Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Neighborhood School is in danger of losing its library

From the EV Grieve inbox...

[Marjorie Ingall]

Thanks to drastic budget cuts, we have lost funding for the library at The Neighborhood School. TNS is not a wealthy school (40 percent of our students qualify for free lunch) and our parent body is already stretched to the limit providing art and music education and field trip subsidies ... We need to raise $40K by June 27 to save our library.

So parents at the school on East Third Street have kicked off a grassroots campaign to raise the money. Here's a website with more information and background.

So far, they have planned two events... A comedy night on May 11 at 6:30 pm at Laugh Lounge (151 Essex) — the headliner is Moody McCarthy from "The Jimmy Kimmel Show." The $20 cover all goes to the library. And then on May 13 at McNally-Jackson bookstore at 52 Prince there's an event featuring Gloria Steinem, Times columnist Gail Collins and "Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead.

You can also donate at the Save the Library website.

Parent Marjorie Ingall provided more background...

A perfect storm of budget disaster issues converged on us at once. There were Title I issues (the threshhold was raised to 60 percent, so even though our school is still 40 percent free lunch, we get no financial aid from Title I the way we once did), Fair Student Funding issues (the fact that our teachers tend to be very experienced punishes us financially) and other crises.

[Bill Massey]

And per the Save the Library! website:

Our amazing librarian Cheryl empowers kids to love reading, teaches them the research skills and media literacy they’ll need for the real world, and encourages them to use the web safely. She brings in wonderful authors, nurtures reluctant readers and does curriculum work in all our classrooms. Losing her will be devastating.

[Bill Massey]

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

save the school and the library!!!keep it in the community..you cannot throw out the hispanic pop and replace them with yuppies and yunies..not acceptable behavior..but in this world everything is perverted in one way or another..this will stop..the buck stops here.

Anonymous said...

this has nothing to do with "yuppies" and "yunnies" this is about the rich getting richer and the middle and lower classes getting fucked again - this problem originates outside of neighborhood, but affects us all. Let's NOT forget that we are asking financial supports from the "yuppies" and "yunnies" of yesterday, who are now the moms and dads and friends of the kids at The Neighborhood School. So let's leave the name calling aside and do what we need to do to make sure these kids have a library.

BTW- Our two kids go to Earth School, where the situation is equally dire, and equally in need of constant parent and community financial help.

glamma said...

that the bloomberg administration continues to spend lavishly on cosmetically enhancing the city (isn't it beautiful enough??) and offers giant tax subsidies to things like the film industry, to attract more tourists and perma-tourists (moneyed transplants) whose spending NEVER seems to trickle down through the city's coffers to its actual inhabitants, is a crime and an outrage as they drastically slash all our social programs. everyone in need gets absolutely screwed. i mean he is literally trying to starve the homeless to death. i have never in my life seen a mayor who so blatantly hates his people quite so much. if bloomberg had his way, no one would actually live in new york!!! and the disneyfication would be complete.
what. a. bast@rd

esquared said...

Not a fan of that crowdfunding platform KickStarter, but this is one of those instances that it can be useful and valuable, a project that has real value to their supporters.

Anonymous said...

The library at the Neighborhood School is called The McKinley Library. It serves both schools in that building, The Neighborhood School(TNS) and P.S. 63. Anyone who suggests that this library is filled with "Yuppie" kids, should check out how many students in that building are getting free lunch. TNS has a lot of fundraising experience (they wrote grants and raised funds to build the library for both schools) and they are once again raising funds so that both schools can continue to enjoy it.

Marty Wombacher said...

I'm looking forward to attending both of those fundraisers and hope there's a big crowd to help raise money for this library.

LvV said...

Can books be donated as well? I might be able to get my hands on some new children's books and I would love to donate if they need them.

(figured I'd put the question here as I didn't see anything on the site and thought it might be a question others had or knew the answer to. I'll email them now and let you all know what I find out)

Anonymous said...

This isn't really even about class issues--it's about the larger effort to dismantle public education and public institutions (just look what is happening to the New York Public Library)and to privatize, privatize, privatize. Public schools are being starved of everything they need to be successful, in the interest of replacing them with money-making charter schools. It's so corrupt and delibate, you'll vomit. Give to TNS and vote for people who support public institutions.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant "deliberate." My fingers were so mad, they typed over the "er"!

marjorie said...

Thanks so much, Grieve. As my Earth School compatriot says, namecalling isn't helpful. And this isn't business as usual: we suddenly got a GIANT sum cut from our budget (after 3 years of steady budget cuts -- our web site, http://tnsny.org/savethelibrary, details everything we've had to get rid of in the last 3 years). We're talking new losses in the neighborhood of $70K, and for a school that is 40% free lunch, this is a staggering sum. And our librarian is a ROCK STAR, a true educator. If you can possibly donate, or attend one of the events, please please do!

marjorie said...

Marty! I wanna meet you!

For various funding reasons PS 63 isn't in as terrible financial shape as TNS. The way it looks now, they will be able to keep the library space but not the librarian. And they lose access to the wonderful NYPL pilot program the librarian administrates that allows kids to take out public library books through the school, and they lose the special collections that require a full-time licensed librarian to administrate. And of course, TNS, which has had far deeper funding cuts, loses all access. We don't begrudge them getting sole use of the library if they can pay for the space and we can't. It's just tragic for all concerned.

nygrump said...

But there is always money to send NYPD to New Orleans and Europe for their stealth CIA ops that would otherwise be prohibited and probably are illegal anyway. There is plenty of money for the forced mass drugging of NYC by adding poisonous flouride to our water. BOOZEBurg says, transients yes, citizens no.

dmbream said...

So, stupid question:

What does "lose its library" mean?

Does that effectively translate to "lose the librarian's salary?"

Are the books not theirs? Can students/teachers/volunteers still have access to those? And the space is shared? That can't continue? Don't imagine the neighboring school would have an issue with that.

TIA.

RE: esquared's comment - See also: DonorsChoose.com, fundraising engine specific to educational causes.

dmbream said...

And now there's this:

JPMorgan gift to create 6 NYC schools

A $2.5 million donation from the bank's foundation will fund innovative nonprofit group's efforts to open new public schools in some of the poorest parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120419/EDUCATION/120419858#ixzz1sWa2fYhp

Somebody call JPMorgan...

Anonymous said...

The Yunnies and Yuppies are our enemy. I'm not going to kiss their asses. They'll take your school and turn it into condos in a heartbeat. Don't be fooled. part of the problem is that people have been submissive to the Yunnies and Yuppies. They have taken everything. Not much left.

If somebody wants to give, then give. Don't put your name in lights, just give. This was our neighborhood. Conforming to Yunnies and Yuppies for money is what has destroyed us. Either you are for everyone or just for yourself.

One of the reasons we are in the mess we are in is because people have taken money for their own organizations or for themselves and said fuck the neighborhood.

I am sure that you will make the money but don't make the same mistakes that others have by naming the library after a real estate developer.

I would like to chip in, but because I am middle class you won't have to worry about me
plotting to take a piece of your school, and if I need help when the Yuppies and Yunnies try to take my apartment I am sure that you will be there for me.

VH McKenzie said...

@Anonymous 6:25 who wrote :

"This was our neighborhood."

And just who might you be, anonymous?

Anonymous said...

...it's about the larger effort to dismantle public education and public institutions ...and to privatize, privatize, privatize. Public schools are being starved of everything they need to be successful, in the interest of replacing them with money-making charter schools. It's so corrupt and delibate, you'll vomit....

I wanted to repeat that because, as a parent of two kids in EV public schools I think that the problem with Bloomberg (and the Manhattan Institute, etc.) in a nutshell. And it's not just random public schools that are being starved, it's the successful small and innovative schools that are being targeted because, yep, those are the schools competing with the private schools that are targeting the NYC DoE. There are, of course, many other issues but what's happening to our public schools is awful and Bloomberg and the privatization drives have made things so much worse.

Anonymous said...

This yuppie / yunnie discussion is pathetic. Regardless of what the status is of the child's family, ALL kids in the public school system deserve an education. And yuppies, too, send their kids to public schools because they still have faith that public schools and their wonderful teachers are powerful for their kids' lives. It is about a much bigger issue regarding the public school system and allocation of funds. I certainly hope that the grumps going off on the menial issues here are at the front of the room at the fundraisers. I've lived in this neighborhood long enough to see the talk but no action. Let the fundraising planning begin!

Anonymous said...

The yuppie and yunnie debate vs. the kids of working class families is relevant. The folks with cash can up and take their kids out of the public school system if this library closes or teachers get cut, class sizes increase, etc. So the comment that they send their kids to public school might be accurate, but they do that by choice not because they can't afford other options. We see too often the solution to these issues being to take money from the private sector, corporations and patrons who want things named after themselves. Take for instance this bullshit hockey league that takes over TSP every weekend, or the corporate softball league that occupies this same space during early evenings. I am sure some of the money goes back to maintaining TSP, but obviously not enough as a group of people had to embarrass the Parks Department to deal with the rats. No one is saying we shouldn't give what we can to save this library, but what about Cabrini Nursing Home or Mary Help of Christians or many other places that have been sold to developers or likely will. Yuppies and Yunnies have stuck their flags in the ground and said we are here, we have the power, we have the money and if you don't like what we have done, pack your bags and leave. So no more making nice with these types so they shove a few crumbs off their tables and help save a few things around here. The people need to save the things that are dear to us with our money, our voices and our sweat.

Matt said...

Yep, ultimately it's about busting the teachers' unions and privatizing public schools so that Joel Klein and Rupert Murdoch can profit off of our children while we the taxpayers foot the bill. Starving the schools of funding for all the things that keep students engaged -- arts programming (what there is is parent-funded), libraries, afterschool stuff, etc. -- is about driving middle class families out and making K-12 education safe for underperforming non-union, for-profit charter schools that have failed to compete with public schools. Defund music class, test until their eyes bleed and prove that public education doesn't work, thereby depriving the teachers' unions of popular support so you can privatize that shit and turn a profit. That's the game plan.

The East Village's four progressive public schools are, for those who don't know, a treasure -- really unique in the city. And they've continued to thrive despite the efforts of Bloomberg's DOE to chip away at their autonomy, prevent them from cultivating diversity (http://www.dnainfo.com/20120130/lower-east-side-east-village/city-policy-segregates-east-village-schools-parents-say), starve them of funding and deny them needed space.

Matt said...

Oh, and regarding "Yuppies and Yunnies," whatever. This is nonsense talk here. People with real money don't have their kids in public schools. Yuppies don't have kids at all because they're YOUNG and non-working class people don't have kids until they're well into their 30s in this town. The parents with the money in these schools like Neighborhood are not high-flying financiers but insecure upper middle class "creative class" types from modest backgrounds. They're committed to public education. Anyway, if you give a shit about inequality beyond just grousing about "Yuppies and Yunnies" in a blog comments section, then go out and lobby City Hall for a living wage. Go out and demand that the city and the state expand the social safety net to shelter a vanishing middle class. Demand more affordable housing and stronger protections for renters. Get concrete. Don't just fling poop at fuzzy shadow puppets. Because what's at stake isn't just your precious sense of authenticity but a lot of New Yorkers' lives.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Matt!

marjorie said...

Sorry I was out of touch -- fundraising outside our school is new to us and we're stretched really thin. To answer some questions: "Lose the library" means LOSE THE LIBRARY. Two schools share the building and the other school has enough money to pay for its half. We aren't exactly sure what this means for them. We know that for us, being unable to raise our half of the money means that our kids lose all library access. PS 63 will not be able to pay for a full-time librarian, so yes, they can hire a part-timer or use parent volunteers the way some other schools do, but a) they too lose the partnership in the NYPL pilot program and they lose a bunch of products and services you only get if you have a full-time librarian. Research shows that having a full-time librarian is strongly linked to student achievement, especially for lower income schools. And our librarian (shared by both schools, who will certainly lose her job if we don't raise our share of her salary) is, no lie, a rock star. She does tons of curriculum work, engages reluctant readers, is amazingly clever with programming and getting kids excited about reading. Maybe I'll do a post on my own blog about all the stuff she's done. But for now, let's just say that's the outline of the situation, and thanks to Grieve's post we've had a couple of lovely outreach calls from local businesses, and if anyone wants more info on the financial specifics (or to donate new children's books for a book sale! thank you!) they can email me.