January 2016 Cradle to Career Convening Recap: Partnerships in the Zone

Non profit partners and community members gathered at the Queens Variety Boys & Girls Club at our first Cradle to Career Convening of 2016 to learn about Zone 126’s efforts to build Community Schools in Astoria and Long Island City and take part in a discussion to brainstorm how as a collective, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children and families in the community.

The percentage of children living in poverty attending New York City Department of Education schools is at 30.2%.  54.4% of children are living poverty within NYCHA Queensbridge, Ravenswood, and Astoria Houses – the Zone 126 areas of need. Maritza Arroyo, our CEO reminded the audience that recent research by the CDC have found that poverty is not a choice – it is a congenital disease. Children and families living in poverty experience chronic stress that affects their socio-emotional development in addition to their academic achievement. By bringing the collective impact model to Astoria and Long Island City, we can continue striving towards closing the achievement gap through building cradle-to-career community schools in ten public schools throughout the district (PS 17Q, PS 76Q, CS 111Q, PS 112Q, PS 171Q, PS 234Q, IS 126Q, IS 204Q, William Cullen Bryant High School and Long Island City High School).

We presented the results from the 2015 Zone 126 Partner Satisfaction Survey, which is gathered annually from Cradle-to-Career Implementation partners that work with us in Zone schools. Findings from the survey showed that we are excelling in: 1) building public will, 2) mobilizing funding, and 3) facilitating collaborative efforts within Zone schools. However, there is room for improvement in terms of the clarity of Zone 126’s vision and strategy, communication between partners, and exposure to data collected.

In addition, we announced the school-based programs and services happening across the Zone in January through March 31:

  • NYU Parent Corps (PS 17, PS 76, PS 111Q, and PS 112Q)
  • Community Word Project (PS 17Q, CS 111Q, and IS 126Q)
  • enACT (PS 76Q, CS 111Q, and Long Island City High School)
  • CCNY Safe Dates (CS 111Q, IS 126Q, and Long Island City High School)
  • Museum of Moving Image (CS 111Q)
  • Alvin Ailey Dance (CS 111Q)
  • Zone 126 Family & Community Engagement Workshops (hosted at all of our partner schools)
  • City Harvest (PS 17Q, and PS 171Q)
  • Scholars of the Zone (William Cullen Bryant High School and Long Island City High School)
  • Let’s Get Ready (Long Island City High School)

Finally, partners at the Convening gathered in small groups to brainstorm how partner collaboration could improve across the Zone.

Ideas and topics that were discussed included:

  • more collaboration across parent engagement and programming,
  • having a better understanding of the backbone agency component and how to become part of the pipeline
  • creating an information hub for partners to be aware of others’ programs and events and engage in further dialogue

Thank you to all the partners and community members that came out to the Cradle to Career Convening to listen, learn, and engage! We are excited about all the ideas and connections that have been made, and responding to the needs of our partners.

Please join us at our next Convening in April! More information here.