Many of you learned about the change and opportunity that Partnership with Children was faced with this past fall 2012. Partnership with Children is one of the organizations that have been chosen, through the Department of Education and Department of Mental Health for FEMA “Project Hope”, to provide vital support to help New Yorkers deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The effects of the storm have brought the many struggles that Partnership with Children’s students face every day, into the spotlight. Partnership with Children continues and expands the important work we do with the highest-need students and schools to embed the social and emotional skills necessary to deal with the everyday stressors that have now increased exponentially due to the storm.
Our success in providing vital social and emotional support to children and youth in high-poverty schools is a direct result of the generous support of friends such as you. Please continue to stay in touch by visiting our website at www.partnershipwithchildren.org, and thank you again for your kind contribution and commitment to the young people of New York City.
This fall has been full of unexpected change and opportunity for Partnership with Children. Like many other organizations in New York City, our students, schools and staff were all affected by Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of this disaster Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an $8.2 million grant from FEMA for “Project Hope”. “Project Hope” will provide crisis counseling to those in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, including New York City.
Partnership with Children is one of the organizations that have been chosen, through the Department of Education and Department of Mental Health, to provide vital support to help New Yorkers cope with these traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives. The effects of the storm have brought the many struggles that Partnership with Children’s students face every day, into the spotlight. Partnership with Children continues and expands the important work we do to care for children who have experienced unbelievable hardship and seemingly insurmountable challenges. We are continuing our work with the highest-need students and schools to embed the social and emotional skills necessary to deal with the everyday stressors that have now increased exponentially due to the storm. Our social workers are providing the critical counseling services, crisis intervention and grief and loss training. Partnership with Children is proud to be entering additional schools, and serve additional students, to contribute to the success of “Project Hope”.
Our success in providing vital social and emotional support to children and youth in high-poverty schools is a direct result of the generous support of friends such as you. Thank you again for your kind contribution and commitment to the young people of New York City.
This summer has been a busy one for Partnership with Children, helping us evolve and grow as an organization. Margaret Crotty joined as our new Executive Director in April 2012, replacing Michelle Sidrane, who has retired. Ms. Crotty has already made many exciting changes to the agency.
Our social work staff, led by Associate Executive Director of Programs, Barbara Cavallo, has used the summer to fine-tune aspects of our model and has recently completed a spectacular summer program, Summer Quest, for 120 students at JHS 296 in the South Bronx. Funded in part by the NYC Department of Education and the Fund for Public Schools, the selection process was very competitive with 11 partnerships being selected out of 45 applications. This 6-week program provided 6th – 8th graders with a unique educational enrichment curriculum as well as opportunities for social-emotional growth. The program was designed to combat summer learning loss, which is defined as the lost knowledge students experience over the summer months due to a lack of structured educational programming. Studies have found that summer learning loss contributes to the achievement gap between low and high income students. While most students lose an average of two months of mathematical computation skills over the summer, low income students, in addition, lose more than 2 months of reading achievement, while their middle class peers make slight gains in reading achievement. The increasing gap between higher and lower income students can be explained partially by unequal access to summer learning opportunities, which may hamper a lower income student’s ability to graduate or attend college.
Partnership with Children’s Summer Quest program was designed to meet the needs and interests of students, in addition to aligning with the DOE curriculum standards. For the first half of the day, students worked with a teacher and Partnership with Children social worker in an academic enrichment setting to strengthen their education. The afternoons were run solely by Partnership staff, where students applied their knowledge through off site field trips, media literacy and projects that align with NYS social studies standards. Summer Quest was a great success and pushed us closer to preventing summer learning loss and promoting summer learning gain that will ultimately help to narrow the achievement gap. Just for fun, I have attached some photos of our summer program students.
Please know that our success in providing vital educational and behavioral support to children and youth in high-poverty communities is a direct result of the generous support of friends such as you. Thank you again for your kind contribution and commitment to the young people of New York City.
It’s hard to believe there are only a few weeks left in the school year and summer is just around the corner. Nearly 40 students from three Alternate Learning Schools (ALCs) that we work in participated in Walking the Path this year. ALCs provide an educational setting for students who are serving long term suspensions from school of either 30, 60 or 90 days. Students sent to ALCs generally have a hard time controlling their emotions or staying out of trouble, landing them in these centers. Helping these students understand the consequences of their actions, build positive relationships and strengthen their social and emotional skills is crucial to getting them back on track to succeed in school and life.
Walking the Path allows students to explore creative methods of expressing their feelings. It is very difficult to imagine the hardships some of our students face every day. Often students living in high poverty face challenges so overwhelming they cannot articulate their feelings. Creative expression creates a level of comfort where students can express themselves more indirectly. Understanding how our students struggle allows us to provide them with tools to combat these challenges. At the same time, students are exposed to new creative methods, develop pride and confidence by sharing their work with others and earn school credit too!—keeping them on track for graduation.
Twenty of our students at John Jay High School learned how to express themselves through poetry and photography. Through a series of workshops, they learned to tell their own life stories and convert this into digital art. Students were given cameras to take photos around their neighborhood and journals to record their thoughts and poetry. At WEB Dubois and August Martin High School, 17 students were challenged to write a memoir or personal story that significantly affected their lives and turn it into short films. They worked with the schools’ English Language Arts teachers to write personal stories. Once their memoirs were complete, the students used Final Cut Pro to add video and photographs to their memoir voice-over, producing 2-3 minute videos.
This year we’ve seen great success with our Walking the Path program. Next year, we’re considering expanding the program to include a book project. Rather than students working on their own creative projects, students will collaborate to create a larger piece combining their individual stories and talents.
Thank you again for your support and helping at-risk students succeed. We look forward to updating you as the fall projects evolve. Until next Fall…
While the official Oscars may be this weekend, we had our own Academy Awards earlier this month with our August Martin High School Walking the Path participants. Eight students were challenged to write a memoir or personal story that significantly affected their lives and turn it into a short film. They worked with the school’s English Language Arts teacher to write a personal story. The students used Final Cut Pro to add video and photographs to their memoir voiceover and each student produced a 2-3 minute video.
Earlier this month, those 8 videos were screened for an audience of their families, friends and peers red carpet style. After the screenings, each student was honored with their very own Oscar trophy.
It took incredible courage for these students to share such a personal part of themselves with a large group and we applaud them! It is because of your support that we’re able to offer such a unique and creative outlet for our students to express themselves.
We hope to have additional updates and photos to share with you later in the year from our other Walking the Path students at Dubois and John Jay High School. Until then, thank you again for your continued support!
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