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June 2016 Newsletter

| From Schools to Health 

Generous New Yorkers make it possible for us to fund the training of 2,000 preschool educators in the arts while aiding the City’s new effort to provide mental health care to more New Yorkers.  

The Art of Teaching Art 

Many teachers and principals grew up in a public school system lacking dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Budget cuts of the 1970s eviscerated arts education, and it never fully recovered. The City’s expansion of free pre-kindergarten programs is a great opportunity to train thousands of new teachers in the art of teaching art.

Working with the Fund for Public Schools, The Trust has invested $500,000 to send 2,000 educators to workshops at the 92nd Street Y, New Victory Theater, Third Street Music Settlement, and Studio in a School.

They are learning to tap the power of art to encourage children to develop curiosity, confidence, and creativity—skills that will help them in all subjects. “We’re making sure thousands of educators have the skills to help four-year-olds use all their senses, think critically, and express ideas,” says Kerry McCarthy, a Trust senior program officer.

She adds, “These students will be better prepared to succeed in elementary school.” Above: Dramatic play with costumes builds story-telling skills and young imaginations. Photo above courtesy of the Fund for Public Schools

Mental Health Care for All 

Mental health problems—from depression to schizophrenia to substance use disorder—affect one in five adult New Yorkers and can take a devastating toll if untreated. Social workers who help people get housing, jobs, and benefits often don’t have the skills to work with clients with mental illness. So, what can New York do?

A lot, as it turns out. In 2015, the City produced the nation’s first strategic mental health plan. A part of this plan, called Connections to Care (known as C2C), addresses how to improve nonprofit delivery of mental health care to clients who need it. 

The City won a $6 million federal grant to support C2C, and through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, we’re dedicating $400,000 to train and educate social service agency staff about mental health issues. The program will focus first on organizations that work with high-need groups: expectant mothers and parents of small children, young people not in school and not working, and underemployed adults. 

WORKING TOGETHER: Program officers Irfan Hasan and Rachel Pardoe meet with First Lady Chirlane McCray (right) at The Trust. Photo by David L. Marcus/The Trust

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