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

The Giving Season is quickly approaching. We invite YOU to bring joy to the students of PS 171Q by donating a book via our Amazon Wishlist: http://bit.ly/cocoamingle18 .

Please scroll down to read more about this literacy-packed holiday event.

Warmly and with gratitude,
The Zone 126 Team
1968: Community Control
2018: Community Accountability
by Anthony Lopez, Executive Director
This past month, we commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Ocean-Hill Brownsville crisis when teachers went on strike, shutting down New York City’s education system for 36 days. However little is known, understood or appreciated about the community control of neighborhood schools movement—born from the larger school integration efforts--that prompted the strike. 

In 1968, Black, Puerto Rican and White parents’ struggle for community control was a response to the failure of school operators to make substantial changes that guaranteed a suitable education to black and brown children. Today, these parents still struggle. First, they need a way to know what their school does for their children, and then, how they do it.

Zone 126’s recent award of a 5-year $2.5M federal grant to implement a Full-Service Neighborhood Community School at PS 171 and IS 126 is our opportunity to learn from and examine the lessons from the community control movement and improve the outcomes for neighborhood students. We can redefine the relationship that marginalized parents have with the school system. 

Zone 126 has the framework for collaboration between schools and neighborhoods and now we have a Pre-K – 12th grade community school model. What we need is the will to make the difference for these children—our children, together now.

News from the Zone
Pipeline Update
First Day of School Visit: The Building Blocks of Early Childhood Edcuation
by Rebecca Lee, Executive Assistant
The first day of school is an exciting day for students, parents, and school staff. September 05, 2018 was the very first day of school for many of our youngest learners at PS 171Q-Peter G. Van Alst. Excitement and rejuvenation filled the halls as teachers welcomed their new classes for the 2018-2019 school year. Teachers opened their doors to reveal brightly decorated classrooms geared toward encouraging students' love of learning from an early age. Reading nooks, homework pockets, and beautifully categorized book collections strive to pique interests in learners of all ages.
The Zone 126 Team, New York State Education Department Regent Judith Chin, Superintendent Elaine Lindsey, and Principal Vivian Selenikas of Long Island City High School visited PS 171Q to wish the students a wonderful first day of school and learn about PS 171Q's efforts to promote student success. PS 171Q Principal Lisa Stone and Assistant Principal Laura Kavourias led the guided tour. Zone 126 would like to thank Regent Chin, Superintendent Elaine Lindsey, and Principal Stone for their commitment to the children of the Zone.
Left to right: New York State Department of Education Regent Judith Chin, Zone 126 Managing Director Anju J. Rupchandani, PS 171Q Principal Lisa Stone, Zone 126 Executive Director Anthony Lopez
Thank You to the Phyllis Backer Foundation
by: Anju J. Rupchandani M.S.Ed., Managing Director
Pictured Above: Argos Gonzalez, Little Flower Yoga Teacher and Curriculum Consultant
Zone 126 would like to thank the Phyllis Backer Foundation for their generous support once again to fund the Little Flower Yoga program at IS 126Q-Albert Shanker School for Visual and Performing Arts. 
Summer Bridge at Long Island City High School
Claudia Esteva, Director of College & Career Readiness, Long Island City High School
During the Summer of 2018, Long Island City High School, Zone 126, The Leadership Program, Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE) and enACT came together to provide 6 weeks of elective ELA, elective Math, and elective Science for 90 incoming freshmen. The goal for the summer was for these students to earn 3 elective high school credits, meet their fellow classmates, and prepare for freshmen year. Some of the highlights this summer included an ongoing debate in English class regarding current events, a budget-based project in Math, and an environmental science competition. In addition to these core subjects, students received social-emotional support through The Leadership Program, PASE Teaching Fellow, and enACT focusing on confidence building, conflict resolution, healthy interactions, and high school and college readiness. These students are ahead of the game for 9th grade!  

When asked about their experiences in Summer Bridge, the following students said:
"I felt comfortable transitioning from Summer Bridge to High School. Summer Bridge was fun, helpful, and I was able to make friends before high school." -B. Betances 

"Summer Bridge was fun and comfortable, I made new friends." -J. Cabral

"It helped me get around school the first day and not feel insecure. I felt safe." -S. Garcia

" For me, the classes helped. They helped me in case I were to forget anything over the summer. The tour was really helpful too, I did not feel lost the first few days." -J. Casanova
Breaking Bread and Benchmarks:
A Thriving Collaboration at Long Island City High School
by Dylan Woloszczuk, Young Adults Succeed Coordinator at Long Island City High School
Collaboration is deeply embedded in Zone 126’s methodology. Zone 126 believes working strategically toward a shared vision is the best way to support our students and our community. This is what we aim to bring to our students on a grand scale: a functioning network of collaboration to support student success. 

Family Night at Long Island City High School is an opportunity at the beginning of each school year to bring The Long Island City High School Community together over a delicious dinner. Students and families were encouraged to meet new people and organizations by getting stamps on their “Paw Pass,” which would help them earn extra credit. Families interacted with partner organizations, some of which were: City Harvest (where they made DIY healthy snacks), Sprint 1Million (where they could sign up for free WiFi hotspots), and Let’s Get Ready (where students could register for free SAT Prep). As students walked around, they met new peers and listened to the impassioned speech of Principal Selenikas. 

During their respective speeches, Principal Selenikas, school leaders, and students reflected on recent successes and looked toward future aspirations. Principal Selenikas and Zone 126 both delivered addresses to the school community about collaboration and its role in leading Long Island City High School to exceed several benchmarks. The speeches demonstrated that while the school community’s optimism and spirits are high, our aspirations are still higher. With each success and surpassed benchmark, we need to push harder and reach higher. We have a responsibility as a community to do more for our students. Principal Selenikas’ speech highlighted that to plateau is not an option. 

While we want our families and our community to be involved and informed, we also recognize the simple importance of relationship building. Not only that, but we recognize how significantly our families impact our children. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Long Island City High School and partners.
What We Are Reading
Cocoa Mingle 2018
Bring Joy to a Student!
More Photos from the First Day of School Visit
Zone 126 is hosting a Cocoa Mingle on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at PS 171Q- Peter Van Alst Elementary School (14-14 29th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11102). We are asking you to contribute one book so all children may enjoy this event.

With Long Island City High School's continuous support, student elves will be helping neighborhood families take a free photo with Santa, indulge in hot cocoa, and enjoy holiday carols.
We hope you will contribute one book from our Amazon wishlist so every child may enjoy receiving this gift from Santa. This event is open to families and the community. Thank you for your kind attention. We wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.

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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