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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 25, 2019
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

$7 Million in Grants Now Available for My Brother’s Keeper Challenge

Grants Support New York’s Initiative to Develop Programs and Strategies to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color

Updated 11/6/19 with Extended Due Date and Updated District Allocations

The New York State Education Department is now accepting applications for the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Challenge Grant, Interim State Education Commissioner Beth Berlin announced today. A total of $7 million is available through the MBK Challenge Grant, which is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute cradle-to-college strategies aimed at improving the life outcomes of boys and young men of color. Public school districts with at least one Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) school in 2018-19 and at least one Focus or Priority school in 2017-18 are eligible to apply. Full proposals must be postmarked by December 6, 2019.

“To achieve equity, we must ensure that opportunities are available for all students, regardless of their circumstances,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “By providing MBK Challenge grant funding to high-need school districts, we are closer to reaching equity. New York State’s My Brother’s Keeper initiatives play a critical role in our efforts to achieve greater educational equity by distributing resources where they’re needed most, and I encourage all eligible districts to apply for these grants.”

“Students deserve the opportunity to succeed regardless of their zip code or their personal background,” Interim Commissioner Beth Berlin said. “School districts can use the MBK Challenge grants to fund initiatives that help students enter school ready to learn, read at grade level by the time they enter third grade, and graduate high school with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in college or career. Achieving these important milestones helps improve students’ well-being and life outcomes.”

“Too many of our boys and young men of color lack access to resources and opportunities that help them achieve success,” Regent Lester W. Young said. “The MBK Challenge grants enable school districts to develop and establish initiatives that help eliminate these resource and opportunity gaps, and ultimately improve students’ professional and academic outcomes. Our goal is to make sure all students are provided with a quality education that prepares them for a promising future.”

“In communities across our state, boys and young men of color do not have access to the same academic opportunities and resources as their peers, and too often end up left behind. I am committed to ensuring every child has a shot at a quality education and a successful future and fought to make New York the first state in the nation to implement the My Brother’s Keeper program,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said. “I am proud of the funding and support we have provided for the program and encourage school districts across the state to apply for the MBK Challenge Grants so every student in their schools – regardless of race, background or zip code – has the opportunity to succeed in their education and beyond.”

My Brother’s Keeper Challenge

This is the second round of MBK Challenge grant funding provided by the NYS Legislature to help bring greater equity and fairness to New York’s students, particularly students of color. Through this RFP process, NYSED will fund $7 million in grants to eligible school districts to address one or more of the following milestones in specific school buildings:

  • Getting a Healthy Start and Entering School Ready to Learn
    All children should have a healthy start and enter school ready – cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.
  • Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade
    All children should be reading at grade level by age 8 – the age at which reading to learn becomes essential.
  • Graduating from high school ready for college and career
    All youth should receive a quality high school education and graduate with the skills and tools needed to advance to postsecondary education or training.

The following school districts are eligible to apply for the MBK Challenge Grant:

School Districts Eligible to Apply for the MBK Challenge Grant
Please Note Updated District Allocation Amounts
District Name Award

ALBANY CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$142,056

AMSTERDAM CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$105,518

AUBURN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$44,067

BINGHAMTON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$79,387

BUFFALO CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$369,035

CENTRAL ISLIP UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT

$76,730

CHARLOTTE VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$30,000

ELMIRA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$69,201

FALLSBURG CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$43,624

GENEVA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$67,872

GLOVERSVILLE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$40,413

GREEN ISLAND UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT

$30,000

HEMPSTEAD UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT

$367,152

KINGSTON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$94,113

MALONE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$83,927

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 3

$91,567

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 4

$34,988

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 5

$216,903

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 7

$271,711

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 8

$184,462

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 9

$314,449

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #10

$383,761

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #12

$577,745

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #13

$33,106

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #14

$90,459

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #16

$41,410

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #19

$206,163

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #23

$73,076

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #27

$30,000

NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #31

$36,981

NEWARK CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$88,356

NEWBURGH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$110,057

PEEKSKILL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$45,728

POUGHKEEPSIE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$57,686

RIVERHEAD CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$90,127

ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$1,322,900

SALMON RIVER CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$30,000

SCHENECTADY CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$231,961

SYRACUSE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$500,572

TROY CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$30,227

UTICA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$65,104

WAVERLY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$30,000

WORCESTER CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

$30,000

YONKERS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

$137,405

Total Amount Awarded:

$7,000,000

The MBK Initiative

In 2014, former President Barack Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper 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. 

In 2018, NYSED announced the inaugural class of MBK Fellows, and in 2019, NYSED announced the second class of MBK Fellows. The MBK Fellows Grant provides high school juniors with opportunities to gain authentic leadership experience(s) and develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color. The MBK Fellows are provided with authentic leadership opportunities in government, education, and business.

In 2018, NYSED awarded more than $1.15 million in grants to five schools for the MBK Exemplary School Models and Practices program. Grant recipients partner with demographically similar Struggling or Persistently Struggling schools in another district within their region to replicate exemplary practices that demonstrate cultural and linguistic responsiveness to emphasize the needs of boys and young men of color.

Also in 2018, NYSED awarded nearly $750,000 in grants to 11 school districts for the MBK Native American Program, to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with an emphasis on boys and young men.

Since 2016, NYSED has awarded more than $24 million in grants to 45 school districts for the My Brother’s Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program. These grants 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.

Since 2016, NYSED has awarded $21 million in MBK Challenge grants to 40 school districts. The MBK Challenge Grant Program is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-career college strategies. These programs are aimed to develop and sustain effective relationships with families of boys and young men of color toward the goal of success for all students.

Also since 2016, NYSED awarded $12 million in Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC) grants to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. NYSED awarded grants to 16 colleges and universities to help them bolster the retention of highly qualified individuals who value equity and reflect the diversity inside and outside of our classrooms, particularly in high-need schools with recurrent teacher shortages. 

Visit the Department’s My Brother’s Keeper website for details on this movement and for information on how to subscribe to the MBK Newsletter, “Changing the Narrative.”