240 elementary school students are now drumming, dancing, cooking, playing basketball, doing academics, and getting a hot dinner every day after school thanks to AIM! The Dream Academy Program is modeled after Child First Authority, an after school program created by Metro IAF affiliate BUILD, and organizes parents to be engaged in their school and community, and to win quality after school programming in the lowest income schools in Montgomery County MD.
AIM started organizing two years ago when parents and school staff said over and over that quality, affordable after school programming was non-existent for low-income students and was contributing to the opportunity and achievement gap for students of color and low-income students. The program provides an hour of recreation and an hour of academics to students four days a week.
AIM is working to expand the program to four additional schools in 2018.
As anybody who reads local papers knows, there is an important political contest taking place in New York politics. The mayor and governor are arguing how to fund a full expansion to universal pre-kindergarten (UPK). Each side is holding firm, making moves, counter moves. The resolution of this conflict is important, not just for the game of politics between New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor, but for the future of all of New York State’s children.
On May 21 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the Baltimore City School Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013, authorizing more than $1 billion for school construction and renovationthe single largest investment in Baltimore’s neighborhoods in more than 30 years. The effort to overhaul the city’s public school facilities will result in 15 new schools and more than 30 renovated schools across the city. Nearly 140 of Baltimore city’s 162 school facilities are in poor or very poor condition, and although the district has made significant gains in enrollment and graduation rates over the last several years, Baltimore still lags behind the rest of the state. BUILD is committed that addressing the building needs will be a catalyst for education reforms to ensure Baltimore’s children achieve the highest expectations.
Through the Baltimore Education Coalition, BUILD helped unite the City and State to act on one goal: build schools, build Baltimore. As Michael Sarbanes, Executive Director of the Baltimore City Schools Office of Engagement, explains, “...but for BUILD the $1.1 billion could not have happened. But for your hard work, your willingness to stand up strong and move quickly, your network of relationships, your understanding of how to get things done, and above all your commitment to what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now” and to the principle that, “the children come first.” It bears saying again—renovating schools is the single biggest investment in our neighborhoods and our children in Baltimore’s history.”
Michael Dresser got it right in describing the trajectory of the Baltimore school facilities bill as going from "non-starter to law," but the story goes far beyond the elected and appointed officials who worked hard to make the deals and shepherd the legislation to passage ("City schools bill a political showpiece," May 17).
At the mayoral forum sponsored last week by the Daily News and the Metro IAF citizens organization, Bill Thompson got to the heart of why we pressed the candidates to detail plans for the schools. He asked: “What defines success, not just in four years, each year. The chancellor and mayor need to be held accountable for that.
Greater Cleveland Congregations helped to pass a $80 million school levy in Cleveland -- a campaign that involved intense voter mobilization in battleground Ohio involving 60+ volunteers who called, canvassed, campaigned, drove, knocked, and dragged on Election Day, 100+ volunteers who participated in phone banks over the past week, and 250+ volunteers who collected over 5,000 voter registrations and knocked on over 10,000 doors speaking face-to-face with nearly 2,500 voters about the importance of the levy (not to mention the thousands of conversations with family, friends, neighbors, co-parishioners, strangers on the street....).
CLEVELAND - Supporters of the levy for Cleveland Public Schools are warning against laying off teachers, and a potential $50 million deficit. Over the weekend in an east side church basement, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers and concerned citizens met up for a voter registration drive. This group is part a coalition of local churches, synagogues and mosques in Cleveland trying to get voters to pass the Cleveland Municipal School District's levy on the November ballot.
Kindergarten is not mandatory in New York State with New York City being the exception. Many parents are concerned including Jessica Cruz, mother of three, as is Adam Barbanel-Fried from the community based organization 'Westchester United.'
Working alongside partners Transform Baltimore, the Baltimore Education Coalition and Child First, on Monday, June 10 BUILD won passage of a new bottle tax to be dedicated to school construction. This was a long, hard battle for Baltimorechildren. The bottle tax alone will generate $10 million a year that will service $155 million in bond funding, which will be used in 2013 to start building and modernizing at least 10 elementary schools while creating 1200 new jobs. With the Mayor's existing city funding and future slots revenue, this will generate $300 million in total school construction funding. This is a significant down payment on fighting for the $2.8 billion needed now to build new and modernize all of Baltimore schools.
Next, BUILD will unite the Mayor, the City Council, the Corporate Community, the bottlers and all of Baltimore to stand with our children and demand that the State and City invest in delivering $2.8 billion to rebuild Baltimore schools and generate thousands of jobs. BUILD and its allies will meet with the bottle industry to launch a Buy Baltimore - 5 cents for our Kids Campaign, encouraging all of us to continue to buy beverages in the City of Baltimore to support local businesses and school construction.