Showing posts with label The Neighborhood School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Neighborhood School. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday's parting shot

As seen at the Neighborhood School/PS 63 on Third Street — "This Is Not Ventilation" on a window that only opens a few inches ... as teachers continue to protest in the days leading up to the start of in-person classes on Monday...  

Earlier today, a reporter asked the mayor about ventilation concerns here. Per NY1: "We will absolutely send the team back to PS 63 ... to see exactly what happened. And if any classroom is not up to snuff, it'll be taken out of circulation immediately. And it will not be used until it is fixed."

Photo via @robinmenikoff

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Time for the Neighborhood School's Holiday Fair

The Neighborhood School's annual Holiday Fair take place tomorrow (Sunday!) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The holiday fair features an artisan market with items like soaps, jewelry and screenprinted T-shirts. There will be food, a photo booth, games and activities for kids ... as well as a book fair run by McNally Jackson.

The school is at 121 E. Third St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Holiday Fair at the Neighborhood School TODAY

The Neighborhood School's annual holiday fair is today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 121 E. Third St. between Avenue A and First Avenue... highlights include a rummage sale and book fair via McNally Jackson (and BOX MAZE!)...

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Neighborhood School Holiday Fair is Sunday

The Neighborhood School's biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up on Sunday.

The fair includes food, games and the always-challenging box maze. The festivities are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the recently refurbished school, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary, at 121 E. Third St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Monday, September 26, 2016

3 years later, school emerging from behind scaffolding and construction netting

Just noting the recent reveal of part of The Neighborhood School and PS 63 on Third Street between Avenue A and First Avenue ...

Back in June, everyone finally had enough of the three-year renovation via the aptly named Kafka Construction company ... Per The Neighborhood School’s Health and Safety Committee:

The co-located elementary schools ... have been covered in scaffolding for three years, blocking all sunlight into classrooms and creating a neighborhood eyesore. Local politicians and DOE officials who toured the schools in early June were shocked by what they found. It was enough to compel the SCA to take “drastic actions,” firing Kafka and bringing in an emergency contractor to complete the work, ostensibly by the beginning of next school year.

While there's still work to do, parents have said they are pleased by some progress...

The Department of Education are reportedly banning the Queens-based Kafka from taking new jobs with the city School Construction Authority for at least two years.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kafkaesque construction delays cause anger at The Neighborhood School on 3rd Street

[EVG photo from Monday evening]

The three-year renovation of The Neighborhood School and PS 63 on East Third Street between Avenue A and First Avenue has reached a boiling point with parents and nearby residents.

And now the aptly named Kafka Construction, the company behind the renovations, which include asbestos removal, have been removed from the job.

Members of The Neighborhood School’s Health and Safety Committee issued a statement dated today:

After parents of The Neighborhood School (PS363) and The Star Academy (PS63) elementary schools gathered 600 signatures in just two days on a petition alleging three years of health hazards at their schools created by ongoing construction work — including rodent infestation in classrooms, homeless encampments at fire exits and drug paraphernalia and human waste at the school’s entrance — the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA), on June 13, terminated Kafka Construction’s contract. The company’s completion date over the three-year period had been postponed twice, and they showed no signs of intending to complete the work or caring about the ramifications.

The co-located elementary schools ... have been covered in scaffolding for three years, blocking all sunlight into classrooms and creating a neighborhood eyesore. Local politicians and DOE officials who toured the schools in early June were shocked by what they found. It was enough to compel the SCA to take “drastic actions,” firing Kafka and bringing in an emergency contractor to complete the work, ostensibly by the beginning of next school year.

Parents could no longer keep silent when they discovered that each morning before school started, school administration had been forced to clean hypodermic needles, vomit and feces, found on the premises, before the children’s arrival. This was a problem created by the ongoing scaffolding surrounding the building which created conditions for all kinds of undesirable behavior after school hours.

The school’s cleaning efforts didn’t prevent used syringes from being found during a daytime fire drill or by an after-school group playing in what is left of the school’s yard, which is largely covered by construction equipment.

The flower boxes in front of the school, which once housed beautiful plants, are now rat infested, as is the area behind the school where construction equipment is stored. The entire building now has a problem with vermin, and children have been known to shriek when they see a rodent scamper across the room during class.

Parents are relieved that Kafka has been fired, but remain concerned and skeptical that their kids will have a facility that is safe and an appropriate learning environment by September.

And here are some photos supplied by the parents...

[Syringes found against school wall during a fire drill]

A Kafka rep declined to comment to the Daily News.

Meanwhile, a resident who lives adjacent to the school sent along a few photos and commentary...

"We have had our lives turned upside down by this nightmare. It's been going on for over three years now and every year we're told the same thing. It will be done in August," the resident said. "We've called Kafka numerous times to complain. One particular instance...Kafka told us the project was delayed because they had to order a special kind of terracotta and it was only made by one company in California! They also told us to think of what a beautiful building it's going to be once it is completed. I'm sure the terracotta cost more than the teachers got in raises in the past 10 years or so.

"They could have build three new schools in the time it's taken them to renovate this one."

In early May, the artist JR and his Inside Out Project visited the school. The portraits of the students from Inside Out were then used to liven up the plywood on East Third Street...

[EVG photo]

[EVG photo]

The Kafka workers recently tore down the photos and tossed them in the dumpster. [Updated: The school had to remove the posters. The Department of Sanitation was going to levy fines for every poster, according to a parent. "Obviously frustrating but for an entirely different reason," per a parent.]

Per the resident: "You can name the post 'Dumpster full of children's tattered dreams of this project ever getting completed.'"

According to the Daily News, Department of Education officials are looking to secure a new construction company to finish the job. Officials are banning the Queens-based Kafka from taking new jobs with the city School Construction Authority for at least two years.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Neighborhood School Holiday Fair is Sunday

The biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up tomorrow (Sunday!) at The Neighborhood School.

The fair includes a few familiar activities (photo studio, maze, car derby, etc.) and some new — Human Hungry Hungry Hippos??!??!??

Festivities last from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday (tomorrow!) at the school, 121 E. Third St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

ArtisanFest today at the Neighborhood School

[Click on image to enlarge]

The ArtisanFest featuring local vendors is today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Neighborhood School, 121 E. Third St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. The sale helps raise money for Studio in a School, which sends professional artists into underserved city schools.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How you can support The Neighborhood School by eating at Stanton Social on Wednesday

Via the EVG inbox…

The Neighborhood School (aka TNS, aka PS 363) is a diverse public school on East 3rd Street in the East Village. Over 45 percent of the students live below the poverty line. In 2011, the school’s art funding was cut drastically, which quite frankly blows. Thankfully, celebrity chef and Food Network star Chris Santos has stepped in to help — again. In 2012, he hosted a fundraiser at his restaurant Beauty & Essex; on Wednesday, he’ll be hosting one at Stanton Social (99 Stanton between Orchard & Ludlow), from 5 pm to 1 am.

Santos will donate $10 to the school for every person who reserves in advance (5pm-1am) and mentions TNS. He’ll also donate $5 for every non-TNS cover that night, PLUS he’ll match whatever the total is. The money will go toward supporting the school’s wonderful art program.

In the past, the school raised half the money for the art program itself; Title I funding and Studio in a School provided the other half. But the removal of federal assistance paired with NYS’s drastic budget cuts mean that TNS has to raise the full amount in the future. That’s why the school community is touched and honored by Santos’s commitment.

There are often tensions between diverse public schools and snazzy new neighborhood businesses; Santos is mindful of the potential divide. And TNS is grateful for his outreach. We hope everyone who values public education and tasty pre-Valentine’s-Day noshes (because going out on Valentine’s Day itself is for amateurs – it is the Whitman’s Sampler of urban dining experiences) will come on out and support the school.

To support the school: Call Chef’s Assistant Erica at 212.995.0099 or email her for dinner reservations on 2/12/14 – be sure to mention TNS when you book!

Friday, November 22, 2013

ArtisanFEST returns to The Neighborhood School on Sunday

From the EVG inbox...

The Neighborhood School’s ArtisanFEST: Art, shopping, snacks and all your holiday gifting under one roof!

The Neighborhood School’s ArtisanFEST is back! On Sunday, Nov. 24, from 10 am to 4 pm, come out to support a local public school and get all your holiday shopping done in one fell swoop. Admission is free and open to the public. Scoop up silk-screened clothing, hand-printed linens, sample-sale items, home decorations, jewelry, fine art and more.

Confirmed artisans include: Lucky Fish (gorgeous screen-printed clothes and home goods); Vale (edgy yet dainty vintage-y jewelry); Wovenplay (imagination-sparking clothes and accessories for wee adventurers and artists); Interior Provisions (affordably luxurious home products with a conscience; Small Trades (men’s and women’s classic clothing inspired by Irving Penn’s 1950s photos); Winter Water Factory (boldly printed organic clothing and accessories); Atsuko & Akiko (exquisite and playful clothing, home décor and jewelry); Jillian Sherry (delicate ripped silk paintings and textile prints); Billie Beads (polymer beaded, bejeweled objets and killer tchotchkes); MUNY (Indian, boho, fair-trade, handcrafted textiles evoking both Mumbai and New York – hence the name); Odette Williams (delightful retro-hip aprons, kid clothes and wall art) and many more. There will also be homemade treats, kids selling their own beaded and Rainbow-Loomed jewelry, and some of those groovy food trucks.

A portion of the proceeds goes to Studio in a School, the wonderful organization that brings together professional artists and public school kids, and to The Neighborhood School PTA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. The Neighborhood School is at 121 East 3rd Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village.

Monday, September 23, 2013

[Updated] Asbestos concern at the Neighborhood School

We've heard from some parents over at The Neighborhood School/PS 63 on East Third Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...

As we understand it, officials from the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) announced last week that they will begin removing asbestos from the building this fall ahead of a 2- to 3-year school renovation... the removal will occur after school hours starting at 4, which will disrupt a fair number of programs

From an email from a parent that is in circulation:

[Last] week my fellow parents and I were alarmed to find out that the scaffolding surrounding our school is there to take out asbestos and remove lead paint. I was even more upset to discover that no work was done over the summer and that the contractor wants to start now when school is session. We cannot allow this to happen!!! Asbestos and lead that are airborne due to construction pose serious health threats.

There's a meeting this morning with school officials to begin to address these issues (available parents are encouraged to show support outside the school, per the above flyer) ... there will be also be a Neighborhood School community meeting on Thursday morning at 8:40 with SCA reps.

The parents hope to postpone the work until next summer ...

Updated 9 a.m.
Serena Solomon has more details on this story over at DNAinfo.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Save a public school library, get cool art

[Photo from 2012 by Bill Massey]

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Last year, families at The Neighborhood School on East Third Street (aka P.S. 363, aka TNS) found out that due to a perfect storm of craptastical budget crises on both the local and federal levels, the school had lost funding for its library. We now have to raise an additional $40K a year to keep our library and wonderful librarian Cheryl Wolf — no small feat for a school in which a third of the children qualify for free lunch and many more live just above the poverty line, and the PTA is already stretched to its limit.

So we're doing an online auction of children's book art to raise funds. Some of the amazing artists who’ve donated original paintings, prints and/or autographed books include Maira Kalman, Sophie Blackall, Paul O. Zelinsky, Mo Willems, Calef Brown, Betsy Lewin, Jaime Zollars, Javaka Steptoe (whose psychedelic portrait of Jimi Hendrix from Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow will thrill music fans), Betsy Lewin, Beth Krommes, Emily Arnold McCully, David Milgrim, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman and many more.

The auction runs though June 21. New items will be added regularly, and of course, straight-up donations can be made here — fully tax-deductible, as The Neighborhood School PTA, which funds the library, is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Why bother? Because research shows that having a school library and librarian is strongly correlated with student achievement, and the less wealthy the school, the stronger that correlation is. Our school also has one of the largest percentages of children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) in our district, and Cheryl is a magician at reaching reluctant and emerging readers.

Our PTA is already stretched to its limit providing art, music, field-trip subsidies and supplies for students. That's why we're reaching out to the public. There’s nothing left to cut from the budget: In the last three years, we’ve cut our Reading Recovery program, our math coach, our literacy coach, our assistant principal, a school aide, all professional development contracts and our supplies budget, and we’ve increased class size in all grades. We don’t want to lose our library too!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two 7-year-old East Village students on loving books and hating Starbucks

Earlier in the spring, word spread that The Neighborhood School on East Third Street was in danger of losing its library. (You can read our post on it here.)

With the help of several local businesses, parents raised funds to save the job of the librarian, Cheryl Wolf, and the library for at least another school year. However, the fund shortage continues in other areas of the school... and parents are concerned about supplementing the library after next school year. You can read all the background at the school's website.

Anyway! There's a Save the Library Day today at the Bean on Second Avenue and East Third Street ...

On this occasion, with the help of Neighborhood School parent Marjorie Ingall, we asked two students at the school about why their class hates Starbucks and why they're doing a fundraiser at the Bean. Here are Annika (left) and Max.

Why do students/your classmates not like Starbucks?

M: They kicked out The Bean. We all love The Bean. We were all sad.

A: And The Bean is a small company and a monster business kicked them out. They're like [waves arm], "You're gettin' out."

M: It was a small company taking over a big company.

A: Just because you have more money and are more popular it doesn't seem fair that money can kick out a place.

M: If The Bean got there first, it's not fair that someone who got there second can have it just because they are richer. Also The Bean is better. Once at Starbucks I got a sandwich and there was mold on it. I shoved it at my dad and said, "You can have it."

A: We made little cards for the Bean. We gave them to The Bean and they said, "Thank you and we'll have a party for you and we'll give you cupcakes."

M: Here's how it worked. One day when Aza and Zoe were walking by they gave The Bean their sign — a Starbucks with a circle around it and crossed out and The Bean instead. They spelled it "b-e-e-n." They're in first grade.

A: And they said, "The Bean rules, Starbucks drools!"

M: And then we all said, "Two four six eight, The Bean is really great!"

What will you be selling today during the fundraiser?

A: Lemonade. Stationery. Plants. Bracelets. Neighborhood School tote bags if Amy says it's OK.

What is your favorite thing about the school library?

M: Kids learn from it! For our nonfiction research projects we borrowed every single nonfiction book.

A: Devion and Osiris did sharks.

M: Me and Aza did horses.

A: Me and Zairah and Isa did telephones and technology.

M: Kiran, Mira and Deanna and someone else did space.

A: Kyle and Charlie did football.

M: Boys did crazy boy stuff.

Why do schools need libraries?

M. The library has computers so we learn from the computers.

A. It's very peaceful.

M: We couldn't get by without it. Books pass the time. Period.

Some people say librarians don't need a librarian.

M. We need a librarian! She helps us find things.

A. Cheryl is very clear when she reads to us and when she explains things. If we come to a word one of us don't know she explains it.

M: Once we were really stumped! There was a word we just didn't know! I forget what word. It might have been "however." Whatever it was, she explained it.

A: She also helped us do research when we were studying transportation.

M: But the best thing is the books. Books can do almost anything.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Neighborhood School library spared for now; Standard East Village chips in $10,000 donation

[Photo by Bill Massey]

A few weeks ago, word spread that The Neighborhood School was in danger of losing its library. (You can read our post on it here.)

There's good news on the situation via The Wall Street Journal, who reports that parents raised funds to save the job of the librarian, Cheryl Wolf, and the library for at least another school year. As Ralph Gardner wrote:

The good news is that the heroic efforts on the part of the P.S. 363 community have underlined the value of librarians in the life of students — it's perhaps even more so today, when children have virtually unlimited computer access to information but need guidance putting it into context. The bad news is that the plight of the school puts into stark context just how dramatically the budget crisis has affected the city's public education system.

Read the whole article here.

The Journal notes that the "Save the Library" campaign was several hundred dollars short of its goal when The Standard East Village put in a $10,000 contribution. (We'll have more later on the other local businesses who were very supportive.)

Meanwhile, the fund shortage continues in other areas of the school... which you can read about at the school's website.

But for now... parents are savoring the moment...

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]

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Fair at the Neighborhood School (plus, pix of cute kids!)

From the EV Grieve inbox...

The Neighborhood School’s Holiday Fair:

The Neighborhood School’s beloved Holiday Fair is back! On Sunday, December 5, from 11 am to 5 pm, come out to support a local public school and have a blast. There’ll be carnival games, arts & crafts, face-painting, print-making, henna and temporary tattooing, a huge kid-built maze (made of deconstructed cardboard boxes — the Avenue A equivalent of a corn maze), a raffle and great food from neighborhood vendors including Ciao for Now, Solo Pizza and Mudspot.

And of course there’s the silent auction. A mere sampling of items up for bids this year: Gift certificates to terrific local shops, salons, spas, yoga studios and gyms; passes to the Landmark Sunshine; museum memberships; theater subscriptions; Knicks tickets; Doyle & Doyle jewelry; family portraits by professional artists and photographers; meals at fave neighborhood spots like Mama’s Food Shop, Esperanto, Il Buco, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Café Mogador, Caracas Arepa Bar, Balthazar and many more! Bid online or in person. Neighborhood School dad and EV institution Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba and writer Zoe Hansen will host a live auction at 3pm. Bidding closes at 4pm.

Admission to the fair is free and open to the public. Wondering what a progressive public school in the East Village is like? Come check us out! This is a great (and cheap) way to have fun indoors with your kids on a chilly winter’s day; you can have a nosh and shop for some great items while your kids run around playing and art-making with their friends. Proceeds from the fair support the Neighborhood School PTA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that pays for the school’s art and music education, field trips, classroom supplies, special programs and teacher support. The Neighborhood School is at 121 East 3rd Street between First Avenue and Avenue A

And a school parent passed along photos of some of the students... most of them were taken by the kids, some in an afterschool photography class (taught by a parent, since there is no more funding for afterschool programs) and some in school as part of the curriculum.