LitWorld's treasured partner, Broadway Housing Communities, is featured today in the New York Times in a beautiful, spot-on piece by Charles Blow. We highly recommend that you check out this article on an incredibly inspiring New York City force of good.
"Around the corner came a little golden ball of sunshine named Madison, dressed head to toe in pink, hair arranged in Afro puffs, one wrist covered in turquoise beaded bracelets, arms opened wide. She wrapped those arms around a teacher's legs, hugged them close and looked up with the kind of smile that sets the world right.
Madison is 4 years old. She is happy and thriving. This is her second year of Head Start in the basement of a building that houses the poor and homeless in one of Manhattan's poorest neighborhoods.
I met Madison and 50 other little rays of hope at the Dorothy Day Apartments on Riverside Drive in West Harlem. The building is the sixth in the neighborhood run by Broadway Housing Communities, and the first to include a day care center serving both the building and the community. This former drug den is not only beautiful, but it also pulses with pride and hope and happiness.
It's just what I needed to see. Writing about children and the poor and the vulnerable these days, there aren't very many bright spots — but this is one.
The children are bathed by natural light that floods into the basement through skylights. The floors are covered by beautiful green ceramic tile made to look like slate. The walls are painted a sunrise yellow, lined with thick wooden moldings and covered with well-framed pieces of art — some by the children, some donated. The courtyard, which had been filled with six feet of garbage, is covered with mats and used as an area where wee little legs that barely have kneecaps can be folded into funky shapes for daily yoga."