New Bronx CB7 Education Chair Hosts a Packed Meeting

By SARAH HUFFMAN

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PLANS ARE UNDERWAY to launch a new “edible garden” at PS/MS 20, pictured here on Friday, March 4, 2022.
Photo by Síle Moloney

Nearly two out of three children affected by systemic poverty cannot read at grade level, according to Literacy Incorporated (LINC), a New York City nonprofit focused on early childhood literacy. The organization said children who are unable to make the transition from “learn to read” to “read to learn” by third grade are 13 times more likely not to graduate from high school on time.

Children’s literacy, along with resources for youth, schools and libraries, were the main topics of discussion at last month’s Bronx Community Board 7 education committee meeting, held on February 2, and the first of the year chaired by Leurys Acosta, the new president of the Committee.

During a presentation to the board, LINC Representative Gladys Gomez said, “Our mission is to engage families and community members to support our youngest readers, ages birth to five, and we are currently in eight New York City neighborhoods. Gomez said, adding that the LINC teams were based in each of the city’s five boroughs.

According to LINC, illiteracy affects children’s ability to access better opportunities in health, education, and the economy. In the United States, the organization estimates that 43 percent of adults with the lowest levels of literacy live in poverty. They say low literacy rates also cost the US economy $225 billion a year in lost productivity. LINC promotes investing in literacy as the path out of poverty, with representatives saying, “It’s both the smart path and the right thing to do!”

The group regularly hosts parent workshops on literacy and education so parents can help their children prepare for school. During the meeting, Gomez gave an overview of LINC’s main programs, including the “very involved parent” program or VIP volunteers, a book distribution program, a read everywhere program, and the “red zone” program. illuminated”. The latter involves partnerships with local businesses where boxes full of free books are available for community members to take home for their children.

Gomez said that LINC also accepts book donations for its light zones at its Bronx locations. In Fordham, these are the Bronx Library Center (BLC) at 310 E Kingsbridge Road, Saint Barnabas Hospital WIC Offices at 260 East 188th Street, 2021 Grand Concourse and 4507 3rd Avenue, Twin Park West at 365 Ford Street, and Charity Foundation Child at 578 E Fordham Rd.

In Kingsbridge, they are United Pharmacy at 5539 Broadway, Marble Hill Senior Citizen Center at 5365 Broadway, and W TwoThirty Laundry Services at 215 West 230th Street. All LINC programs are free and, as of mid-February, were taking place virtually. For more information, residents are invited to visit lincnyc.org.

Later in the meeting, Pam Cora, managing librarian at the Bronx Library Center, the county’s largest public library, located at 310 E Kingsbridge Road in Fordham Manor, provided updates on the library’s activities and resources. She said in-person programming was on hold but she was due back in mid-February.

Cora added that BLC was also hosting a month-long, small-scale exhibition called “Micromuseum of Care,” which explores the future of care work through the voices of health workers. She also highlighted the availability of STEAM from the New York Public Library. [Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics] children’s kits, which can be borrowed for three weeks at a time with a library card.

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THE MOSHOLU BRANCH OF THE New York Public Library, in Norwood, is one of many branches that offers an after school program.
Photo by David Greene

Last September, as reported, the NYPL announced a number of new programs for the fall season, including the STEAM program. Students have access to five different types of STEAM Kits: Engineering, Stargazing, Young Programmers, and Young Builders. Additionally, ten library branches offer Sphero robotics kits.

Used in conjunction with library books and home resources, the kits help students develop their STEAM skills and support creative, scientific, and collaborative thinking. “There are different types of gadgets, gadgets and technology that make it really fun and exciting for kids to learn about STEAM collaboratively with their siblings or family while they’re at home,” said Cora.

BLC is also offering tax preparation classes in partnership with Ariva on Fridays beginning February 18 from 10 am to 5 pm by appointment only. To qualify for the program, the income limit for a single person must be $32,000 per year and the income limit with dependents must be $56,000.

In the meantime, Cora said the College and Career Pathways Program (CCP) provides information to parents and students about the college application process. CB7 member Chad Royer asked about SAT prep assistance, and Cora said that SAT materials are also available in the library and that CCP occasionally hosts prep programs as well.

Acosta asked if the library was still hosting story time for the children, and Cora confirmed that the sessions were virtual but would return to an in-person format in the future, as would the after-school child care program. “This was very, very busy before we paused in-person programming, and we hope it will have the same turnout once we reinstate in-person programming,” Cora said. As reported, an after school program is also available at the Mosholu Branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL).

Isha Taylor, President of Community Education Council (CEC) District 10, then introduced herself and provided an overview of the CEC’s background and resources. “This term, we decided we wanted to empower students, inform families, and bring together our individual school and local outside communities,” she said.

Taylor said there are 36 CEC councils throughout New York City, with 32 district boards and four citywide councils. District 10, in which Norwood is located, has a total of 62 schools with 55 kindergarten through sixth grade schools, two sixth through twelfth grade schools, and five pre-kindergarten centers.

“Our priorities for this 2021-2023 mandate [are] to, again, empower students by ensuring that every student in District 10 receives a high-quality, culturally responsive and sustainable education,” said Taylor. She said the council wants to make sure families are properly informed and empowered, that they understand the curriculum and are able to make informed decisions that benefit their children and the surrounding community.

New Bronx CB7 Education Chair Hosts a Packed Meeting 45 Tax Prep
FREE BROCHURE Tax Preparation Services
Brochure courtesy of the sponsors

A meeting attendee named Leteisha raised the issue of more families coming into the district when the district’s schools are already overcrowded. Taylor acknowledged that 38 of the 62 schools in District 10 are above 100 percent capacity. She said that she was in the process of learning about plans to open some new schools in the district.

Ischia Bravo, district manager for Bronx CB7, agreed that local schools were severely overwhelmed. “Tonight’s goal was to salvage the fact that we’re all doing the same thing, separately, and we need to make sure we come together to advocate for the same things,” Bravo said on the subject.

Both Leteisha and Royer asked Taylor about resources for special education students. Taylor shared some resource links and added that she did not understand why children with special needs had to travel to District 75 to have their needs met. She said she plans to have a meeting with the District 75 council and the district’s planning office to open new seats at some District 10 schools for special education families.

Later in the meeting, Joy Knight, 2nd Vice President and Scholarship Chair for the Bronx Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, shared information about their scholarship application program for 2022. The scholarships are open to men and women graduating seniors. Bronx high school students with a B average or better, who will be full-time students taking a four-year college course next fall.

Knight said an $8,000 scholarship, awarded in installments of $1,000 per semester, was available, as well as numerous one-off scholarships for students. She said the organization awarded more than $29,500 in grants and scholarship awards to students last year.

Naqi Cruz, a representative of the Civil Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which reportedly investigates allegations of misconduct by NYPD officers, later provided information on the “Know Your rights” from the CCRB over encounters with police, which it said were to keep everyone safe and hold both parties accountable. “We’re here just trying to push that line of education,” she said.

Norwood News recently reported that the CCRB recommends disciplinary action for 65 police officers accused of misconduct during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. We also reported that in February 2021, the CCRB approved new rules to investigate alleged sexual misconduct and false statements of the NYPD. In January 2021, the CCRB reportedly held a special meeting to discuss the agency’s disciplinary matrix.

Local Bedford Park resident Sirio Guerino, whose son attends the Bronx Collaborative High School, located on the DeWitt Clinton campus, said the school used to have a pool for students to use for gym and other activities, and no longer does. uses. He said that she wanted to investigate why it couldn’t be used and see if that could be changed.

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NYPL Extracurricular Program Brochure.
Brochure courtesy of NYPL

As part of the discussion, Hugo González said that Bronx High School of Science did not have a pool on site, but had an agreement with Lehman College to use it. their pool and suggested that this could also be an option for the Bronx Collaborative High School.

Finally, Tasha Andrews gave a presentation on the local Buccaneers football team that practices at the Williamsbridge Oval. She said the group accepts any child who wants to play soccer between the ages of 6 and 14. The group meets on Saturdays at 11 am for two hours.

You can find more details about the NYPL after school program at:

https://www.nypl.org/remote-learning-resources/nypl-after-school.

You can find more details about the NYPL STEAM program at:

https://www.nypl.org/remote-learning-resources/steam.

* Síle Moloney contributed to this story.