March 2018

Hello Everyone,

Last month, NYSED hosted a My Brother's Keeper Community Network panel sponsored by Assembly Members Michael Blake and Rodneyse Bichotte at the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus Weekend. Regent Young and representatives from Ithaca, Lyons, Buffalo, the Bronx, and Yonkers school districts spoke about how their work is improving outcomes for boys and young men of color. Michael Smith, Executive Director of the national MBK Alliance and Director of Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation, also attended the panel.

Regent Young, Michael Smith, & MBK staff
Regent Young with representatives from the Urban Ambassadors program
This edition of "Changing the Narrative" includes information about the following:
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eventsSecond Annual MBK Symposium

Registration is now open!

Panel participants at 2017 Symposium
The Second Annual MBK Symposium will take place Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. The Symposium will feature presentations, trainings, speakers, a college fair, a seminar on the Excelsior Scholarship, and special guests. 

Invitations have been sent to each funded project with registration instructions. If you received an invitation, please register today! The registration deadline is April 13. If you have any questions, please email for assistance.
buBinghamton University Student to Serve on National MBK Advisory Council

Senegal Mabry
Senegal A. Mabry, a junior at SUNY Binghamton, was recently selected to serve on the National Advisory Council of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBKA). As MBKA alignment with the Obama Foundation continues to take place, the National Advisory Council will play a large role in recommending MBK program strategies to the Obama Foundation board, conducting reviews of MBK initiatives across the country and participating in the review and approval of national MBK grant opportunities. Senegal has played a role in the development of the NYS MBK initiatives since their inception and we are proud that he will be a voice for young men of color on the national level.
yonkersYonkers Sees Rise in Graduation Rate

Palisade Preparatory MBK students attend Westchester County College Fair
Last month, the New York State Education Department released high school graduation rates for the 2013 cohort, students who entered 9th grade in 2013.  Yonkers, a district and community that has wholly and enthusiastically accepted the MBK challenge, increased its high school graduation rate by more than four percentage points from 2016 to 2017. The graduation rate in Yonkers City School District is now 82.8 percent, reflecting an impressive increase over last year, when the graduation rate was 78.3 percent.

Yonkers is the first Big 5 City School District to surpass New York State's overall graduation rate, which was 80.2 percent in 2017.

The increase in the graduation rate is reflected in the demographic groups for which the MBK programs provide support: graduation rates of both African American and Hispanic students rose by 5 percentage points, and graduation rates of male students rose by 2 percentage points.

The Yonkers MBK program is clearly making a difference for the young people in the community. Congratulations and keep up the good work!
mhmf# MyHistoryMyFuture

For Black History Month, we teamed up with The Education Trust-New York to create a powerful social media campaign.

Today's students will write the next chapter of Black history, so we asked them what they want the future to look like. Our social media campaign, "My History, My Future," featured inspiring quotes from 47 students participating in the many wonderful MBK programs across the state.

To see all of the students' quotes, check out the #MyHistoryMyFuture hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
spotlightsMy Brother's Keeper Community Network

To join the MBK Community Network, a community formally accepts an invitation from the Board of Regents and makes a commitment to support the national MBK milestones and the six New York State MBK goals. Upon becoming a member of the statewide network, a community gains the support of NYSED's Office of Access, Equity and Community Engagement Services to help build a community initiative and develop a local MBK action plan.
Community Spotlight: Brooklyn

Regent Young with student panel members
Last month, Regents Cashin, Reyes, and Young took part in the first convening of the Brooklyn MBK community. The event, held at Brooklyn' s Borough Hall, is part of New York City's effort to address the national and New York State MBK priorities through citywide, borough, district, and community-based strategies to educate and engage all stakeholders in its efforts to support boys and young men of color in realizing their full potential.
The program featured remarks from local and city officials, a presentation on selected disparity data, a video presentation of the National MBK Alliance Keeper's Code, a keynote address by David Banks, President of the Eagle Academy Foundation, break-out sessions focused on the 11 MBK Emerging Best Practices, and a student panel.
Regent Young moderated the student panel, "Hearing the Voices of Our Young Men of Color." Six high school students shared their perspectives on several topics and responded to questions from the audience. Additionally, the students gave advice to the adults on how best to support boys and young men of color.
Students and families participate in NAACP college fair
Community Spotlight: Staten Island

Earlier this year, representatives from more than 20 historically black colleges and universities participated in the 8th annual Staten Island NAACP Historically Black Colleges and University Fair (HBCU). More than 600 students, accompanied by their families, attended the free event. Students had the opportunity to speak with recruiters and, in some cases, submit an application on-the-spot. A group of students from Eagle Academy Middle School also attended the event and wore t-shirts that read "I am college material."
spotlightMy Brother's Keeper Challenge Grant

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.
MBK Challenge Spotlight: Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas and Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton
The Mount Vernon City School District kicked off its "Mount Vernon Basics" campaign with a public event in January. Mount Vernon  Mayor Richard Thomas, Executive Director of Mount Vernon Youth Bureau DaMia Harris-Madden, and Board Trustee Vice President Wanda White spoke to the parents and caregivers in attendance.

The "Mount Vernon Basics" initiative seeks to close the opportunity gap by providing parents and caregivers with the resources to support early child education. At the end of the kickoff event, parents attended interactive sessions that provided information about using everyday interactions to support children's brain development and prepare them for school.
Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) II

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: Manhattan College

Manhattan College MBK Grant recipient Courtney Weaver engages students at Family Math Night
The Manhattan College TOC II program represents a partnership between the college and high-need Focus Districts in New York City and Yonkers. Field and clinical experiences and internships in partner schools are i ntegral to the project because they promote the application of content knowledge to the classroom setting.

Manhattan College TOC II students engage in hands-on experiences that reflect current research on teaching and learning, such as STEM concentrations at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. One example is the Family Math Night, which was facilitated in partnership with the Bronx Field Support Center and Algebra for All. TOC II students worked closely with parents and students as they investigated how everyday scenarios around the school could be "algebra-fied" and then played games that reinforced abstract math thinking.
Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP)

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: Brooklyn

Students attend the grand opening of the District 17 Family Resource Center
On February 9, Community School District 17 in Brooklyn hosted the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the district's new Family Resource Center to be housed at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. The Family Resource Center aims to connect families with existing resources within the school and the community. The Center also fosters a safe environment where families can drive the direction of conversations, and guests work with families and the community to problem-solve issues related to the success of youth of color within the district. The Center will provide in- and out-of-school supports for academically struggling youth, justice nights, and educational supports for parents.
FCEP Spotlight: Roosevelt

Real Men Read Kick-off event:
Patrick Oliver, author and keynote speaker, worked with the young men in the Boys to Men program to create a vision board based on his book, On My Own:
Vision Board Guidebook for Young People
The Roosevelt Union Free School District's  Boys to Men Initiative aims to address the opportunity gaps faced by young men of color by providing access to opportunities and enhancing their knowledge and skills to help them succeed. The program serves 174 young men in 4th -12th grade from Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt Middle School, Centennial Avenue School, Washington Rose Elementary, and Ulysses Byas School. The students engage in resume writing, poetry, drumming classes, dance classes, academic tutoring, field trips, and painting classes. They also learn about etiquette, character building, and how to tie a tie. The program offers workshops on topics like healthy relationships, sponsored by Project Forward; bike safety, sponsored by NuHealth, and healthy decision making, sponsored by Planned Parenthood.
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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