In total, five new programs were launched with partners that include NYU ParentCorps, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, Socrates Sculpture Park, DOE Office of Adult and Continuing Education, and Child Center of New York.
"Having the data from a community needs survey, in this case the Project 126 Report, has been instrumental in how we have strategically created partnerships with nonprofit program providers to ensure our children and families and schools are receiving the services they need,” said Maritza Arroyo, executive director of Zone 126.
“These partners we have enlisted have all been able to bring more than $1.5 million of programs due to existing funding streams, helping us increase the number of children and families served," she added.
Already an educational powerhouse in the 11101, 11102, and 11106 areas codes in western Queens, Zone 126 increased its reach by 500 percent over 2013 to 1,000 active participants.
Along with the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, Zone 126 kicked off its first year of a five-year Advantage After-School Program serving 120 students at P.S. 171.
Continuing to nurture their bond with Socrates Sculpture Park, Zone 126 also collaborated with the English Language Learners department at LIC High School to facilitate programming focused on arts-based English language skills for seven groups of students.
To enhance early education, the NYU ParentCorps program returned to P.S. 171 in October and served 36 students and 30 parents with a collaborative parent-child curriculum for pre-k students, with sessions in both English and Spanish.
Zone 126 is also now assisting the Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education, as they host both ESL classes for more than 200 parents, enabling them to strengthen their own education while their students are in school.
“We know that a community of well-supported children and families has the power to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty,” said a Zone 126 spokesperson. “Ultimately, our vision is for every child in Astoria/Long Island City to graduate from high school and attain the necessary post-graduate credentials needed to thrive in the 21st century.”
Zone 126 plans to expand services until nearly 10,000 children are served by the program.
"We are grateful that Zone 126 and its partners have been able to serve more than 1,000 Astoria and Long Island City children and families,” Arroyo said. “But we have more than 8,000 in need.”