We Grew Our Own Pizza!

We didn’t just create the pizza, we grew the veggies!

Gnocco’s staff showed the children how to create a pizza. We then all created pizzas together using herbs and vegetables we grew at Campos community Garden: oregeno, basil, thyme, marjoram and tomatoes.

Claudio and Rossella shows us how to make the pizza dough.

The dough is super elastic. Rosella stretched and stretched a little ball of dough to make a big pie. The dough was squishy when I poked at it.

The pizzas sure tasted super good. The children documented the process by drawing and writing in their notebooks.

You can see some of our drawing in the book we published at the end of the year:

Bees, Bees and More Bees

Thse working bees are all girls? That’s fantastic.

Dan Rothchild came by and introduced us to bees. Did you know that all of the bees are girls? The queen bee lays all the eggs and the workers bee do all of the work. The drones freeload and the only thing they do is inseminate the queen at the very beginning of her life. Isn’t that typical. This is what Dan said.

Dan had the children draw different parts of the bee to understand how they work.

Workshop curricula have included:

  • Science and Exploration: Garden basics – Why Bees Matter?
  • Creative Problem Solving: Working in pairs to build incredible insects
  • Healthy Food: Working collaboratively in teams to create healthy, tasty treats using garden vegetables
  • Exhibiting art work in the garden for parents and community to view
  • Origins of food: Making fresh pasta/pizza
  • Science and Exploration: Spring planting – creating starter plants from seeds
  • Storytelling:  Working in teams to create a story about the garden/cooking experiences
  • Inviting parents and the community to see the stories and tour the garden
  • Creating a book from their artwork


Since 2017 we have designed and implemented a comprehensive program for third graders at the Children’s Workshop School.  Our participating partners for our interactive program include the Campos Community Garden near the school and a local community restaurant, Gnocco.

Children’s gardening program at Campos Community Garden
John Marty – Videographer

Our programs add the “A” (arts) to STEM programs by encouraging children to tap into their creativity and try out new ideas.  Garden Stories draws inspiration from life lessons learned through gardening and the arts. 

Our current workshop program, sponsored by the NYCC Cultural Immigrant Initiative with a pass through grant through Downtown Music Productions, with support from Children’s Workshop PTA and Gnocco restaurant ran from September 12, 2018 through June 14, 2019.

3rd Annual Alphabet City Short Film Festival

Saturday, September 8th, 2018 @ 6BC Botanical Garden

  • I Ain’t Lazy, I’m Just Dreamin’ 
    7 minutes
    A concept music video that harkens back (…or forward?) to a time of hobo prophets, mulligan stew, orange ladies, bowery boys, bawdy vaudeville acts, and the fuzz. A burlesque club musician en route to work imagines magical dreams . . . or is he living them? Featuring cameos by several Downtown NYC filmmakers and performers. 
    Director: Bill Poznanski
  • SunnySide Up
    26 minutes
    A comedy from NYC… Where do babies come from? Marie doesn’t want to know, but she’s going to find out. 
    Director: Charles Krezell
  • Downfall 
    6 minutes
    An experimental documentary, shot between 1988-1989. The East Village May Day protests, interspersed with New York City Marathon footage. The demolition and beginnings of gentrification in Alphabet City… a neighborhood under siege. 
    Director: Kris Enos
  • Willow Weep For Me
    8 minutes
    After 41 years of Cher, a willow tree beloved by her community and strongly identified with La Plaza, she’s dismantled for the neighborhood safety. Her life is celebrated with a wake in the garden, officiated by community members. 
    Director: Alvah Holmes
  • Mahagonny Songspiel Animation Reel 
    5 minutes
    Hand-painted animation inspired by Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht’s early operatic work. The city of Mahagonny offers prosperity, but its citizens prove to be its undoing. 
    Director: Klay-James Enos
  • Penelope & Kennedy 
    19 minutes
    Two women face the challenges of their unique relationship. 
    Director: Anthony Laura

They Survived

As soon as I met the Neiger family, and heard their incredible story, I knew I had to make this film.

I was so moved by their story, I was brought to tears. My goal is to honor their journey.

Tax Deductible Donations

  ~ Email me for info: JohnRokosny@gmail.com 

I want to create a film that will tell the story of one family, in their own words, as a voice for every family who went through this atrocity – and to honor those who survived, and remember, with deep reverence, those who did not.

I want to share this story so it will never be forgotten. 

Go Fund Me Page

“They Survived Together” is a story of endurance, unity and hope. 

“They Survived Together ” is the incredible, true story of the survival of the Neiger family, as they desperately try to stay together as a family while escaping the Nazi invasion of Poland.

The Neigers were living a peaceful life in a tight-knit Jewish community in Krakow when the arrival of World War II changed their life forever.

When Nazi soldiers forced the Neiger family from their home and into the harsh life of the Ghetto, they made a vow to escape together and survive as a family.

The family was able to stick together, from their daring escape from the Ghetto, through arduous treks through snow-covered mountains, to illegal border crossings, and brutal work camps. 

But when circumstances forced the family to separate from their older brother Ben, the family’s will to survive was put to the test.  

Siblings Cesia, Benjamin, Hanka, Basia, and Tosia remained together as a family well into thier senior years, supporting each other while dealing with the horrors of the memory of the Holocaust.  

This film tells their story, in their words, from their hearts. 

We are seeking funding to finish the production phase of “They Survived Together”.  We will  continue to interview the siblings and relatives, film family gatherings and events. We will organize and catalogue historical footage and photos.

We are so fortunate to have this first-hand account of their incredible journey.  

Our mission is educational – to create a film that will tell the true story of one family, in their own words, as a voice for every family who went through this atrocity – and to honor those who survived, and remember, with deep reverence, those who did not. 

The film is intended for screenings in Jewish institutions, schools and museums, to preserve this true family story of the Holocaust.