Diving Deep in the Zone
Holiday Greetings from Zone 126
By: Anthony Lopez, Executive Director, Zone 126
Zone 126's community of partners, colleagues and supporters thank you for helping us reduce chronic absence at our three schools and will continue this important work together in the new year. We wish you and your families all the best this holiday season.
Zone 126 Hosts the
Queens Borough President Candidate Education Forum
Pictures and Testimonials from Zone 126's Education Forum with Queens Borough President Candidates held on 12/10/19 at Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens County.

"Thank you for holding the Queens Borough President Candidates Education Forum. I found it very informative, it was good to see those who are running for office and to hear their views on the future education for the children of our communities."
-Carol Wilkins, President of the NYCHA Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association

As quoted by Assemblyperson Alicia Hyndman on Twitter: "Education isn't always a sexy topic, but we must dress it up anyway we can! As a life long education advocate I was happy to be a part of tonight's forum. I was will ALWAYS highlight #educationequity it is at the forefront of all I do. Thanks @Zone126QUeens for the opportunity!"
Pipeline Update
A Hub Has Formed at IS 126Q  
By: Catherine Vozikis, Community School Coordinator at IS 126Q
At IS 126Q, one room on the fourth floor stands out from the rest with its colorful, glittery door that reads “Throw Kindness Like Confetti.” Inside, you can find two teal bean bag chairs, a wide assortment of snacks, art and school supplies in every corner, a mini-library, and two dedicated Zone 126 staff members: Ms. Valentina, the Community School Director, and myself, Ms. Catherine, the Attendance Success Mentor Coordinator. Day by day the office is increasingly becoming a hub for teachers and students alike at the middle school. Teachers pop in to refer students for a particular program, ask for support with family outreach, and request supplies for students in need. Several teachers also meet with Zone 126 staff to collaborate on school-wide events, such as the Food Drive and the upcoming Winter Wonderland Celebration, a school-wide afterschool event honoring good attendance and behavior.
Students drop by the office to engage in one on one mentoring, including conversations about academics, attendance, and healthy habits. More and more they are just popping in to say “Good morning” and request PBIS points for wearing uniform (to which I happily agree to give). Recently, they’ve stopped by to ask about our Coat Drive and to check out some library books, all of which are new, depicting stories from many genres and corners of the world. (The first borrowed books were Jay Z’s “Decoded” and Anna Mariano’s “Love Sugar Magic.”) As for the aforementioned Winter Wonderland Celebration, we’ve acquired a few regular student helpers assisting with preparations, such as taking count of inventory and making decorations. There’s always something happening at the community school’s office, and there’s no sign of that stopping anytime soon.
Students browsing through the new book collection at IS 126Q Community School office
Conversations with our Youth
By: Michelle Makabali, Community School Director at Long Island City High School
The King of Kings Foundation is a partner at Long Island City High School. Their mission is to inform young people about the dangers of gang violence, drugs, guns and the lack of education. King of Kings has been a partner at the school through Zone 126 for the past two school years, this year they are deepening their work by integrating a gender specific model. Teachers and student’s reception of the program has been incredible and they are eager to welcome the King of Kings facilitators on a weekly basis.

The female group, which is called Sister Circle, and male group, called Brother Box, gather in separate spaces. The facilitators, which are led by the Feurtado Brothers, Todd and Lance, provide meaningful conversations about peer pressure and life issues. These meaningful interactions generate discussions around how these topics hinder the social, physical, economic, cultural and spiritual growth of young adults. The engaging work utilizes dialogue, role playing and de-escalation tactics to help each student become more self-aware
Mr. Feurtado and The King of Kings Foundation speaking to Brother Box and Sister Circle groups at Long Island city High School
Celebrating Parents In The Attendance Process 
By Katey Ray, Community School Director at PS 171Q
PS 171Q has been working hard to increase students’ daily attendance by informing parents about the importance of students attending school on a daily basis, and incentivizing both students and parents. On Friday, November 15 th , PS 171Q & Zone 126 hosted a breakfast to celebrate the families of children who have demonstrated improvement in attendance from the previous school year. These students had been identified as chronically absent during the 2018-2019 school year, meaning they had been absent for 18 or more days over the course of the year.
As Community School Director, I analyzed the data to find out which students and families we were going to honor and then sent special invitations home to parents in addition to making phone calls to encourage parents to join us. In total, we had about 20 family members attend, and we all enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast together as a community. Ms. Stone honored these students’ family members with certificates recognizing their commitment and dedication to their children.
PS 171Q and the Zone 126 staff recognize that team work is required to make strides in overall attendance and student performance; we will not be able to achieve our goals without the cooperation of students and their families, teachers and all school staff. We look forward to holding more of these celebrations during the year as we continue to tackle chronic absenteeism. 
Principal Stone of PS 171Q pictured with some of the parents who received awards for assisting their children in improving their attendance.
Follow @zone126queens on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as we show our appreciation, gratitude, and spread messages of our work
Know someone who would like to stay up to date with the latest information about Zone 126 programs, community events, and more? Invite them to join our email list here !

Follow us at @Zone126Queens on Instagram and Twitter !
We would like to thank all of our funders for their support: Thomas & Jeanne Elmezzi Foundation, US Department of Education, New York City Department of Education, Altman Foundation, Blue Buffalo Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, and Phyllis Backer Foundation.