FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/22/19
The Child Center of NY on the NYPD’s New Community Center in East New York
New York, NY – The Child Center of NY, a nonprofit organization who will be providing family support and youth development services at the NYPD’s new Community Center at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York, offered the following statement about the Center’s opening.
“Youth development, community development, and community policing go hand in hand. The NYPD is making an investment in the future of East New York, and in the young people and families who live here, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said Traci Donnelly, the chief executive officer of The Child Center of NY. “This Community Center is here to connect the people of East New York with the opportunities and programs they want and deserve. We are eager to get to work and offer family support and youth development programs that will make a real difference in this neighborhood.”
For program information, please visit our extended-day and community center page.
For more information, take a look at our Facebook album of photos from the day, and see our blog post below for an inside look at how a community center with an NYPD partnership gets built.
Innovative Partnerships + On-the-Ground Leadership = Building Community in East New York
Community-based innovation is how The Child Center of NY builds new possibilities for children and families in under-resourced neighborhoods in our city.
On October 23, we officially cut the ribbon on a state-of-the-art NYPD Community Center. Our goal is to reflect the priorities and spirit of the people who call East New York home, offering a safe and fun place for people of all ages to come together, and providing enriching programs and services.
“We wanted to partner with the NYPD and bring community leaders to the table to shape a groundbreaking approach to strengthening the families of East New York,” said Traci Donnelly, CEO of the The Child Center.
The result was active participation by neighborhood youth in deciding the program offerings for the site and outreach to local and NYPD talent who could lead workshops, trainings, and sport activities.
“True community development involves everyone. Youth development, community development, and community policing go hand in hand,” said Deep Ghosh, The Child Center’s senior vice president of external and community affairs.
Studies show that when young people are given the opportunity to try new activities that interest them, they become more engaged in school and other areas of their life.
Offerings at the center will include DJ instruction in a beautiful new music lab, indoor basketball and weight training, tutoring, and SAT prep. Arts, resume writing, and how-to interview workshops will launch in 2020.
News of the center has elicited new kinds of conversations. When one young man questioned his friends whether the center was really a police precinct, his peer responded, “No! It’s a dope community center!” Dope, as in very good.
This will be a coming together of very different people. Retired officers might lead a DJ workshop or participate in an improv scene with a young person who has previously been incarcerated. Community leaders, looking to engage youth in positive and hopeful activities, may stand shoulder to shoulder on a basketball court with NYPD players.
“As in many communities across the country, there can be distrust between the community and police in East New York,” acknowledged Sherrell Whitmore, program director of the new center. “And we are seeing that when the two groups do activities together, they discover things they have in common. In other words, they come to see each other’s humanity. And that has a positive impact on everyone in the community.”
The Child Center is proud to launch this new initiative together with the NYPD and looks forward to building hope for many young people and families.
NOTE: We will hold two Open Houses for the community: Saturday, October 26, 12:00-3:00 p.m. and Wednesday, October 30, 4:00-7:00 p.m. Please join us in launching this exciting initiative!