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Micaela’s Story

Micaela is a dual-language learner who is on the autism spectrum and needed an appropriate school placement for kindergarten.

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AFC in the News

08.07.2020 | Gotham Gazette | The organization Advocates For Children estimates that there are 114,000 homeless students in the New York City school system and that 85% are Black or Hispanic. This figure includes children not only living in shelters but also those that live doubled up with family or friends. These students perform significantly lower on state tests and only 57% graduate from high school, compared to 76% of all city students who are not homeless.

If we are going to make a difference in the way people of color are treated and accomplish economic security, it is essential that major efforts be put forward to lift these currently homeless children, improve their stations, and greatly increase their rate of high school graduation.  Read article

08.05.2020 | Bronx News 12 | As we get closer to September, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding what’s going to happen when returning back to school. 

Policy Director at Advocates For Children of New York talks with News 12 about remote learning. "We know that some students — including many students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students who are homeless — had a harder time with remote learning than other students, and have fallen behind, and we're worried about what's going to happen to them this fall." Watch video

08.04.2020 | NY Daily News | Homeless students should get full-time access to in-person learning this fall if they choose as part of the city’s partial school reopening plan, more than 30 advocacy groups urged in a Tuesday letter to city officials. 

“The city should be prioritizing the needs of the students who had the most difficulty with remote learning, including students who are homeless, to help address the learning loss and trauma they experienced during the closure of schools and help them catch up,” the groups wrote. Read article

08.03.2020 | Pix 11 News |  Thousands of New York City families who rely on the yellow school-bus system are worried about how their kids will get to school in light of the blended learning format expected to take effect for the fall. 

Chantal Hinds from Advocates For Children of New York spoke with the PIX11 Morning News about the various concerns parents have, what options can be considered and more. Watch video

07.30.2020 | Politico NY | Rita Rodriguez-Engberg, director of the Immigrant Students' Rights Project for the Advocates for Children of New York, said the DOE’s Division of Community Affairs has engaged groups via weekly calls but noted DOE documents were not translated in the top nine languages used in schools at the beginning of the crisis.

"I think what we're looking for from the DOE is an acknowledgment and a recognition that many families have been left behind and that a lot needs to be done in order to be able to fix the errors that they have committed, especially over the last several months,” Rodriguez-Engberg said in an interview. “I think we can't move forward with remote instruction and issuing new policies every several weeks that really impact families without ensuring that families are actually becoming aware of them." Read article

07.29.2020 | Telemundo: Un Nuevo Día | Las doctoras Aileen Marty, Gilma Marimón se unen a las expertas en educación Mayra Lozano y Betty Báez Melo para analizar si de verdad estamos listos para regresar a clases presenciales este otoño. Watch video

07.26.2020 | NY1 Noticias | El gobierno municipal ha tenido que apresurarse para trazar un plan que permita que más de un millón de estudiantes neoyorquinos comiencen el nuevo año escolar de manera segura.

Conversamos sobre las iniciativas propuestas con Betty Báez Melo, directora de Proyectos de Temprana Edad de Advocates for Children. Watch video

07.22.2020 | Bronx Net | "Queremos que la ciudad trabaje con todos las agencias públicas, que trabajen juntos para enfocarse en la educación y el cuido de los niños, porque la verdad es que todas la agencias — no solamente el departamento de educación — tienen que trabajar juntas para crear un plan integrado que se enfoque en la educación y el cuidado para los niños, para que los padres pueden trabajar." Watch video

07.14.2020 | Bronx News 12 | Randi Levine works for Advocates for Children and tells News 12 that parents who are unable to stay home with their children are uneasy about the new learning plan, since there is no option for students to attend school five days out of the week.  

"We've heard from families who have significant concerns with this plan. There are parents who are working who need somewhere for their children to be everyday of the week,” said Levine.  Watch video

07.11.2020 | NY Post | So far, the DOE has flatly ignored parents’ questions about busing. In conference calls with parents and DOE reps this week, queries about transportation went unanswered, said Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children of New York.

“They didn’t have a plan that they shared,” Sweet said. “Families often have big problems with busing in the best of times, so I anticipate this is going to be a very big challenge.” Read article