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Published On: Tue, Dec 25th, 2007

Founders of Capicu Poetry Give Out Toys To Children At Bushwick United Headstart.

(SofritoWire December 2007)

It was time to make it rain candy canes in Brooklyn!

It was Tuesday, December 19th, 2007. There we were in Bushwick United
Headstart School on Montrose Avenue, which is flanked by the historic
167 year old Most Holy Trinity Church in Williamsburg. Going into this
partnership, we knew that the school itself provides services to many
low-income families from Borinquen Plaza housing projects, which one
easily sees on the street right beyond the school. There was an
element of surprise here for us, as we saw that the children came from
a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. However, when one comes to
think of it, when we look at the diversity of Brooklyn itself, one
would see that the classrooms were a microcosmic representation of the
County of Kings.

Once we walked into the doors, we were greeted by many appreciative
members, some of whom were not only parents but eager volunteers of
Bushwick United who were with us every step of the way. Coordinator
Jessica Arocho (who was dressed as Mrs. Claus) introduced the program
to us with these words:
“We have 3 classrooms, but there are 5 daily class sessions at our
center. One full-day session and four half day sessions, all in all
we have around one hundred children in our care every day that we are
responsible for. We also feed all of these children, there is a
full-scale, fully staffed kitchen on the second floor. What makes our
school stand out is that we prepare our meals using sofrito seasoning,
and the kids love it!”

In the bustling activity of Bushwick United, it was hard to find a
place that would not be disturbed for our Santa to get into gear.
Nonetheless, George “Urban Jibaro” Torres transformed himself into the
childrens hero of the day, Santa Claus! Or, as the adults took to
calling him, “Jibaro Claus”! In his new supercharged North Pole gear,
and along with Mrs. Claus and myself as PaPo The Reindeer in tow,
Santa was ready to help the children burst into radiant smiles,
inspirational laughter, and the giving spirit of the season.

We spent the entire day giving out gifts to these beautiful kids. We
were even joined by a brother of the Phi Iota Alpha latino fraternity,
who put on some Reindeer antlers and helped us give out toys. Jessica
and I would go in first to prepare the children for Santas arrival,
getting them to clap and chant “Santa! Santa! Santa!” to set the
Christmas mood, and our Capicu Santa would walk in and talk to each
child, take pictures, sing songs and even dance with the children. One
of the many highlights of the day took place in one of the older
classes, where the back of the room became a sing-a-long dance floor,
and we even saw Santa Claus doing the “robot dance”!
The warmth with which these kids received us stirred up powerful
emotions. Throughout the day, volunteers, parents, staff…and even
Santa and his helpers would be found with tears of joy in their eyes.

All in all, every single child at the center received a high quality
toy gift and also a DVD movie, as a direct result of the Pa’l Pueblo
Charity event that we held days earlier in the month for this school.
We recognize that the true, genuine heros of this story are the
community workers at the school who work tirelessly to secure a future
for these children and the parents who fight to defeat the odds
stacked against their children. It is because of these real life
everday Santas that we commit to the neighborhood.

This is the beginning of something dynamic, and we welcome you all to
join in our community movement as we look to continue using our
combined resources to make history in Brooklyn.

Felicidades!

PaPo Swiggity

This event was made possible via sponsorships from the following
entities, Notice Lounge, LatiNation, American Latino TV,
SofritoForYourSoul.com, Blaze – A Page Graphics, 5 Star Events, Phi
Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc, Hermandad De Sigma Iota Alpha Sorority Inc,
Exit Studios, Boricuation.com, Aguilar Marerro & Reina Miranda from
Taino Spirit, The United Confederation of Taino People, Raul Rios from
Despierta Boricua, Pathmark, Rachael Strauss (People in Espanol),
FutuVision and all the Capicu supporters.

Founders of Capicu Poetry Give Out Toys To Children At Bushwick United Headstart.