BRONX, NY – Standing in front of the steps of P.S. 83 on Rhinelander Avenue in the Bronx, Senator Klein and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew announced a $700,000 grant, secured by the State Senate in the 2013-14 budget, for the New York City Community Learning Schools Initiative. This grant will be used to fund 16 community learning schools during the 2013-14 school year, including P.S. 83, P.S. 14 and the International School for Liberal Arts in the Bronx. The grant was advocated and secured by Senator Klein and his colleagues in the 2013-14 State Budget.
At the press conference, Senator Klein and UFT President Mulgrew, joined by P.S. 83 Principal Brandon Muccino, P.S. 14 Principal Ira Schulman and students from P.S. 83, described how community learning schools can transform the educational experience for students, their families and the community at large.
Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) said, “As elected officials, we have a duty to ensure our children receive a first-rate education. Community Learning Schools take this one step further, by providing schools with the resources they need to help students and their families meet the tough challenges outside the classroom. These schools will be able to provide college counseling, tutoring, cultural programming or even health services, allowing the school community to decide which services best fit their needs.
“Community learning schools are a great step forward for education in New York, since students and their families will no longer get held back by the types of real-life issues that too often stand in the way of success in the classroom.”
“The way to make an impact on students’ lives is to put the services that can make a difference – things like health and dental care, social services, support for families – where children and their families can take advantage of them, in city schools. This is the way to really help children, and I want to thank Senate Majority Coalition Leader Jeff Klein for making this happen,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.
The NYC Community Learning Schools Initiative is a non-profit organization that works to identify public schools where educators, staff and the parents collaborate to transform schools into community “hubs” by bringing in outside volunteers, businesses, organizations and health services. Schools currently working with the Initiative have established school-based health and dental clinics, youth development programs, tutoring, food banks and other services. By integrating these services with an academic environment, students will receive the care and have the resources needed to succeed.
Selected schools were chosen to participate after submitting proposals to the NYC Community Learning Schools Initiative. Along with P.S. 83, P.S. 14 and the International School for Liberal Arts, other schools to receive funding through the grant secured include P.S. 335 in Brooklyn, P.S. 1 in Manhattan and Queens High School for Information, Research and Technology.
In 2012, the United Federation of Teachers, with support from the New York City Council, the Partnership for New York City and Trinity Wall Street launched the NYCCLSI. The NYCCLSI facilitates partnerships between schools, non-profits, business and government to connect vital services to public school buildings, improve student achievement and meet the health, safety and social service needs of students and communities.
“Getting these kinds of services into city schools can make all the difference for our students and their families, and we thank Senator Klein for making it possible to turn more schools into community learning centers,” said UFT Vice President Karen Alford.
P.S. 83 Principal Brandon Muccino said, "P.S. 83 has a long history of community involvement so it’s only fitting that a community school grant be implemented here. This neighborhood thrives on the after-school programs that this school provides to both students and parents, so to see that Senator Klein acknowledges this makes it special for everybody involved. It is our hope that this grant will bring sustainable programs that will thrive for years to come."
“On behalf of the parents, teachers, and most importantly, students here at P.S. 14, we are so grateful for Senator Klein’s leadership in advocating for community schools here in the Bronx. With this grant, we are able to carry out our mission of serving the diverse needs of our school community beyond just when our students are in school. This investment will transform our school and I look forward to having Senator Klein visit and see how we’ve used this grant to truly benefit our kids,” said P.S. 14 Principal Ira Schulman.