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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2017
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

State Education Department Awards $6 Million In My Brother's Keeper Grants For Family And Community Engagement Programs

The State Education Department (SED) awarded more than $6 million in grants to 42 school districts for the My Brother’s Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today.  These grants will support programs to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color while fostering the development of effective relationships with families to promote the success of all students. 

“Meaningful family engagement is established when relationships of trust and respect are built between home, community and school,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said.  “The My Brother’s Keeper grants will bring families and school staff together to create collective learning communities that are vital to helping close persistent gaps in educational achievement and opportunity between young minority men and boys and their peers.” 

“We know the achievement gap exists as a direct result of the opportunities that are available to some students but not others,” Commissioner Elia said.  “An important part of closing that gap is to foster real change and provide opportunities for all students.  Speaker Heastie and the tremendous support of Assemblymembers Nolan, Glick and Blake made this funding possible.  I also want to thank Governor Cuomo and Majority Leader Flanagan—who have been instrumental in making sure these programs get the attention they deserve and continue to get the resources they need.”

“Providing boys and young men of color with sustainable educational advancement opportunities is a matter of both social justice and economic importance,” Regent Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “Given the critical role that family, school and community play in the lives of young men, it is imperative that districts and schools develop policies and practices that encourage families and community members to become actively engaged in the educational and developmental experience of their young men. This new investment provides the opportunity to bring about lasting and positive change in our schools, districts and communities that will ultimately help to eliminate the opportunity gaps faced by males of color.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The Assembly has worked long and hard to raise awareness of the challenges facing boys and young men of color on their path to adulthood and achieving higher education. Family and community engagement are two of the most important factors in determining a student’s future success so I am encouraged that the next phase in our implementation of the My Brother Keeper initiative will invest in these areas. The State Education Department has made an exemplary commitment to this initiative that means so much to communities across the state. I commend Commissioner Elia, Chancellor Rosa and my fellow Assembly Majority colleagues for their leadership and support in these efforts.”

In 2014, former President Barack Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force at the federal level.  The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential.  With the adoption of the 2016–17 New York State budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law.  The budget included a $20 million investment in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. 

The purpose of the Family and Community Engagement Program is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color and to develop and sustain effective relationships with families toward the goal of success for all students. 

These efforts can include parent advocacy, incorporating the use of mentors to improve student achievement and creating outreach materials languages spoken in homes so families can learn how to enhance school success for their children, beginning at the earliest ages, through high school and beyond. 

SED awarded grants to the following districts:

District

Grant Amount

Binghamton City SD

     $149,972

Brentwood UFSD

     $150,000

Buffalo City CSD

     $127,500

Dunkirk City SD

     $150,000

East Ramapo CSD

     $150,000

Ellenville CSD

     $150,000

Fallsburg CSD

     $150,000

Freeport UFSD

     $150,000

Greenburgh CSD

     $141,467

Hudson City SD

     $145,500

Ithaca City SD

     $150,000

Johnson City SD

     $150,000

Kingston City SD

     $150,000

Lawrence UFSD

     $150,000

Longwood CSD

     $150,000

Lyons CSD

     $150,000

Monticello CSD

     $150,000

Mount Vernon City SD

     $150,000

Newark CSD

     $150,000

Newburgh Enlarged City SD

     $150,000

Niagara Falls City SD

     $150,000

NYC Community SD 05

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 06

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 07 – (1)

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 08

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 09

     $150,000

NYC Community SD 10

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 11

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 12

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 16

     $150,000

NYC Community SD 17

     $150,000

NYC Community SD 19

     $150,000

NYC Community SD 23

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 29 – (1)

     $90,000

NYC Community SD 32

     $90,000

Ossining UFSD

     $147,415

Peekskill City SD

     $150,000

Poughkeepsie City SD

     $139,502

Rochester City SD

     $104,877

Roosevelt UFSD

     $149,533

Schenectady City SD

     $149,975

Syracuse City SD

     $150,000

Uniondale UFSD

     $150,000

Westbury UFSD

     $150,000

Yonkers City SD

     $150,000

Total Amount Awarded:

$6,055,741

Strategies to support the MBK initiative are explored in a report, New York State Education Department My Brother’s Keeper Guidance Document: Emerging Practices for Schools and Communities, commissioned and released recently by SED.  It provides an overview of the outcome trends among boys of color in K-12 school environments, and a research review of the most prevalent strategies currently being implemented in schools and communities across the country.

SED previously awarded $10 million in grants to 56 organizations for two other New York State My Brother’s Keeper Initiatives: The Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC) and the MBK Challenge Grant Program.  The TOC program’s purpose is to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers.  The MBK Challenge program is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-career college strategies that are aimed at improving the life outcomes for boys and young men of color and develop and sustain effective relationships with families toward the goal of success for all students.  More information on these awards can be found here.

Details on New York’s MBK Initiative can be found here.

Assemblymember Catherine Nolan said, “We are very proud of the progress that the State Education Department has made on implementing the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. It truly takes a village to raise a child and this family and community engagement component recognizes that we can, and should, give students the helping hand they need outside the classroom to reach their true potential inside. The students who will benefit from this investment deserve every opportunity to achieve alongside their peers and I want to thank Commissioner Elia, Chancellor Rosa and all my Assembly Majority colleagues for making this promise a reality for our children.” 

Assemblymember Deborah Glick said, “The My Brother’s Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program is a critical part of our efforts to close the achievement gap. By utilizing the relationships and encouraging a supportive community for boys and young men of color, we can ensure career and college success. I am proud that the Assembly Majority has consistently prioritized supporting our most vulnerable populations and I appreciate Speaker Heastie and Commissioner Elia’s leadership to facilitate success for these students.”

Assemblymember Blake said, “The My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative continues #ChangingTheNarrative for Boys and Young Men of Color in New York State. The more than $6 million in grants announced today will dramatically improve the chances for our rising stars to be academically, socially, emotionally and professionally ready for the real world. The next generation of educators and leaders will have the resources as they work to provide the most vulnerable students the guidance and support they need to reach their full potential. The funding including $600,000 for The Bronx will ensure that we are #BuildingABetterBronx by providing on the ground resources for our students, educators, administrators and families. We must continue to ensure funding in this year's budget for the MBK initiative. I continue to thank the leadership of Regent Dr. Lester Young, Speaker Carl Heastie, Commissioner Elia and Chancellor Dr. Rosa for providing hope, resources, and opportunities for our remarkable young men of color.”

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