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Kids learn yoga, gardening at STEM summer program

Pronto Long Island offers at-risk youth an avenue of expression during the summer

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BAY SHORE — At-risk kids in Bay Shore are looking forward to using skills they learned this summer during the school year as they finish their final day at a Pronto Long Island STEM program.

In the last several weeks, the children got to learn about computers, exercise, as well as growing their own food.

"People need to learn that without plants, there'd be no food. And without natural stuff, there would be no you," said Isaac Hernandez of Brentwood.

More than 30 students, ages 10 to 14, learned skills that they hope to use moving forward in their lives. According to the director of the program, Patrick Bennett, the students were also involved in anti-gang and gun violence programming. But he says the educational aspects of teaching them how to garden or do yoga really helped them come out of their shells and express themselves better.

"There's so many issues and things that we don't give the kids enough credit for being knowledgeable or being aware of. And in activities like that, they got to voice it and share it," Bennett said.

During the end of program ceremony, the students were awarded new backpacks and certificates of completion. They also took home potted plants and produce.

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