Margaret Douglas Elementary School (PS 36)
School-Based Partners in Support of Community School Model
Harlem Dowling Westside Center
Harlem Dowling Westside Center is a community-based child welfare agency that helps to develop confidence, resilience, and academic skills in young people as well as provide adult/family support services. In September 2013, Harlem joined the PS 36 community to provide afterschool services to students across Pre-K through 5th grades. In 2015, they expanded their services and now provide afterschool programming to nearly 300 children. Their afterschool programming includes AIS, homework help, Engineering is Elementary (a STEM curriculum from the Boston Museum of Science), Student Press Initiative (a writing class wherein students produce original works that are ultimately published), robotics, chess, physical recreation, and Project Rhythm (music making through the use of technology). They also host an annual Masquerade Ball and family-style, potluck Thanksgiving Dinner as well as Lights on Afterschool (a nationwide event to celebrate afterschool programs).
The Reading Team
The Reading Team is dedicated to enabling young children who are at high risk of reading failure to become strong and enthusiastic readers, writers, listeners, and speakers by developing effective literacy skills, habits, and behaviors. Since September 2012, they have been serving PS 36 students as part of the afterschool program; and currently they serve a cohort of 193 students across PreK through 3rd grades. The Reading Team has a new collaboration with Project Pawn Chess program that engages PS 36 students in chess games with a structured support system that will help them to focus on their goals.
Through this partnership (formerly Everybody Wins) that has been with PS 36 for more than five years, students’ love of reading is ignited through reading-based mentoring wherein volunteers from corporate and community organizations are matched with students for the school year to read and spend time together during the students’ lunch period. Currently, approximately 70 volunteers provide one-to-one reading services to targeted students across K through 5th grades.
Midori and Friends
Midori and Friends provides high-quality music education programs to young people who have little or no access to the arts. They spark young people’s creativity, ignite their imagination, boost their excitement about school, and nurture them as listeners and critical thinkers. In September 2014, Councilman Mark Levine helped to establish a partnership between PS 36 and Midori and Friends to bring their afterschool music programming to about 25 students across PS 36’s 3rd through 5th grades.
Through PS 36’s partnership with Raising Education Achievement Coalition of Harlem (REACH), a TC graduate student provides art classes during the school day for two days per week for students across K through 5th grades.
Artistic Dreams International (ADI)
ADI provides students with visual arts experiences through their literacy and leadership initiatives that are structured to engage children in interactive classroom discussions as well as artistic, verbal, written expression and creation. The objective is to strengthen students’ leadership skills as well as their capacity to generate questions, devise inferences, and communicate effectively. Through the art-making sessions, students experiment, create, and self-express through various art media and materials. Currently, about 25 PS 36 students across 3rd through 5th grades participate in ADI programming.
Children’s Health Fund/Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRL) Initiative
HRL is a program through the Children’s Health Fund that addresses health barriers to learning that affect students’ behavior, cognition, ability to attend school, and/or ability to be attentive during school. As of 2014, HRL began working with all students across Pre-K through 5th grades as well as families, teachers, administrators, and other school staff to implement school-wide and targeted health screenings and evidence-based interventions. This year, they have implemented an attendance intervention plan, health screenings (all students received vision screenings with 160 likely to receive glasses; 120 received dental screenings; and hearing screenings are forthcoming).
Counseling in Schools (CIS)
Through HRL, CIS has been partnered with PS 36 since 2014. CIS helps children who struggle with homelessness, bullying, violence, disruption in class, mental trauma and truancy. They promote the emotional and social growth of children so that they can thrive in school and succeed in life through a range of counseling interventions along with educational workshops for stakeholders. Specific programming at PS 36 includes: individual and group counseling sessions for children; family counseling sessions; one-on-one classroom support, group workshops and on-going peer support sessions; and crisis management support. They have served more than 31 students through 501 encounters (256 individual and 183 group counseling sessions; 48 family contacts; and 14 teacher support sessions
New York Foundling (NYF)
Through an extension of NYSED’s CSGI funding, PS 36 has been able to augment the school-based mental health services to address the overwhelming needs of students and families beginning September 2016. In partnership with NYF, PS 36 is establishing a school-based mental health clinic wherein licensed mental health professionals will serve children and families by providing thoroughly researched techniques that support and strengthen family relationships for those struggling with: family conflict; truancy; depression, irritability, anger, nervousness, excessive worry or problems sleeping; substance abuse; domestic violence; child/youth experiencing problems focusing at home or school; and peer and social issues. NYF therapists specialize in treatments that address the root causes of mental health difficulties and heal relationships to create lasting improvement.