New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Executive Director of Community Schools (in the NYC Department of Education) Chris Caruso paid a visit to East Flatbush Community Research School yesterday, where University Settlement serves as the organizational partner in a community school renewal model.
While there, Chancellor Fariña and Caruso spoke with Principal Daveida Daniel, our Site Director at East Flatbush Kenya George, our Senior Program Director of Youth and Community Programs in Brooklyn Tameeka Ford-Norville, and our Executive Director Melissa Aase - they had an in-depth conversation about the successes and challenges so far with the renewal model. Among other things, the community school renewal approach empowers schools to bring in providers with expertise - like University Settlement - to add resources that benefit not just the student, but also their families.
After their meeting, the Chancellor and her team took a tour of the school, taking a few minutes to see the additional activities University Settlement has helped provide, including a critical thinking workshop; a small group reading session; and a cooking class. Some of the key goals we've hoped to achieve through the resources we've provided is to increase student attendance and to improve academic skills in fun and creative ways.