The city’s educational system has not effectively met the diverse needs of New York’s school children—relying on materials that feature mostly white characters and role models. The Trust is making grants to shape and teach curricula that reflects the city’s diverse student body.
Last year, more than half of babies and toddlers in New York City spent at least half their day at a childcare center. These centers can have a profound effect on children’s developing cognitive abilities and social skills, but program quality is uneven in part because of a lack of resources and training for staff. A Trust grant to New York University will develop a teacher training program that will use African-American and Latin-American folktales, simplifying them to promote language development for two- and three-year-olds.
The city’s school system is more diverse than ever: 40 percent of students are Latinx, 26 percent are Black, 16 percent are Asian, and 15 percent are white. Yet school officials regularly make decisions without regard to this reality. We’re funding NYC Coalition for Educational Justice to promote culturally responsive education practices so that administrators and teachers account for cultural differences.
The coalition reached an agreement with the city in 2020 to create the “Mosaic” curricula to help the city’s diverse children connect with learning materials and see themselves working in any career. The Department of Education recently said it will only revise curricula for city middle schools by the previously announced 2023 deadline, but the Coalition will continue to advocate to expand that effort to all grades.
The Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton is home to 700 tribal members. A grant from our Long Island Community Foundation to Hamptons Community Outreach will expand an academic enrichment program for high school students who live on the reservation to include middle schoolers. The now full-year program will provide one-on-one tutoring, mental health services, and college counseling.