February 2018

Hello Everyone,

We have a lot to share in this edition of "Changing the Narrative," including information about new MBK grant programs, upcoming events (including the Second Annual Symposium), the Board of Regents' involvement in the MBK initiative, a great honor for Yonkers, and of course, the wonderful stories we have received about the great things that are happening in your schools and communities across the state!

In addition, we wanted to make sure you saw this powerful and inspiring new video, "We Are the Ones," from the national MBK Alliance:

young man of color speaking at microphone

The Public Service Announcement (PSA) features former President  Barack Obama,  Stephen Curry, and C hance the Rapper and encourages youth to  take action to stand with young men of color. The PSA is part of a larger national MBK Alliance campaign called "The Keepers' Code." The Keepers' Code is a set of six principles inspired by conversations with young men of color across the country, and the code is continuously growing. You or your community can submit your own code to help contribute to this initiative.

Stay Connected with MBK

If your school or community would like to share a story with us, please email photos and news items to NYSMBK@nysed.gov.

Similarly, if you are hosting an upcoming event, please let us know. We will add it to our calendar and help you get the word out!

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Finally, if you know someone who might be interested in our MBK updates, be sure they know how to subscribe to our mailing list. Thank you for helping us spread the word!
grantNYSED Accepting Applications for Two New MBK Grant Programs

student sitting on steps outside with laptop and backpack
This month, the State Education Department announced  two new My Brother's Keeper (MBK) grants totaling $1 million: the MBK Fellows Program and MBK Native American Program. The MBK Fellows grant will provide leadership opportunities to high school juniors, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color. Approved MBK Community Networks are eligible to apply. Grants for the MBK Native American Program are intended to incentivize and support school districts to accept the My Brother's Keeper initiative and implement a coherent cradle-to-college/career strategy aimed at improving the life outcomes for disadvantaged Native Americans, with emphasis on boys and young men. For this program, NYSED will fund grants to eligible school districts partnered with New York State Tribal Nations. Grant applications for both programs are currently available online. The application deadline for both programs is February 16, 2018.
Deadline Extended: Exemplary School Models and Practices Grant

There's still time to apply for the  Exemplary School Models and Practices (ESMP) Grant. NYSED issued a revised version of this grant application in November, so if you applied to the program last spring and still wish to be considered for an award, you must submit a new application. NYSED will award grants to districts to develop and/or expand exemplary high-quality college and career readiness school models, programs, and practices that demonstrate cultural and linguistic responsiveness and emphasize the needs of boys and young men of color. Applications must be postmarked by February 7, 2018. 
eventsSave the Date: Second Annual MBK Symposium

Panel participants at 2017 symposium
The new dates for the symposium are Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, 2018. This year, an exciting student component has been added! There will be presentations, trainings, speakers, a college fair, a seminar on the Excelsior Scholarship, and special guests. Each funded project will be invited to bring up to five participants, including two students for each funded project and a chaperone for each pair of students. Save the date; you won't want to miss this upcoming event.

NYS Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus Weekend

Hosted by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc., the Caucus weekend is an annual event that will take place this year on  February 16-18 . Proceeds from the three-day event will benefit the Scholarship Fund for youth entering college. The Association brings together the most influential African-American, Hispanic, Caribbean, and Asian leaders from every corner of the state and beyond . This year, the Caucus will feature an MBK panel session with MBK Community Network representatives from Ithaca, Lyons, Buffalo, the Bronx, and Yonkers speaking on how their work is improving outcomes for boys and young men of color.
regentsRegent Young Attends Lower Hudson Valley MBK Alliance Quarterly Meeting

Regent Young speaking at Lower Hudson Valley MBK Alliance Meeting
Last month, Regent Young greeted and spoke to attendees at the Lower Hudson Valley MBK Alliance meeting in Elmsford, NY. The Lower Hudson Valley MBK Alliance is a partnership of several New York State MBK communities that collaborate to leverage resources and provide direct services to boys and young men of color. School personnel, city officials, and community-based organization members from New Rochelle, White Plains, Greenburgh, Mt. Vernon, East Ramapo, Newburgh, Yonkers, and South Westchester BOCES gave updates about their accomplishments, challenges, and upcoming events. A planning session was also held to discuss data, communication, funding, and the upcoming regional youth summit.
yonkersYonkers is One of Six "Cities on the Horizon"

Yonkers MBK students with their mentors
Congratulations to Yonkers, which was recently named as one of six "Cities on the Horizon" in the Campaign for Black Male Achievement's recent
Promise of Place report . The Yonkers MBK program is truly a national model for harnessing the strong partnership between the school district and the city to make a difference for the young people who live there.
spotlightsMy Brother's Keeper Challenge Grant - $7 Million

The purpose of the My Brother's Keeper Challenge Grant is to incentivize and support school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-college strategies aimed at improving the life outcomes for boys and young men of color.
Example of a Thinking Map
MBK Challenge Spotlight: Concourse Village Elementary School

While researching strategies to help students better access grade-level content, Concourse Village Elementary School (CVES) Principal Alexa Sorden discovered "Thinking Maps" (shown to the right), which support a learner-centered approach in the classroom. With help from MBK grants, Sorden and her staff re-envisioned their teaching methods and developed their own curriculum incorporating the Thinking Maps. The school-wide commitment to this approach has paid off, resulting in high proficiency scores and excellent student engagement.
MBK Challenge Spotlight: Brooklyn

Young men listen to distinguished guest speakers at the Boys Who Read, Lead! Initiative launch event
The My Brother's Keeper Boys Who Read, Lead! Partnership is a grant-funded initiative designed to close the literacy gap by improving literacy outcomes for young men and boys of color. Mentors and educators will work in a combination of 16 elementary and middle schools to develop and launch robust literacy programs.  Educators will participate in literacy training with literacy specialist Isoke Nia.

This program is structured to build literacy and leadership skills by utilizing culturally relevant literature and mentorship focused on improving elementary and middle school students' reading, critical thinking, and critical discussion skills.
Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) II - $3 Million

The purpose of TOC II is to increase the rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. TOC II programs incorporate strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques.
TOC II Spotlight: Lehman College 

LUTE-TOC II interns at Lehman College
The Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE) TOC II program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in teacher education programs to gain experience working in high-needs schools that serve primarily minority students from low-income families. The LUTE-TOC II students complete internships in these schools and in the Lehman College's Saturday Academy. The Saturday Academy gives low-income or first-generation college-bound students the opportunity to take academic courses and participate in workshops focused on social and emotional learning. 
Students in ninth and tenth grade from TOC II partner high schools attend the Saturday Academy, where they take classes and participate in mentoring activities to increase their college- and career-readiness. The LUTE-TOC II interns serve as mentors to the high school students, while the instructors who teach in the Academy mentor the LUTE-TOC II students.
One of the LUTE-TOC II interns, Sain Mota, has found the experience to be enjoyable and rewarding. According to Sain, "I [observed] almost every teacher in the Saturday Academy and every single one of them had a different way of teaching. I aspire to become like these teachers."
Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP) - $6 Million

The purpose of the FCEP is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color by developing and sustaining effective relationships with families in order to achieve student success.
FCEP Spotlight: Longwood

Longwood High School's FIRST Tech Challenge team with its competitive robot
Longwood Central School District's MBK FCEP grant enabled the district to create the FIRST Tech Challenge team at the Longwood High School. Students, coaches, parents, and community volunteer mentors met for more than four months to develop strategies and build robots based on engineering principles. The students designed, fabricated, programmed, and tested a competitive robot. The team competed against 24 groups at the 
FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier  and became a semi-finalist, ranking sixth overall. Eleventh-grade student Harrison Heinrichs was also named a semi-finalist for the Dean's List Award.  
FCEP Spotlight: Newburgh
Student mentor reading to younger students

As part of the Newburgh Free Academy West Campus  (NFA West) mentoring program, student mentors visited Balmville Elementary School to offer advice and read stories to the younger students. While reading, the mentors asked questions of the younger scholars that inspired critical thinking. The mentors also shared their experiences transitioning to middle and high school, offering advice to their mentees to help them navigate the challenges ahead and guide them toward success.
Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our MBK website, which provides details about the grants mentioned in this newsletter. The website also includes sharable videos about MBK, featuring young men of color from New York.
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