The UFT has partnered with the city's leading business
group and the City Council in awarding $600,000 in planning
grants to six schools to try out new models that provide
school-based health and social services to students and
UFT President Michael Mulgrew announced the grants at a
packed press conference on June 27. He was joined by
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Schools Chancellor Dennis
Walcott, principals union chief Ernest Logan and Kathryn
Wylde, the president of the business group Partnership for
New York City, as well as staff from the six schools and
leading community service providers.
The idea behind the grants, Mulgrew explained, is to help
make schools into community "hubs" where children and their
families have access to health and dental clinics, youth
development activities, tutoring, counseling and social
"Our kids often have enormous barriers to learning that
have little to do with their academic ability or their
school's instruction - chronic illness, family problems and
other issues that schools by themselves are not equipped to
deal with," Mulgrew said. "Our goal is to work with schools
and organizations to integrate providers of these services
into the daily life of our students and our schools."
The schools awarded grants were PS 30 and Community Health
Academy of the Heights, both in Manhattan; PS 188 and
Sunset Park HS in Brooklyn; Curtis HS in Staten Island; and
PS 18 in the Bronx.
The schools were chosen after submitting proposals and
engaging in extended interviews with the UFT, which
announced the pilot at its annual Spring Education
Conference on May 12. The union and City Council are each
providing $150,000 of the planning grant, with another
$300,000 coming from the Partnership.
The program is based on a successful community schools
model in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Quinn described the Cincinnati model as a way of putting
schools at the "heart of a community." It caught their eye,
she and several speakers said, because it has resulted in
much stronger student achievement in that city and broad
support for the schools from local businesses, nonprofits
and other city agencies.