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August 15, 2018
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Awards My Brother’s Keeper Grants for Exemplary School Models and Practices

Grants Will Be Used to Replicate Exemplary High-Quality School Models
and Practices that Show Promise in Improving Outcomes
for Boys and Young Men of Color

The State Education Department (SED) awarded more than $1.15 million in grants to five schools for the My Brother’s Keeper Exemplary School Models and Practices program, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today. Each of the five grant recipients will partner with a demographically similar Struggling or Persistently Struggling school in another district within its region to replicate exemplary practices that demonstrate cultural and linguistic responsiveness to emphasize the needs of boys and young men of color.

“New York’s MBK initiative has created a movement to bring greater equity and fairness to our students, particularly students of color,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “Programs like this are vital to helping close persistent gaps in educational achievement and opportunity between young minority men and boys and their peers.”

“Through My Brother’s Keeper, we are better able to provide opportunities that support college and career readiness for all students,” Commissioner Elia said. “The importance of continuing support for this work across New York cannot be overstated. The tremendous support of Speaker Heastie and Chair Nolan 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.”

"New York State MBK is emerging as a vital part of the member communities and can now take the next step forward, sharing that great work even more broadly by replicating proven programs in struggling schools," Regent Lester W. Young said. "This is at the heart of what MBK truly is-we are identifying and replicating strategies that have demonstrated improved outcomes for boys and young men of color."

“The Assembly Majority believes that zip code, race and school district should not be determining factors in a student’s ability to succeed academically,” Speaker Carl Heastie said. “That’s why we led New York State to be the first to enact a My Brother’s Keeper law in 2016. I am so proud that this state funding will help give these schools the tools they need to ensure our students – and especially young men and boys of color – are able to realize their full potential.”

"Congratulations to the State Education Department on its progress in implementing the My Brother's Keeper initiative,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “Thank you to Commissioner Elia, Chancellor Rosa, Regent Young and Speaker Carl Heastie for making this program a reality."

The purpose of the Exemplary School Models and Practices grant is to close the achievement gap and increase both the academic achievement and college and career readiness of students with an emphasis on boys and young men of color.

The grant term runs through August 31, 2019.

NYSED awarded grants to the following schools:

District School Award Amount
Lawrence UFSD Lawrence HS & MS $250,000
NYC District #5 M670 Thurgood Marshall Academy $249,837
NYC District #7 Concourse Village School $218,012
NYC District #16 MS 35 Stephen Decatur $218,012
NYC District #29 PS 156 Laurelton $218,012

Since 2016, NYSED has awarded more than $12 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 $14 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 $6 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. 

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. 

For information on the MBK Exemplary School Models and Practices Grant, contact the NYSED Office of Access, Equity and Community Engagement Services at

Visit the Department’s My Brother’s Keeper website for details on the initiative.