Diving Deep in the Zone
Dear Zone 126 Family & Friends,

On behalf of Zone 126, PS 171Q Students, and Long Island City High School (LICHS) Elves: Thank you for bringing the gift of literacy to over 500 children in the Zone this past holiday season. Your book donation made it possible for Santa and his student elves to gift each PS 171Q child age-appropriate reading material at Cocoa Mingle, for which we are truly grateful. The two-day event was filled with joy and cheer and each student from the elementary school had the opportunity to take their holiday photo with Santa. Students in Pre-K through 5th grade were also treated to hot cocoa and cookies served to them by Long Island City High School student elves, while listening to the chorus and band play sing-along holiday tunes. 

Again, we greatly appreciate your efforts and look forward to next year's Cocoa Mingle as we begin to continue this collaboration between PS 171Q and Long Island City High School to continue sparking an interest in literacy among children in the Zone.

Warmly and with gratitude,
The Zone 126 Team 
How We Create Impact
by Anthony Lopez, Executive Director
2018 was a good year for the coalition of partners that make Zone 126’s work a reality.
Zone 126’s Pre-K through 12 education pipeline model along with targeted and school-wide programming, delivers in-school and after-school learning experiences that increase school attendance, credit accumulation and graduation rates to supplement and support the work of instructional staff and leaders in caring for the socio-emotional needs of students and families. Currently, all of our partner programs are anchored at P.S. 171Q, I.S. 126Q and Long Island City High School and serve as a base for student and family support services and program operations.
In addition to our Neighborhood Community Schools model, we use each school’s Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) to structure collaborations between the school community, community resources and non-profit service providers to create a shared agenda and culture of student achievement. Each CEP serves as a transparent guide for achieving clear outcomes for students by grade, subject matter, school climate and family engagement.
Lastly and most importantly, our role as a neutral convener of community stakeholders and affinity groups brings together instructional leaders monthly, Executive Directors quarterly, parents and residents bi-annually and youth on an annual basis to inform our work. Convening interested parties in this way creates both safe and brave spaces for peer-to-peer learning specifically around addressing racial inequity in public education.
In focusing on fewer local schools that are naturally connected to each other, our coalition have increased the potential to raise private funds to leverage our recent $2.5M federal Community Schools grant award, and network community-based partners and schools with local and corporate businesses.
We still have a long way to go to improving education outcomes for the most excluded in our local schools. However we stand confident that new breakthroughs are on their way in 2019.   
News from the Zone
Pipeline Update
Gifting Our Children the Love of Literacy
by Katherine Ray M.S.T., M.S.Ed., Community School Director, PS 171Q
On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, PS 171Q, Long Island City High School and Zone 126 teamed up once again to host the second annual Cocoa Mingle. 

Community School Directors, Katey Ray from PS 171Q and Michelle Makabali from Long Island City High School worked to coordinate the pipeline partnership. LICHS students from the band and chorus performed for the students of PS 171Q, while the Culinary Arts & Hospitality students served cookies and cocoa during the event. 
On Friday, December 21, 2018 the festivities continued with a Sing Along and a special visit from Santa and Rudolphina the Zone Reindeer. Each child was provided a free backpack filled with goodies that included rulers, pencils, an educational learning game, and a brand new book to help students build their own personal home library. 

A wonderful time was had by all. 
Santa distributing books to Pre-K scholars
Welcome Valentina Di Loreto
by: Rebecca Lee, Special Projects Coordinator
Zone 126 would like to introduce Ms. Valentina Di Loreto, Master of Science. to the IS 126Q Community. She earned an M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University. Her studies led her to practice in the field of diversity, inclusion, and restorative justice.

Valentina works at IS 126Q to promote parental engagement, social and emotional development, and community building. She looks forward to familiarizing parents and students with the whole gamut of community programs Astoria has to offer, and helping them access much-needed services. She is excited about seeing how when basic needs are met, individuals, families and whole communities can flourish and become driving forces of change in society.

Valentina can be reached at vdiloreto@zone126.org .
Valentina leading a strategic planning session at the
Zone 126 Neighborhood Community Schools Meeting
Culinary Cooks for Chancellor Carranza
by Dylan Woloszczuk, Young Adults Succeed Coordinator, Long Island City High School
Chancellor Carranza with LICHS CTE Teachers Ms. Devito and Ms. Parker, Principal Vivian P. Selenikas,
CBO Supervisor Anju J. Rupchandani, and Community School Director Michelle Makabali
On November 28, 2018, Chancellor Carranza visited Long Island City High School for the monthly Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) Meeting. Prior to the meeting Chancellor Caranaza, PEP Members, Principal Selenikas and Community School Team Members sat down to have dinner. A delectable menu of items including Shrimp Scampi, Chicken Florentine, String Beans, Salad, and Foccacia, and Dessert were prepared by the students in the Culinary Program of the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program. 

The dinner service was presented as a buffet for all attendees to enjoy. Senior Culinary Student Keven* described the experience as "unforgettable." He stated, "It's always fun and exciting to cater for different people, especially for someone who is looked up to in the education world." 
Other Culinary Students expressed pleasant surprise about being included in preparing a meal for the Chancellor of NYC Public Schools. Senior Melissa* said she wouldn't have dreamed of being asked to participate in such a high-profile event. She state, "The best part of the event was just seeing everyone enjoy the food and finishing their plates…I never would have thought that they would enjoy it so much." Fellow Student Roseli remarked that "It was a great opportunity to be acknowledge by someone like the Chancellor." In addition, the students had the opportunity to meet the Chancellor and tell them about their experience at LICHS and what they love about the Culinary & Hospitality CTE program.
The CTE Culinary Students were entrusted with a great deal of responsibility to cook and host this dinner, and rose to the occasion. They also acknowledge the support of their teachers Ms. Devito and Ms. Parker as "the backbone of this event." 
Carranza Cleans His Plate!
Introducing #ZoneConvos
Executive Directors Panel Discussion
Fall 2018 marked the beginning of Zone 126's #ZoneConvos series. The series consists of three interactive talks, with the next panel discussion taking place during Winter 2019.

Race in Education, held on October 30, 2018 at Queens Library the Astoria Branch, was an opportunity for local nonprofit Executive Directors to weigh in on the question of how race plays a role on the how neighborhood youth are educated. Zone 126 and its partners recognize that for far too long, a disproportionate amount of children of color living in public housing attend low-performing schools.

Executive Directors Christopher Hanway (Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement), Evie Hantzopoulos (Global Kids), Matthew Troy (Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens) and Saeeda L. Dunston (Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities) were all a part of the panel. Zone 126 Executive Director Anthony Lopez moderated the panel discussion by asking questions about race in the context of the local nonprofits' experiences in their schools and the community.

Other local nonprofits and community members attended the talk and gained knowledge about strategies to improve educational outcomes among children of color.

Stay tuned for an invitation to the next part of the #ZoneConvos series in the coming weeks!
What We Are Reading
  • Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People's Power by Ernest Thompson and Mindy Thompson Fullilove
  • Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity: A Leader's Guide to Using Data to Change Hearts and Minds by Edward Fergus
Partner Volunteer Opportunities
Partner Events
Community-Word Project
Friday, January 25, 2019

Community-Word Project is hosting an Anthology Editing Day at PS 171Q on Friday, January 25th, 2019. CWP is looking for volunteers to help the first grade students bring their poetry to life and to make sure the day runs smoothly.

If interested, please contact Cara Search by January 11th, 2019 at csearch@communitywordproject.org Please include your name, phone number and the best time to reach you. Thanks in advance! 
Let's Get Ready
Success Coaches Needed!
Success Coaches provide mentorship and support to students in their first two years of college. Responsibilities include connecting students with campus resources, building a positive campus community, and providing responsive student support. This position is ideal for upperclassmen passionate about mentoring younger students through social and career challenges. Click here or the flyer above for more information
Queens Library
at Long Island City
Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Queens Library Long Island City branch will be partnering with The Good Dog Foundation to bring children the opportunity to read to therapy dogs.

Pre-register now for the Winter 2019 #YoungAdult #Literacy Program; classes start Monday, January 7!

Click here for directions, branch information, and more events.
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We would like to thank all of our funders for their support: Thomas & Jeanne Elmezzi Foundation, New York City Department of Education, Altman Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, and Phyllis Backer Foundation.
  *Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individual