Top left: Helen speaks to students at LaGuardia High School on Student Voter Registration Day (March 18, 2016) Top right: Helen reads to children during Everybody Reads Week at P.S. 87 (May 12, 2014) Bottom: Helen and Mayor DeBlasio proudly announce that the new Riverside School will open one year early (August 10, 2016).
Our children deserve to receive the best educational and cultural opportunities available. Helen is intimately aware of this and has long been a leading voice for education: working to make capital improvements, address safety issues, and advocate for initiatives like universal free lunch - all with the input of Upper West Side community members. She was a leading voice to integrate Upper West Side schools and has allocated millions of dollars to improving our public schools. And, there’s always more we can do. Helen is already building on her successes from her first term. She plans to continue advocating for universal free lunch, supporting the safety of our children, and allocating district funds towards public school improvements. Read more below!
Helen is taking the lead, here are some highlights (details below):
- Helen allocates millions of dollars towards public school improvements and programming for our children: technology upgrades, playground renovations, and more.
- Helen advocated successfully to open the new school in Riverside Center one year early.
- Helen actively engages community leaders, students, teachers, and parents.
- Helen leads efforts for crossing guard increases.
- Helen supports universal free lunch.
Helen’s goals for the next four years:
- Continue to advocate for and support universal free lunch in all public schools.
- Allocate district funding towards more public school improvements and programming.
- Increase the number of crossing guards at major public school intersections.
Helen Provides Direct Financial Support to our Public Schools:
Each year in office, Helen allocates over half of the District 6 discretionary funds to critical capital improvements to our children’s public schools as well as educational programming for the arts. Projects funded include auditorium renovations, new gymnasium floors, technology upgrades, and playground renovations. Helen also allocated nearly $250,000 each fiscal year towards operational funding: after-school programming, classroom technology, literacy programs for at risk youth, and anti-bullying campaigns.
Helen Successfully Opened the New School in Riverside Center One Year Early:
From the day she entered office, Helen was determined to persuade the Administration to expedite opening the newly built school in Riverside Center. After years of working side-by-side with public school parents to address overcrowding in the district, she knew bringing more school space online was critical. She advocated with the School Construction Authority and the Mayor at every opportunity. In the Fall of 2016, the Mayor announced that the school would open one year earlier than expected. The D3 CEC voted to move PS 191 into the new school building and they will do so for the new school year starting September 2017.
Helen Listens to Community Members:
Helen actively engages Parent Association leaders, the local Community Education Council, the CB7 Youth Committee, students, teachers, principals, and administrators to ensure that our students are receiving the best educational and cultural opportunities available.
Helen Values the Safety of Our Children:
Helen has worked tirelessly to support the consistent placement of crossing guards at the intersections of all of our schools, particularly P.S. 75. Helen led the effort for crossing guard pay increases and with Helen’s support, the NYPD is now required to report annually on the number of crossing guard positions filled and vacant for each precinct.
Helen Supports Universal Free Lunch:
New York City currently funds universal free lunch for public elementary and middle schools, but Helen is not content with the fact that high schools still have traditional, fee-based lunch. This presents a burden to some students and distracts them from learning effectively. Helen signed on to a letter asking Mayor de Blasio to fully fund universal free school lunch at all NYC public schools so that our students can eat lunch each day and stay focused in the classroom.