Driving Community Transformation

Zone 126 is proud to present   Driving Community Transformation , a bi-monthly feature on the work we are a part of in zip codes 11101, 1110 2, and 1110 6
The recently released academic scoring data for New York State illuminates a disturbing trend among low-income students across New York City and specifically in Zone 126 schools: the vast majority of minority students from low-income families do not meet academic expectations in English Language Arts and Math. In light of this data, now more than ever, summer learning is a critical component of a year-round education designed to close the achievement gap and put our Astoria and LIC students on the right path to graduation. Zone 126 secured funding to offer the Summer Advantage program to 110 Zone students. We will soon be launching our fundraising campaign so 300 Zone students will have the chance to participate in an enriching summer learning experiencing in 2016. 
Summer Advantage
Zone 126 partner Summer Advantage USA successfully launched in early July for 110 rising first through seventh graders attending Zone partner schools. Scholars, as the students are proudly called, attended the program at IS 204Q, taking math and ELA classes in the morning and fun enrichment classes in the afternoon. Enrichment classes included dance, games/art, science and math projects, author study, poetry, and chorus.

One parent, Rathana Reth heard about Summer Advantage through her child's school, Zone elementary school, PS 112Q, and it seemed to be ideal for her daughter. For fourth grader, Phoenix, this would be the first time she participated in any summer or afterschool programs. In past summers, Phoenix did not have many opportunities to participate in other activities since Rathana works full-time, and could only take her out on the weekends. Phoenix's favorite subject is gym, and thoroughly enjoyed participating in the dance show during the Summer Advantage closing ceremony.

Dr. Celeste A. Rivers who lead the teachers and students at Summer Advantage says, "I worked with an amazing staff who went above and beyond to support the scholars. The smiles on every face as the scholars presented their personal best at the closing program made it all worth it. Summer Advantage is a buried treasure that should be shared throughout the district, borough, city, and the nation. Thank you SA and Zone 126 for making it all possible with the support of our invaluable sponsors."

Scholars in the Zone 126 Summer Advantage 2015 program gained 1 month of reading skills and 3 months of math skills. Additionally, the scholars from Summer Advantage will be attending Zone 126 schools this fall. Zone 126 will track their academic progress throughout the school year, as part of our longitudinal study. We will also work to connect students with other Zone programs they and their families might find beneficial.
Camp Herrlich
When Sharlene Tillet first heard about Camp Herrlich, she was immediately intrigued by the idea of her children attending camp, and felt that this program would be exactly what she wanted and needed for them. Sharlene is a mom of three Zone 126 students that have been attending Camp Herrlich, a two-week sleep away camp for children ages eight through fifteen, for the past three years. Through the generous scholarships provided by the Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Foundation, Zone 126 has been able to send 67 children from Astoria and Long Island City to participate in Camp Herrlich for the past three years. For Sharlene, sending her children to Camp Herrlich these past few summers has had an impact particularly on her eldest child, Uganda, a 10th grader with a reserved and quiet personality. After camp he became more social and Sharlene saw that he made many new friends. For her other two children, she saw them continue to flourish in the outdoor camp environment.

Camp Herrlich has everything kids love doing, including team-building activities, sports, hiking, exploring the woods, zip-lining, learning to care for animals, building awareness of environmental protection, and more experiences many New York City children do not typically have access to. 

This year, 26 Zone students from Astoria and Long Island City attended Camp Herrlich over the course of three summer sessions. We also have a former camper who is now a Counselor In Training, Antonio. "Some kids don't have the same joy as others do back home. Camp lets people have fun and really just be a kid." 
Award Announcement
Zone 126 has been selected by the New York City DOE to lead the Mayor's Renewal Community Schools effort at Zone 126 partner schools   Long Island City High School and Community School 111Q - Multimedia, Communication, & Arts . Read more about the pre ss release and the City's investment in Zone 126 and Astoria and Long Island City here
Learn more about the city's strategic plan for community schools here
Nonprofit Cafe  *
September Cradle to Career Convening Save the Date! 
Featured Speaker:
Cory Bearak

Wed, September 2, 2015
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Elmezzi Foundation & Zone 126 
31-10 23rd St. Ground Floor, Astoria, NY 11106

Hosted by Uplifting Nonprofits 
Theme: Back to School
School Year 2014-2015 Presentation

Wed, September 30, 2015
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens
21-12 30th Road, Queens, NY 1102

Registration is now open to the public for the NYC GradNation Community Summit. Join us to hear from:
Featured Speakers:
Dr. Rudolph F. Crew - President,  Medgar Evers College
Michael McAfee -  Vice President for Programs,  PolicyLink
Marco Davis - Deputy Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Jane Quinn - Vice President and Director, National Center for Community Schools

Reserve your seat today!
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