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Archive for April, 2020

New York City’s Largest Afterschool & Summer Camp Provider Calls on City Council to Resist Cuts to Essential Programs

Posted on: April 23rd, 2020 by New York Edge No Comments

New York Edge Offers Alternatives to Traditional Summer Camp to Help Parents and Caregivers Return to Work 

In a letter to New York City Council members, New York Edge – the City’s largest provider of afterschool and summer programming – is urging the Council to resist funding cuts to summer programs proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The organization also provided alternatives to traditional summer camps that would ensure students have access to enriching programs that will prepare them for the next school year, while helping caregivers as they prepare to return to work. 

We stand ready to serve our students and families this summer, and we need the continued support and funding of the City to make programs available this year in accordance with public health and safety rules.”

Rachael Gazdick, CEO of New York Edge

“After this extended period of virtual learning and social distancing, our city’s youth need and deserve enjoyable summer programming. And as we begin to reopen our economy, parents and caregivers will need safe, educational programs for their children,” said Rachael Gazdick, CEO of New York Edge, in the letter. “We stand ready to serve our students and families this summer, and we need the continued support and funding of the City to make programs available this year in accordance with public health and safety rules.”

Following school closures in March, the organization successfully moved its afterschool academic, arts, health and wellness, and college readiness programs online, and is positioned to provide virtual summer enrichment that promotes collaboration and empowerment while reinforcing academic progress.

New York Edge has been formulating a trauma-informed approach to summer camp that can be delivered online, or – if it becomes possible – in person with additional measures to support social distancing. The letter outlines the organization’s plans if it is possible for the public to gather in July or August, proposing running summer camps at the New York City schools that provide grab-and-go meals. New York Edge would create camps of 50 children and divide them into groups of five with one adult to each group, and would adhere to physical distancing by providing each child with their own individual learning pack.

“We completely grasp the financial challenges our city is facing today, but our economy simply will not be able to reopen if parents and caregivers do not have the peace of mind knowing their children are being taken care of. With the closures of New York City public pools, beaches and playgrounds, for tens of thousands of working families across the city, afterschool and summer camp programs would be the only options they have for their children,” added Gazdick. “This funding will not only serve our youth and their parents, it will also preserve the infrastructure of important nonprofit organizations like ours, which will be needed more than ever this fall.”

For more than 25 years, New York Edge has addressed the needs and goals of under-resourced schools through customized, curriculum-based afterschool programming. Today, the nonprofit provides more than 40,000 students in grades K-12 with rigorous, innovative programs designed to give them the edge needed to succeed.

About New York Edge

New York Edge, formerly known as the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), is a non-profit organization and the largest provider of afterschool programs in all five boroughs of New York City and the metropolitan region. With more than 40,000 students from over 300 programs in grades K-12, the organization provides under-resourced students with year-round programs to give them the edge needed to succeed. newyorkedge.org

New York City Students are Ready to Rock & Roll With Launch of Virtual Music-Driven Afterschool Program

Posted on: April 2nd, 2020 by New York Edge No Comments

New York Edge partners with Steven Van Zandts Rock and Roll Forever Foundation to provide NYC students with enrichment programming amid Coronavirus school closures

New York City public school students from New York Edge – the largest provider of afterschool programming in the City – will now have access to free afterschool programs from the safety of their homes during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) school closures, as the organization joins forces with the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation to launch their program, TeachRock, across the five boroughs. The launch is part of New York Edge’s move to online afterschool programming in response to COVID-19. 

“We’re happy to partner with New York Edge to use the power of music to help keep students in New York City engaged, emotionally healthy, and learning.”

Little Stevie Van Zandt

The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation – founded by multi-platinum artist, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur Little Stevie Van Zandt – is dedicated to improving student outcomes by using popular music to create interdisciplinary, culturally responsive education materials. New York Edge’s students will have opportunities to engage in continued learning remotely through the organization’s TeachRock Distance Learning Packs, which feature music-driven activities and projects for K-12 students. The virtual initiative is part of New York Edge’s mission to provide innovative afterschool programming that is designed to improve academic performance, health and wellness, and self-confidence.

New York Edge CEO Rachael Gazdick spoke with 1010 WINS about the organization’s partnership with Steven Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation to launch virtual music-driven afterschool programming for
New York Edge’s students during the COVID-19 school closures.

“This is an unprecedented and uncomfortable time, and educators have provided structure, emotional support, and a reassuring sense of normalcy to our children as we’ve transitioned to a period of social distance. But kids don’t thrive in isolation,” said Little Stevie Van Zandt, founder of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. “Music can connect us, even when we can’t be together. TeachRock curriculum has always used music to foster connections between students and teachers, and we’re happy to partner with New York Edge to use the power of music to help keep students in New York City engaged, emotionally healthy, and learning.”

“Now more than ever, it is critically important for youth to have access to enriching programs that will motivate them to remain focused, continue learning, and lead healthy lifestyles during this extended period at home,” said Rachael Gazdick, CEO of New York Edge. “We are proud to partner with the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation to launch TeachRock online. Together, we will ignite students’ intellectual curiosity and support their success as they explore the universal language of music.” 

The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s TeachRock.org website provides nearly 200 free standards-aligned lesson plans for K-12 students that use popular music to introduce key concepts in social studies, language arts, STEAM, math, general music, and art, as well as social emotional learning. Their Distance Learning Packs highlight project-based learning, collaboration, and communication, authentic assessment strategies such as art, podcasts or videos, and include clear, concise instructions that empower non-educator family members to help students succeed. 

For more than 25 years, New York Edge has addressed the needs and goals of under-resourced schools through customized, curriculum-based afterschool programming. Today, the nonprofit provides more than 40,000 students in grades K-12 with rigorous, innovative programs designed to give them the edge needed to succeed.

About New York Edge

New York Edge, formerly known as the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), is a non-profit organization and the largest provider of afterschool programs in all five boroughs of New York City and the metropolitan region. With more than 40,000 students from over 300 programs in grades K-12, the organization provides under-resourced students with year-round programs to give them the edge needed to succeed. www.newyorkedge.org

About Rock and Roll Forever Foundation
Steven Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation empowers teachers and engages students by using popular music to create interdisciplinary, culturally responsive education materials for all 21st-century classrooms. The nearly 200 standards-aligned lesson plans in the RRFF’s TeachRock curriculum foster learning through arts integration in areas including social studies, language arts, STEAM, general music, art, math, and more. From The Beatles to Beyoncé, from early elementary to AP History—TeachRock offers engaging and meaningful material for nearly every classroom, all at no cost to educators. TeachRock is used by more than 30,000 educators across all 50 states. Since 2017, Little Stevie and TeachRock staff have offered face-to-face professional development to nearly 10,000 teachers.