News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott and The Mayor’s Fund To Advance New York City Announce More Than $2 Million In Grants To Schools Impacted By Hurricane Sandy

02/26/2013

Mayor’s Fund donations will provide expanded counseling programs, mentoring,
academic support, and afterschool services

Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City today announced new programs to provide long-term assistance for students at 39 schools severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy, including mentoring, counseling, social services, and academic support.  The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has committed more than $2 million in hurricane relief funds to this initiative, to be administered by The Fund for Public Schools.

“Students in areas hardest hit by the storm lost a significant amount of time in the classroom, and this funding will allow us to provide them with services to get them back on track for success,” said Chancellor Walcott. “We are so incredibly thankful to generous New Yorkers and concerned donors around the world. Without their contributions to the Mayor’s Fund following Hurricane Sandy, these grants would not have been possible.”

“We know that many families’ lives were disrupted as a result of Hurricane Sandy and one consequence was children missing valuable school time,” said Megan Sheekey, President of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, which is providing funds for this effort. “This initiative is making it possible for students to catch up on learning they may have missed and also receive the vital counseling and mentoring services to further help in the recovery process.”

“When Hurricane Sandy disrupted so many New Yorkers’ lives, the City’s schools were a source of comfort, continuity, and inspiration to students and families in need,” said Julia Bator, C.E.O. of The Fund for Public Schools. “This grant from the Mayor’s Fund will enable schools to continue to go the extra mile to ensure our students feel safe, cared for, and ready to learn.”

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of students were displaced or relocated from their schools, creating unanticipated learning gaps and other challenges. The grant will allow the Department of Education to make great strides in supporting these students through mentoring and supplemental academic support.

The Department of Education will allocate $1.3 million to support expanded mentoring and counseling programs in 30 schools that serve more than 16,000 students. As the long-term impact of the storm and a more comprehensive picture of its effect on students’ well-being have emerged, it
has become apparent that students need non-academic support. These funds will assist schools in helping students regain a sense of normalcy and stability through mentoring, counseling, and social services.

The remaining $715,000 will provide expanded online tutoring and extended afterschool time for 13 schools that serve more than 13,000 students. These schools participate in the Department of Education’s Innovation Zone (iZone) program, which supports innovative educational programming and organizes instruction around the unique needs, motivations, and strengths of each student. Principals at iZone schools in storm-damaged neighborhoods sought opportunities for their students to make up lost instructional time and receive additional academic support from teachers. The iZone will use technology and afterschool support to meet these needs, which include providing student access to online Regents preparation programs, online tutoring services and coursework, online math and literacy programs, and afterschool time with teachers. The iZone will also provide laptops and calculators to schools that currently lack equipment because they have been removed from their school buildings or experienced losses during the storm. These tools will enable more efficient and effective support for students, both during the day and after school.

About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative public-private partnerships and programs for the City of New York, is accepting financial donations to support hurricane relief efforts. One hundred percent of donations are being dispersed to relief efforts and organizations. Grant funds have helped to support the supply and transport of emergency needs including hot food, toiletries, baby supplies, cleaning materials, warm clothing, and medications to communities hit hardest by the hurricane. The Mayor's Fund is now focused on longer-term rebuilding and restoration efforts including assistance for displaced families, schools, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, parks, and other impacted groups. To learn more, visit NYC.gov and search for “Mayor’s Fund.”

About The Fund for Public Schools
The Fund for Public Schools is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving New York City’s public schools by attracting private investment in school reform and encouraging greater involvement by all New Yorkers in the education of our children. The Fund works to strengthen the New York City Department of Education’s relationship with the private sector, secure funding for critical education reform initiatives, help businesses create partnerships and programs that support city schools, and raise public awareness about public schools. For more information about The Fund for Public Schools, visit www.fundforpublicschools.org.