January 2019
Dear MBK Community,

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) will host the My Brother's Keeper Fellows for a leadership workshop entitled "Stand and Deliver" on Friday, February 15. The workshop will focus on providing leadership development in public speaking and presentations. I am excited to facilitate the workshop alongside Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, author of the book Madd Truth. During the workshop, the MBK Fellows will "Stand and Deliver" presentations highlighting their authentic leadership experience(s) as MBK Fellows.

On Saturday, February 16, the MBK Fellows will also participate in the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators 48th Annual Legislative Conference. During the caucus, NYS MBK will conduct a three-part workshop to provide an update on the growing MBK movement across New York State and demonstrate the impact and implications of the Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC II) and the My Brother's Keeper Fellows.

I look forward to seeing the MBK Fellows and some of our TOC II scholars in a few weeks! We will share highlights from the workshop and conference in our next newsletter.


Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs
Director of Family and Community Engagement
mhmf# MyHistoryMyFuture

_MyHistoryMyFuture logo
In February, NYSED will once again team up with The Education Trust-New York for our Black History Month #MyHistoryMyFuture social media campaign.

We're asking students what they envision the future looking like. Throughout Black History Month, we will feature inspiring quotes from students participating in the many wonderful MBK programs across the state.

To see all of the students' quotes, check out the #MyHistoryMyFuture hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) II

The purpose of TOC II is to increase the rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. TOC II programs incorporate strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques.
TOC II Spotlight: Queens College 

TOC II scholars share their
Ethnography Project findings
Last fall, TOC II scholars at Queens College engaged in various activities designed to prepare them for their internship experiences and beyond. Activities included the Ethnography Project, a research opportunity whereby students examined statistical data and conducted interviews with students, parents, teachers, and school leaders. The TOC II scholars then presented their findings to fellow students, faculty, and the Dean of Education during the TOC II Seminars.

According to Dr. Judy Yu, the Project Manager at Queens College TOC II program, "the goal of this project is for all our TOC II students to have a better understanding and relationship with the students and school communities. Research and practice go hand in hand, [and] in this case research is a tool used to better understand teachers' practice as well as family and students' needs. Additionally, the purpose of the Ethnography Project is to allow our TOC II students to enter their internship school communities as partners to the children, families, and communities." The Ethnography Project is just one example of the research opportunities offered to TOC II students at Queens College.

Dr. Yu and six TOC II scholars, Ana Castro, Stephanie Cruz, Ann Madera, Melissa Mora, Mariana Laverde, and Angel Ortega, will present research at The Teachers College Winter Roundtable Conference scheduled for February 22-23, 2019, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP)

The purpose of the FCEP is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color by developing and sustaining effective relationships with families in order to achieve student success.
FCEP Spotlight: Fallsburg CSD

Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson discussing the Basics Initiative 
Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson, Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University and Co-Founder of Tripod Education Partners and the Basics Initiative, was a featured keynote speaker at a recent Fallsburg Central School District superintendent's conference day.

Dr. Ferguson spoke to early childhood developers from the Greater Hudson Valley Health System (Catskill and Orange Regional Medical Centers), Sullivan County Healthy Families, Independent Living, Sullivan County Child Care Council, Project Excel, and Fallsburg's Benjamin Cosor Elementary School. Dr. Ferguson discussed the Basics Initiative for early childhood caregiving, addressing common cognitive gaps between children aged 0-3 depending on family income levels.

Teachers and staff responded enthusiastically to Dr. Ferguson's keynote address and to visitations by Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Matthew T. Evans, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, to individualized sessions throughout the day. Ellenville and Monticello Central School District's MBK program staff also joined the conference.
FCEP Spotlight: Ossining Basics 

MBK students and staff members from Roosevelt School, AMD, and OHS
Dozens of families attended the recent Ossining Basics MBK Launch at Anne M. Dorner (AMD) Middle School. The dinner was a celebration of local organizations and community members that are creating opportunities for Ossining's young men. Speakers included Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity; Superintendent Raymond Sanchez; Ossining High School (OHS) senior Patrick Saint Ange; seventh-grader Gavin Thomas-Walters; and Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic, executive director of the Nepperhan Community Center in Yonkers.

Dr. Bostic, a Doctor of Theology and a former NBA player, said that where people begin in life has nothing to do with where they end up. He had a difficult childhood and spent time in foster care but he worked hard and stayed focused on his passion - basketball. He ended up playing for the Detroit Pistons. "Follow your passion because your passion will lead to your purpose," he said.

Approximately 70 boys participate in MBK at Ossining's Roosevelt Elementary School, AMD, and OHS.
FCEP Spotlight: Westbury Middle School

Westbury Middle School Principal Fernando Agramonte speaks at inaugural MBK event at Magnolia Gardens
Westbury Middle School recently held its inaugural MBK event with the senior residents of Magnolia Gardens in Westbury. MBK advisers Principal Fernando Agramonte and Khani Satchell accompanied 40 young men as they interacted with the seniors of Magnolia Gardens to spread some holiday cheer, sing Christmas carols, and connect with the residents. The event was a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

The Westbury Middle School MBK program continues to change the narrative for young men in the community by exposing them to new experiences and preparing them to succeed personally and academically.

Exemplary School Models and Practices (ESMP)

The purpose of ESMP is to develop and/or expand exemplary high quality college and career readiness school models, programs and practices that demonstrate cultural and linguistic responsiveness, that emphasize the needs of boys and young men of color. This summer the State Education Department awarded 1.15 million to 5 schools for Exemplary School Models and Practices .

ESMP Spotlight: FaceLab

Parents and staff participating in Battle Bots demonstration
FaceLab is a program designed to increase the collaboration between parents, school staff, and educators in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education through hands-on training and mentorship. The objective of FaceLab is to create a culture shift within school communities where educators and parents engage in meaningful collaboration around student learning.

FaceLab recently hosted an MBK working session for staff and parents from NYC Model Schools. Participants shared and reflected on their experiences with FaceLab, and staff from Replication Schools were able to listen in and ask questions. At the end of the session, participants engaged in "Battle Bots," a robotics task illustrating the benefits of collaborative learning.

Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our MBK website, which provides details about the grants mentioned in this newsletter. The website also includes sharable videos about MBK, featuring young men of color from New York State.
Join the Conversation

If your school or community would like to share a story to include in a future edition of this newsletter, please email photos and news items to  [email protected] Similarly, if you are hosting an upcoming event, please let us know. We will add it to our calendar and help you get the word out!

Don't forget to follow us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn and tag us in your posts so we can follow you and share your success stories. Be sure to use the #NYSMBK hashtag!
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