above, Truce Fitness and Promise Academy One.

    
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Harlem HIV / AIDS Faith Walk 2013: The End To Stop The Disease

By Ryan Ngala
 
[Harlem, New York] – What a gorgeous sunny day it was in the heart of the Harlem community many people gathered at the Fred Samuel playground located on 140th Street at Malcolm X Boulevard. I saw many of them wearing tee-shirts, both in black and white, that read “Faith Walk Twenty Thirteen: Promoting Awareness in communities of color,” both in black and white as they registered online at EventBrite.com; their names were added to the list as they signed in.
 
People were representing their churches and organizations in the neighborhood including Abyssinian Baptist Church, Abyssinian Development Corporation, African-American Muslim Commission On HIV / AIDS, Bethany Baptist Church, Canaan Baptist Church of Christ, Church of the Intercession, Coalition On Positive Health Empowerment [Cope Health], Community Health and Awareness Ministry, Inc., Convent Avenue Baptist Church, East Ward Missionary Baptist Church, First AME Bethel Church, First Corinthian Baptist Church, FOY HIV / AIDS Ministry [Mt. Calvary Baptist Church], Iris House – A Center For Women Living With HIV / AIDS, Inc., Love Alive International Foundation, Inc., Masjid Sabur Worship, Educational and Referral, New Mount Zion Baptist Church, New Hope Community Church, New Testament Baptist Church, Paradise Baptist Church, Rivers of Living Faith Ministries, St. John’s Baptist Church, and St. Luke’s AME Church and Survivors Fountain of Hope Wellness Initiative.
 
When they were about to leave the park, many people were holding up their banners and signs with slogans such as, “Get Yourself Tested”, “Engage, Educate, Prevent” and “Twenty Thirteen Harlem HIV / AIDS Faith Walk.” The marchers also got wristbands with the words, “Know Your Status.” This march was a major event being sponsored by The Harlem Hospital Center, NYC Council Faith Based Initiative, The National Black Leadership Commission Aids, Inc., and many more.
 
When the march began the participants walked throughout the streets chanting “HIV, Get Tested!!!” and “Wake Up Harlem.” They also sang a couple of gospel songs along the way.  I joined the marchers as they started to walk towards 125th Street to go to the Harlem State Office Building where the health fair was being held. We walked the red carpet to where there was a worship service with special guest speaker Bill Thompson sending a strong message that the disease of HIV / AIDS must come to an end!  He raised awareness about young people in our communities getting the disease and not even knowing, If they are positive.
 
There are so many ways to get the disease: sexual contact, drug use, occupational contact with the virus. It is so important that young people should: Get Educated, Get Tested, and Get Involved.  Many people decided to go to HIV Testing and get started with their National HIV Testing Day Health and Resource Fair Passport 2013, which they carried with them to each table to have to get the names and signatures of people who want more information on Diabetes, Hepatitis C, as well as information about the FDNY Application and Iris House. Those who were able to collect a total up to twelve signatures or more received a special gift. Refreshments including hot dogs, ice cream and bottled water were provided.
 
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