Tag Archives: community schools

August Martin High School Now Has Higher-Than-Average Graduation Rate

August Martin High School culinary students with Lidia Bastianich

AMHS scholar-chefs with Emmy award-winning public television host, best‐selling cookbook author, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich. Read the full story behind the photo: childcenterny.org/the-child-center-of-ny-on-pbs/.

Ready for some good news for which to give thanks? August Martin High School (AMHS) in Jamaica, Queens, achieved a 91.7% graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year!

“This is a great achievement, exceeding NYC’s average high school graduation rate,” says Amanda Etienne, The Child Center of NY’s Senior Vice President, Youth Development.

The city-wide high school graduation rate for New York City was 77.3 percent in 2019, the most recent figure. Continue reading

Our Culinary Stars on PBS!

Emmy Award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich cooks with students from The Culinary Arts Program at August Martin High School

Lidia Bastianich Cooks with Our Youth

**New date and time: Sunday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. on WNET, Channel 13, for the New York Metro market. PBS will run the show in most other U.S. cities on Fri., Dec. 20–check the Lidia Celebrates America website for air times in your area.

Renowned chef and Emmy Award-winning television personality Lidia Bastianich cares deeply about immigrants and under-served youth having pathways to bright futures.

On Sunday, December 15, Lidia’s PBS special Lidia Celebrates America will premiere on WNET and will include a segment of Lidia cooking with 12 juniors and seniors of the Culinary Arts Program at August Martin High School (AMHS), an inner-city school in Jamaica, Queens. The five-year innovative partnership between The Child Center and August Martin has brought about a dramatic turnaround in graduation rates from 23% to 74% in four years. 

Continue reading

Meet Isaiah: Student and Mentor Extraordinaire

Isaiah, aviation student at August Martin High School

Isaiah, aviation student at August Martin High SchoolOne of the things we’re proudest of at The Child Center of NY is instilling in young people that there are many avenues toward success, which they can find based on their own individual strengths. You can see this principle at work at August Martin High School, where The Child Center serves as lead CBO (community-based organization). August Martin offers students opportunities to find their niche through such unique courses of study as culinary arts and aviation. In fact, it’s the only high school where students can receive their private pilot license before they graduate. Continue reading

Meet Our First Vivian E. Cook Scholarship Honoree!

Q&A with Latoya Mann, graduate of August Martin High School

Scholarship recipient Latoya Mann with Assemblywoman Vivian Cook

At The Child Center of NY, one of our firmest beliefs is that intelligence and drive are evenly distributed among zip codes. Unfortunately, opportunity isn’t always. That’s why we’ve been hard at work at August Martin High School, in one of the most underserved communities in the city. In the past few years, we’ve helped increase the graduation rate by nearly 40 percent — from just 24 percent to more than 60 percent — and are ensuring promising students not only can see themselves at college, but also can overcome the practical hurdles (like the steep price tag) to getting there. Continue reading

Statement Regarding Proposed Cuts to Funding for Summer Programs

Statement by Traci Donnelly, CEO and executive director of The Child Center of NY

Lynn Edmonds Queens Tribune

Photo by Lynn Edmonds/Queens Tribune. Councilman Rory Lancman and school children decried budget cuts to summer camps in Kew Gardens Hills on Monday.

We are disappointed to learn that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget proposal does not contain summer program funding for 31,000 middle school students. We strongly advocate for the restoration of this funding as soon as possible.

The Child Center of NY’s Summer Enrichment Camp at Parsons Community School is one of more than 400 sites throughout the City that would be affected by this cut. Without this program, upwards of 100 9-15-year-olds from some of the poorest neighborhoods will have nowhere to go during the summer months while parents who can’t afford other options work or attend school. To leave these children—and thousands like them—unsupervised, unchallenged, and without any sort of structure for two months straight benefits no one. If the mayor restores this funding, these children could spend the summer staying active, both physically and mentally, as programs like ours provide challenging learning opportunities, enrichment activities, and a sense of community. It is difficult to see how this would not be a good investment in the city’s present and future. We must prioritize all our children, and ensure equal learning opportunities for those who need them most.

We urge the mayor to fully restore this crucial funding and to do it soon. Last year, we received very late notice that our funding was restored. Although we applaud the Mayor’s office for ultimately restoring the funding, the late notice placed an undue burden on our families; it also adversely affected our program administrators and staff, as it gave them little time to hire and plan for an intensive summer camp, and many part-time staffers secured other summer employment because of the uncertainty. We hope the mayor will do the right thing and amend the executive budget to reflect restored funding to these programs in a timely manner.

Further Reading

Extended Day (afterschool) and Summer Learning Opportunities
Summer Programs Are Feeling the Heat, Queens Chronicle
Little-Noticed Funding Cut Highlights Existential Problem for Community Schools, Politico

A Helping Hand for Community Schools

A Helping Hand for Community Schools

Deepmalya Ghosh

When Mayor de Blasio wanted to find an innovative way to help at-risk kids, he called on experts throughout the city to help him. One of those experts was Deepmalya Ghosh, The Child Center’s associate executive director of youth development and community engagement. Ghosh was appointed to the mayor’s Community School Advisory Board, working this summer with de Blasio and 48 other local leaders to plan for the creation of 100 “community schools” in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

For kids to thrive in school and every part of their lives, they need the active support of their families and communities. Community schools are designed to foster that support by serving as hubs for a comprehensive range of services for the whole family: access to quality health care, mental health counseling, homework help and tutoring, and community activities, among others. In New York City, the first 40 will be piloted in existing schools that have the city’s lowest attendance rates.

Continue reading


Recent Blog Posts

Translate »