NEW YORK, NY, October 17, 2015 – Thousands of New York volunteers beautified 68 New York City public schools across the five boroughs today during the annual New York Cares Day Fall. More than 4,000 volunteers completed hundreds of projects while raising key funds to support improving education in New York City and New York Cares’ year-round education projects.
The volunteers painted classrooms, organized libraries, created murals, and transformed gardens to provide a brighter, more engaging learning experience for students. This year 10 schools in Manhattan, 32 schools in Brooklyn, 13 schools in the Bronx, 12 schools in Queens, and 1 school in Staten Island were revitalized by volunteers.
New York Cares Day is the city’s largest day of hands-on volunteering in the public schools. This annual day of service is coordinated by New York Cares – the city’s leading volunteer management organization – in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. Like a walka-thon, participants raise money based on the time they spend volunteering. Money raised today goes to support the event and New York Cares’ year-round education programs.
Year-round programs supported by donations on New York Cares Day include:
• Math Games, which help students master basic math skills by playing fun math games such as fraction bingo, math baseball, and flash card races.
• Early Morning Reading, where New York Cares volunteers work with students to strengthen their literacy skills through one-on-one reading.
• Homework Help, where volunteers tutor students in small groups, review class assignments, and provide academic support.
• SAT Prep, in which volunteers work with the same small group of students throughout the school year, increasing SAT scores by an average of 200 points.
• College Prep, which helps high school students complete applications, craft personal statements, secure recommendations, and transition to college.
• Lego Robotics, where volunteers work with students to build moving Lego creations using robotics software and basic principles of engineering.
• Sophomore Skills, where volunteers provide intensive tutoring in math, reading and writing, which will help students excel on the SAT, Regents exams and in core classes.
New York Cares Day volunteers spread out across the city, collectively improving:
• 10 schools in Manhattan, including HS 495 M - Park East High School. Volunteers reorganized classrooms and the library to make a more engaging learning space for students. A corporate sponsor, Tokio Marine, ‘adopted’ this school, and served as the only volunteers at this site.
• 32 schools in Brooklyn, including HS 403 K. This school houses one of the only four urban farms in New York City. Students at the school learn to cultivate and grow vegetables and sell them at a local farmer’s market. Volunteers created garden beds, weeded and prepared the farm to operate all year – to date it only operated for half the year. Volunteers also painted murals outside the school. Site will have all youth teams.
• 13 schools in the Bronx, including PS 359 X - Concourse Village School. Volunteers painted a mural with a ‘children growing up and graduating’ theme, transformed the school’s outdoor atrium into an outdoor learning space where teachers can take their students to learn by weeding, planting, and creating garden beds, and painted a mural of ‘Ellie,’ the school’s elephant mascot. This school is only three years old. New York Care’s year-round programming at the school includes English Language Partners where volunteers work with the parents of the students to help them learn English.
• 12 schools in Queens, including PS 85 Q - The Judge Charles J. Vallone School. Volunteers painted hallways and organized classrooms. Ongoing programming at this site includes the financial literacy program, ‘Bank It!’ where volunteers teach students about saving, spending, and budgeting money. The school focuses on technology and has coding classes for students.
• 1 school in Staten Island, including PS 20 SI - Port Richmond. Volunteers painted the school’s exterior doors, planted bulbs and pulled weeds in the school garden that wraps around the entire school, revitalized the ‘Early Childhood Courtyard’ by adding and painting benches, and painted an ‘1,2,3 A,B,C’ mural. New York Cares’ ongoing programming at the school includes art explorers, sports explorers, and culinary explorers after school.
“I thank New York Cares for its work today and for the ongoing work of its volunteers to serve our students and school communities,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “The positive impact for our students and communities is immeasurable.”
“New York Cares believes that the year-round work our volunteers perform in public schools – from after school homework help and SAT tutoring to early morning reading and math games – has a profound impact on the lives of thousands of children whose futures rely on the foundation of a solid education,” said New York Cares Executive Director Gary Bagley. “We are extremely grateful to the 4,000 volunteers, who committed their Saturday to beautifying the public schools and raising money for ongoing volunteer programs in education.”
Approximately 150,000 New Yorkers have volunteered on New York Cares Day since 1992, benefiting more than 600,000 New York City public school students citywide. The value of the total volunteer hours dedicated to schools on New York Cares Day, plus donated materials, is equivalent to nearly $1 million dollars. In addition to hands-on work at the schools, New York Cares Day volunteers also raised funds to support New York Cares’ yearround volunteer programs. To make a donation in support of New York Cares Day, please visit www.newyorkcaresday.org until October 31, 2015.
About New York Cares
New York Cares is New York City’s largest volunteer management organization. New York Cares runs vital programs for 1,400 nonprofits, public schools, and city agencies to help people in need throughout the five boroughs, and does so at no cost to the recipient organizations. Since 1987, New York Cares has made it easy for all New Yorkers to work together to strengthen the city; last year, we provided critical services to more than 400,000 at-risk New Yorkers. For more information, visit newyorkcares.org