Mott Haven’s PS 369 is Saved from the DOE’s Chopping Block

Back in November, the DOE was threatening to phase out PS 369, the Young Leaders Elementary School, in the South Bronx. Melissa immediately rallied in solidarity with the parents, students and teachers. “Studies have shown that school closings disrupt the community and fail to improve the education of our students. We need to invest in our schools, not shut them down,” Melissa said back in November. She also joined the parents in a meeting with DOE officials to make clear her strong support for keeping the school open.

We are happy to announce that the DOE heard our voices, with the fantastic help of the Coalition for Educational Justice and strong advocacy from parents and students, PS 369 will be kept whole and will not be shut down.



Education Partners: Parents, Schools, and the Community Panel this Thursday

How can you get more involved in your child’s education? In what ways can schools and the community work together to provide resources to young people and their families? Boys & Girls Harbor is hosting its inaugural educational panel to discuss these and other topics on Thursday, October 18, at 6 PM.

Boys & Girls Harbor’s Education Partners: Parents, Schools, and the Community will have an impressive roster of panelists including seasoned educators, New York City politicians, representatives from community-based organizations, and parents. This year’s panel will be moderated by Harbor Executive Director Dr. Thomas Howard and will address critical issues and challenges facing today’s parents. Panelists include: Margaret Harrington, Ed.D., education consultant and Harbor Board member; Paula Martin, Executive Director of Harlem Center for Education; Jeanne Mullgrav, Commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD); Kelly Smith, Harbor parent; and Lew Smith, Founder and Director of the National Principals Leadership Institute

Light refreshments will be served. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this important conversation!


WHO: Boys & Girls Harbor

WHAT: Education Partners: Parents, Schools, and the Community Panel

WHEN: Thursday, October 18 at 6 PM

WHERE: The Heckscher building, 1 East 104th Street

RSVP to for guaranteed seating. Walk-ins are welcome!

Melissa Celebrates Publicolor Day by Revitalizing an East Harlem Community Facility

Since Mayor Bloomberg’s 2006 proclamation, every fall we celebrate Publicolor Day. Publicolor Day recognizes the Publicolor organization and their volunteers that prove that something as simple as color and design can make a deep and positive impact on struggling communities. Publicolor engages high-risk students, ages 12-21, in their education by offering a range of design-based programs and academic support. They are dedicated to revitalizing public and civic spaces by beautifying them with paint. Every Publicolor Day, the organization selects NYC public spaces to transform and East Harlem was fortunate enough to be home of one of the space’s chosen for this year’s Publicolor Day.

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The Lehman Community Center in East Harlem got a much needed color lift thanks to all of Publicolor’s staff, volunteers and students, along with Melissa, Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez, NYCHA Chairman John Rhea, NYCHA residents, community activists, and union professionals from Laborers’ Local 79, 100 Black Construction Workers, Nontraditional Employment for Women and District Council 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. We feel extremely fortunate to have been able to participate in such a positive and colorful day. To find out more about Publicolor and ways you can get involved, please visit their website.