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Cultural Center / Saturday Program
3510 Church Avenue . Brooklyn . NY 11203
Phone: 718-693-0500 | Fax: 718-693-2007
Email Address:

Winthrop Beacon
905 Winthrop Street . Brooklyn . NY 11203
Phone: 718-221-8880 | Fax: 718-693-2007 
Email Address:

Sesame Flyers International
Center Of Family Support

1060 Clarkson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11212
Phone: 718-221-8881 | Fax: 718-693-2007 
Email Address:

Bildersee Beacon
956 East 82nd Street . Brooklyn . NY 11203
Phone: 718-241-3847 | Fax: 718-693-2007 
Email Address:

Clarkson Compass
1060 Clarkson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11212
Phone: 718-693-0500 | Fax: 718-693-2007
Email Address:

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Newsletter Issue #74
APRIL 2023



Executive Director's Message

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Sesame Flyers International is celebrating its 40th anniversary! For four decades, we have been at the forefront of community service, inspired by the visionary spirit of our late founder, Mr. Joseph Charles. His mission to create a safe haven for children and showcase the vibrant and rich culture of the Caribbean lives on, and we couldn't be more proud of this legacy. In this edition of our newsletter, we highlight our unwavering passion for fostering the talents, self-esteem, and expression of our youth and I invite you to join us as we reminisce about the last four decades and explore the many destinations we have reached together. Each milestone is a testament to our collective efforts in shaping the destiny of our community and the lives of our exceptional young people.

I am cordially inviting you to attend our annual Caribbean Essence Awards and Showcase, where we will honor community leaders and award scholarships to outstanding young individuals. This year's celebration will be extra special as we commemorate our 40th anniversary. Your presence at this milestone event will not only pay tribute to our past achievements but also help us forge new paths and shape the destinies of our future generations.

As Executive Director, I am deeply grateful for your ongoing support and dedication. Our journey would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our staff, volunteers, and the entire community. Let us continue to work together, hand in hand, to create an even brighter future for our youth and community at large.


Happy Birthday Sesame - 40 Years In Retrospect

We are now 40 years old, and still going strong. It has indeed been an absolute honor and privilege to serve this community and the surrounding diaspora for this length of time. Sesame Flyers International, Inc. was founded by Mr. Joseph Charles (deceased), in 1983. Together with other immigrant families, friends, and their children, the goal of the group was to provide a safe environment for the children, while at the same time exposing them to the culture of Trinidad and Tobago.

The organization first became known for its dedication to children. The proceeds from their many fundraisers included parties (fêtes), boat rides, and food sales. Curry Q, BBQ, and Labor Day activities were used to enhance programs for the children within the community. The kids were also introduced to playing “mas” on Labor Day Saturday. It started as a tee shirt and children’s band and eventually the older kids, along with the adults, made simple costumes.

We also started a Saturday program for the children. In the mornings, the focus was on academics, Math, and Reading. The afternoons were devoted to cultural activities, which included steelpan, dance, and even sewing classes. The children called all the adults aunts and uncles, thus encouraging a family-type atmosphere. Some of the tutors were registered educators, who were familiar with the Department of Education’s curriculum.

Over the years, the organization has evolved. We now host many Beacon programs, catering to both adults and children. Our adult Labor Day band has won Band of the Year for many years in succession. Even during the “COVID Pandemic” when everything and everyone was on “shut down,” the organization found a way to continue providing structure for the children. Programs were “zoomed” for the kids as an extra effort was made to provide extra activities to both adults and children.

Forty years have gone by pretty fast. Thanks must be given to the dedicated members and the hardworking staff. Many kudos also go to the organization's leaders who are focused on keeping our mission alive. Our Chairman and the entire Board of Directors, our Executive Director, and the Presidents (past and present), kept the organization together.

As an organization, we are proud to continue our legacy as a community-based organization. Our mission is to provide a range of developmental, cultural, social welfare, and supportive services to individuals and families residing in Brooklyn. I must say that the arms of the organization’s mission have stretched immensely, as our doors and services are open to all within the diaspora. Our motto, “Love a kid today and every day,” is continuously reflected in all our endeavors.

Martial Arts Empowerment at Clarkson Compass

We are thrilled to announce the integration of JUTSU USA LLC, founded by Serreste "Rusty" Barton-Hossanah, into our Sesame Flyers' Clarkson COMPASS program. With over 20 years of experience in martial arts, including Shizen-Ryu Aikijujutsu and the US Kodokan Federation of Jujitsu, Rusty is dedicated to empowering young people through the practice of martial arts, fostering self-confidence, discipline, and constructive behavior.  In addition to his extensive martial arts background, Rusty is a licensed critical care flight paramedic and serves as an Emergency Medical Services Operational Manager. His passion for working with children, combined with his outstanding leadership, makes him an exceptional asset to our program.

Martial arts offer numerous benefits for young people, such as improved focus, emotional regulation, and respect for oneself and others. We are delighted to welcome him to our team and look forward to the positive impact he will have on our young participants.

Join us in celebrating this valuable addition to the Sesame Flyers' Clarkson COMPASS program and experience the transformative power of martial arts!


Youth Spotlight: The Clarkson COMPASS Dancers Shining Bright, From the Inside Out!

We are delighted to feature the incredible young talents of the Clarkson COMPASS Dancers in this month's Youth Spotlight. These dedicated girls have embarked on an inspiring journey, overcoming initial self-doubt and transforming into confident dance competition finalists.

Through hard work, perseverance, and the support of their instructors, the Clarkson COMPASS Dancers have discovered the power of dance to bolster their confidence and unleash their inner potential. As they perform in front of various audiences, they continue to grow and develop as both dancers and individuals. We are incredibly proud of the progress these girls have made.

Sesame believes in the transformative power of dance and live performance in fostering personal growth and self-worth. The Clarkson COMPASS Dancers serve as a shining example of what dedication, passion, and teamwork can achieve. Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of these remarkable young dancers as they continue to dazzle audiences and grow in confidence. Keep up the great work, girls!


Upcoming Mental Health Art Gallery

Get ready for an electrifying event that's not to be missed! Sesame Flyers' teen magazine, Gen Z's Voices, is shaking things up with their upcoming mental health art gallery on Saturday, May 13th. It's time to break the stigma surrounding mental health in minority communities and embrace the power of self-expression!

Head over to the Sesame Flyers Headquarters located at 3510 Church Avenue and join in on the fun. Get ready to witness singers performing incredibly moving ballads of inspiration that are sure to tug at your heartstrings. As you stroll through the gallery, you'll be in awe of the various local artists' masterpieces on display that will leave you feeling compelled and inspired.

But it's not just about admiring art; it's about sparking a conversation surrounding mental health. The Gen Z's Voices team has planned games and exercises that will help build a sense of community and teach healthy coping skills. So come prepared to engage in thought-provoking discussions and be ready to participate in exciting activities.

Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to connect with others and learn about mental health. This is an event that's not just about art, it's about empowering our community and breaking the silence surrounding mental health in minority communities. Let's come together and make a difference! The Eventbrite is linked here.

Additional information about the event may be found on Gen Z’s Voices Instagram Page, @genzsvoices.


Center for Family Support

The Center for Family Services (CFS) has relocated to the Clarkson COMPASS program location. Additionally, a new brochure for CFS at this location is now available.



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