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After School with Livable Streets Education

This spring, Livable Streets Education worked with teacher Tim Devaney at De La Salle Academy in Manhattan to bring real world issues into the classroom and the classroom out into the real world.  This afterschool program allowed students to explore, observe and interact with the streets and public space around their school, and provided first hand lessons in science, sustainability, civics and language arts.  Get in touch to bring Livable Streets Education to your school, public event or other great venue for livable streets learning.

[music]
Interviewer 1: [0:19] How do you feel when you encounter a speeding car?
Speaker: [0:22] Kind of angry about it and think they're doing something dangerous and wish there was a police car around to stop them.
Speaker: [0:28] I'm a bit cautious because the traffic here is quite dangerous compared to where I live. So I have to be very careful and stick to the road safety rules all the time.
Interviewer 1: [0:37] Do you feel like it needs to change?
Speaker: [0:39] Yeah because I feel that even when the light's are... [static]
Speaker: [0:44] ...for 20 minutes... [static]
Interviewer 1: [0:52] Who do you think has the most priority on the street? Do you think it's the bicyclists, the drivers, or the pedestrians?
Speaker: [0:58] The pedestrians because they're the most vulnerable.
Speaker: [1:01] Obviously somebody with a car has to be the most concerned because they can do the most damage.
Interviewer 1: [1:05] Do you know how many dwarfs are there in Snow White?
Speaker: [1:09] Dwarfs? Seven, right? [cheering]
Interviewer 1: [1:12] Do you know what the speed limit is in your city?
Speaker: [1:15] In my city? Doesn't New York City...? 35? [buzzer]
Interviewer 1: [1:21] Close, it's actually 30 miles per hour. [music]
Interviewer 1: [1:31] As a bicyclist, how do you feel when you encounter a speeding car?
Speaker 1: [1:35] I feel unsafe around speeding cars, that's why I do try to stick to the greenway on the other side of Riverside Park. So I try to avoid as many speeding cars as I can.
Interviewer 1: [1:46] How do you feel when you encounter a speeding car?
Child Speaker 1: [1:50] I feel kind of scared because sometimes they lose control and an accident might happen.
Interviewer 1: [1:55] Talking to people, it's actually surprising that people would talk to us. It was actually informative because we actually got the real people's ideas and feelings on how the safety is on the streets instead of just looking at information on the websites.
Interviewer 2 and 3: [2:13] Actually, learning from this experience, it opened my eyes to see how dangerous the street can be and how people think about the streets nowadays. Some of them think they're dangerous. Some of them get scared when they experience a speeding car hurling towards them. Some people think that the streets could improve in some ways. Slow down! We encourage you, please abide by the safety rules. It's your life, OK? [2:44] So we took pictures... We went around taking pictures of different spots where trash was most noticeable and seeing how we can find a solution for that. Like if we need more trashcans around the corners or if we need to plant more trees. So we made some posters delineating the fact that we need to pay attention to the nature here. We need to make New York City a better place by making it greener, picking up the trash, making it more beautiful.

[3:11] The more trees there are, the more oxygen we'll have and less pollution we'll have in the air.

[3:17] What I really hope the outcome of this project will be is to get more people aware and to get more people involved in community service. Let's take care of the little nature we have in New York City. A little trash goes a long way, so can it!

[3:34] We take care of our own looks, but let's take care of how our city looks. Trash is no laughing matter. So can it!

Student: [3:40] Over the past couple of weeks we've been collecting data and learning about how the air quality effects children. So that also leads to asthma and they also may be affected by car idling and the exhaust that the cars give off goes into our air and that's what we're breathing. 25% of children have asthma. [4:00] Here we have our particulate boards. It's basically an index card with petroleum jelly on it. We're going to leave it here overnight, and basically it will collect any dust particles in the air so then we can see what's in the air and what's really going into our lungs.
Student: [4:15] I personally have asthma and I really thought there was nothing to help me really. Doing this project, I learned that it can be helped and people can make a difference.
Student: [4:25] If you're waiting for your child outside of school for 20 minutes, turn off your car. Don't just leave it there. Instead of using one person in a car, you can use a bus or ride the bike or even walk or take a train. Especially living in such a busy place as New York City, there's other forms of transportation you can use. You don't only have to use the car.


Transcription by CastingWords

Robin Urban Smith is a multimedia storyteller who prefers to go by bike.

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  • Urbaknight

    This is a great way for kids to learn about their city outside of the classroom. It would be great if this lesson could be spread to all of NYC's public schools. I suggest takign this lesson to my former h.s., the High School for Environmental Studies in mid-town.

  • http://msftandthefuture.spaces.live.com/ Quikboy

    Nice video. Too bad such solutions wouldn't work in suburban NW Harris County (outside of Houston, TX) where it's all roads, and no bike lanes, sidewalks, or public transit. Just drive and drive and litter.

  • Alison

    Loved your films with the NYC kids at La Salle. Very exciting projects. Assume you work with Safe Routes to Schools, too. You should see if you can get some funding from their grants.

  • kassandra

    heyyyy uu guys rocked.... i know all three of the kidss ...lolss .. um yeaaa iris and micheal and jay .. well jay is in my math lab class ... but thats getting off topic ..lml ... well de la salle rockss

    love -kasiie