I was a teacher at Lyons Community School and I can't imagine where the school would be without the Urban Workshop program. Dan and Jonas provide a uniquely hands on learning experience to some of our school's toughest students. They create many opportunities for these students to be successful in ways that don't happen in a traditional classroom setting. This is a program that genuinely changes lives.
Urban Workshop is an amazing organization. It is such an inspiration to see gazebos and arbors throughout the community gardens of Brooklyn, built by high school students using rulers, pencils, hand tools, and their own labor. I've had the good fortune to have worked alongside the Urban Workshop crew, and I left feeling amazed at the power of what young people can do when their energy and effort is harnessed in a positive direction. The work of Urban Workshop really reaches young people, and gives them the skills and opportunities to succeed in the real world. Sometimes the most powerful learning happens outside the classroom walls, and Urban Workshop is an incredible example of what is possible when dedicated, creative educators think outside the box.
Dan and Jonas do remarkable work. There is no other way to describe it. Urban Workshop NYC provides young people with ways of learning a multitude of things; academic, social emotional and skills, that translate into live skills and lessons. They are always working to figure out how to best support our young people, our community and the communities they are working in. You couldn't ask for a more vibrant, reflective and real program.
Taeko Onishi, principal, Lyons Community School
These guys work with the most difficult students in the school. On any given day they have everything from 6th graders to HS seniors and teach them math, carpentry and most importantly how to be a human and interact with the world in a positive way.
Have seen this program take challenging students that have absolutely no interest/ confidence in school, and work wonders for them both personally and academically.
An extraordinary program that weathers all storms and in the end produces remarkable social and emotional gains in addition to fostering the development of craftspeople with practical skills and a genuine enthusiasm for the work.
I teach at Lyons Community School and I have seen first hand the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that this program instills. The kids get to work with their hands (and their minds!) in the fresh air while they build interpersonal skills, math skills and being-in-a-team skills. The program also allows our students to contribute to their communities and see, with their own eyes (and by their own hands), something be build from the ground-up. There is real learning and character building happening here.
I am a teacher at Lyons and have seen the program transform the lives of so many students I taught. It has helped them recognize their strengths and to learn from their weaknesses, it built a community amongst students who needed one, it gave them an opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment by giving back...Shout Outs to Urban
Urban Workshop has provided students with a chance to be able to get out of the traditional classroom environment and have experiential learning opportunities. I have seen firsthand how students who may have struggled in core classes gain a new approach to math and writing, and their work is beautiful too!
Urban Workshop has had an incredible impact on the students at Lyons Community School. Students who have typically found school to be a difficult environment in which to find success have had transformative experiences through being part of Urban Workshop. Through building projects for community spaces, the students at Lyons are not only improving their own experience with school, they are improving the community as well.
It was the month of April 2014, two gentlemen came to the Union Street Garden and Community Development. Mr. Dan Morgenroth, and Jonas Shantz.
They let me know that Ms. Ena from the Tranquil Garden had recommended our garden to have a beautiful gazebo built, like the one that they had built for her garden.
This project was being funded by the Urban Workshop - nyc-inc, which deserves appreciation in abundance.
They not only made it possible to enhance the beauty of our garden,we now have more community involvement.
Going above and beyond this, it was youths that built this gazebo under the tutelage of Dan and Jonas. These young adults now have a skill for the rest of their lives.
Hopefully this program can continue for both the communities, and the young adult workers, it is truly a blessing.
Gloria Briggs - manager of garden
I'm a Community Garden Leader in Central Brooklyn, who have for the last four years been the beneficiary of Urban Workshop Students expertise. All of our Garden furniture and infrastructure items in our three Gardens have been built by Urban Workshop Students, under the guidance of Dan Morgenroth, and Jonas Schantz. The level of professional work turned out by these students are unparalleled, and empowering. We hope they get the support that will allow for growth of this organization.
I have seen time and time again how this program has the ability to entirely transform how a student feels about school and the possibilities that exist for him/her. Students who are not traditionally successful in classrooms often thrive in this alternative environment, giving them another way to feel and become gifted in their community. We owe so much to Urban Workshop, and the truly transformative effect it has had on so many young people.
I have seen students start to care about school when they didn't before. I have seen students come to school when they didn't before. I have seen students be successful in school when they weren't before. All of these things are because of Urban Workshop. It is an incredible and unique program that should be replicated as often and as widely as possible.
As a volunteer in urban workshop I can happily say it was a great experience to be apart. I learned many new things that can possibly benefit me years from now. The founders of urban workshop Dan, Caroline and Jonas are great people to work with and are always willing to give you their time if you need help. I had a great experience with urban workshop that I will always remember.
Hey, just stopping by to give alot of thanks to Dan and everyone else that has helpped me in lyons community school , and also helped me chang my bad wanna be thug life in ny. I was one of thoses students at lyons community school , that didnt care abouts my education and i just got either drunk or high mostly daily , got to school and left early , cut alots and etc.. but thanks to everyone at the school that belived in me and gave me the help to stay in school. I was also thinking dropping out of school and continue my old ways. i also apreshete urban work shop for all there help , makeing it easy,and fun for me that led me majoring in carpentry. i now have learnd how to build a house from the bottom up. From foundation to brick layin to florring to buildding walls to electrical and plumming , to reading bluprints to building rathers n vynal sidding ,paintting ,putting chingals , sheetrock , to building a bathroom , molding , building decks and porches , stair stringers , compound, building cabnets . laying hardwood floor ,from laying them ,sandding them , paintting then sandding again n paintting ...etc ...to everything there is to know . in buildding a house thanks to everyones helpped ivd build a house on my own. ivd also ended up compeatting state ..won the compatition in the county and went to state repersentting the hole county ..Thanks ... guess wat else got in to machanic work too ... also in to painttin cars ...but enuff of me just giveing everyone that has helpped me in life a thanks ...
I am extremely impressed with the way math is integrated into real life projects that actually engage the youth that are lucky enough to participate. Dan Morgenroth, along with his leadership team, has created something very special.
I am a techie who would almost trade my solely academic education for the experience of working in an environment such that Urban Workshop offers, working with a diverse group of peers joined by unified goals. There is immeasurable worth in (warning, superlatives ahead) hard work, commitment, team spirit, pride in work well done, visible results, dedication, human connection, community spirit, practical experience, purpose, satisfaction, preparedness for life. Kudos to Urban Workshop for fulfilling all of these!
My name is Jesus Samboy and I am student at Lyons Community School and I am also involed UrbanWorkshop. I have been in in UrbanWork shop for the whole year now and i can pretty much say that it is worth the time and sweat. The feeling that is gain from helping someone else is awesome and the smiles on the people face are more than enough to keep me strong for the next task we have. Also there's a bond that is form in the group. In time it becomes more that just teachers and classmates, but a family is born and that's nice having a good family that you get along with. UbranWorkshop is the best thing that ever happened to me in high school
Urban Workshop worked with our community gardeners to design and build a beautiful shade structure for the garden that also collects rainwater. What they built has made a huge improvement in the garden but the best thing about the project was the great spirit they all brought. Teachers and students were creative, energetic, and focused on learning, doing, and giving to others.
I have been very impressed at the evolution of Urban Workshop, from its conceptualization years ago to the work that they are currently doing. I feel that they money I have donated has been very well spent, paying for essential supplies that are needed to do the urban gardening and construction projects. Also, I have received wonderful correspondences from the children involved in this program, in addition to pictures of the work that they have done.
I am a donor, but have also seen the students working in the field building structures in community gardens. These are children who are at risk in the classroom, but become totally involved in designing and building things in the field, and demonstrating terrific teamwork. Their commitment to the work is wonderful, as is their sense of pride in the finished product. I have received letters from the students thanking me for my contributions, and telling me that this is as hard as they have worked in their lives and how much they have learned from their involvement in the projects, both in the actual work as well as the planning and writing that they do.