Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced that 587,676 New York City public schools students have performed 8,237 unique service projects to improve their communities as a part of Service in Schools, an initiative of NYC Service and the Department of Education. Over the past year, students in 1,402 schools in all five boroughs participated in projects which included working on a sustainable organic farm serving Crown Heights, Brooklyn and leading workshops for elementary school students as part of the Young Heroes program among other projects. Additionally, 30 schools were recognized for excellence in engaging their students in service. The announcement took place at Emigrant Savings Bank, where NYC Service, the Department of Education and the Department of Youth and Community Development hosted a celebration for Service in Schools participants.
"Service in Schools has been a vital part of NYC Services' goal to make service a core part of what it means to be a New Yorker," said Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. "Thanks to the work of our schools, the Department of Education and our non-profit partners, this initiative has been successful in encouraging students to make service a key part of their everyday lives."
"As we work to ready all our students for college and careers, service and service-learning opportunities help prepare them for active civic participation—in their schools, in their communities and throughout their lives," said Chancellor Walcott. "I am proud of the hundreds of thousands of New York City students who gave back to their communities through the myriad service projects, and I congratulate these 30 schools who are leading the way."
Service in Schools supports the expansion of service and service-learning programs in New York City public schools. The program began in the 2009-2010 school year, when 400,832 students worked on service projects, and expanded during the 2010-2011 school year surpassing goals by engaging 572,229 students in service. This school year, the Administration aimed to engage 600,000 students in over 1,700 unique service projects. In order to achieve that goal, schools were offered a range of resources, including resources to development service plans and the opportunity to attend a three City-wide training for schools. Surveys were conducted throughout the year to gauge progress of each school against its stated plan.
Additionally, Service in Schools hosted its second annual awards for schools. Schools applied for the Excellence in Service Award, given to schools with developed and exceptional service or service-learning programs. Over 250 applications were received. This evening, Chief Service Office Diahann Billings-Burford and the Chancellor distributed the Excellence in Service Award to the following 30 schools:
University Neighborhood Middle School; P.S./I.S. 217 Roosevelt Island; Pace High School; The High School for Language and Diplomacy; Baruch College Campus High School; Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology; High School for Arts, Imagination and Inquiry; P.S. 096 Joseph Lanzetta; Mott Hall Bronx High School; Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics; P.S. 105 Sen Abraham Bernstein; One World Middle School at Edenwald; P.S. K077; P.S. 132 The Conselyea School; P.S. 335 Granville T. Woods; P.S. 316 Elijah Stroud; P.S. 160 William T. Sampson; P.S. 119 Amersfort; J.H.S. 189 Daniel Carter Beard; P.S. 062 Chester Park; John Adams High School; J.H.S. 190 Russell Sage; P.S. 078; P.S. 003 The Margaret Gioiosa School; Tottenville High School; P.S. Q023 @ Queens Children Center; John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School; Bronx Alternative School; Flushing High School; P.S. 115 Glen Oaks
Additionally, the Jefferson Awards' Youth Service Challenge announced it has chosen the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics to receive a national award for excellence in service. The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics was chosen for one of only 18 national awards, out of more than 4,900 applicants. The Youth Service Challenge aims to increase student-driven service projects throughout the country.
"Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and I founded the Jefferson Awards forty years ago to recognize, encourage, and activate volunteers across the country," said Sam Beard, Executive Director of the Jefferson Awards. "Partnering with the City's Department of Education on engaging the city's youth in service is an ideal way to celebrate this fortieth anniversary and the future of service in America."
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