More crossing guards, less testing, and hordes of runners!

More crossing guards, less testing, and hordes of runners!

All year parents at the new pre-K program at Bishop Ford have been concerned about the dangerous intersection at 10th Avenue & 19th Street – where hundreds of 4 year-olds cross every day with no crossing guard. So I’m happy to announce that due to our combined efforts (with help from City Hall and the 72nd Precinct), a crossing guard will be stationed there starting today.

But this is a problem that exists across the city. School crossing guards are some of NYC’s most essential workers – but we don’t have enough to keep all our kids safe, so many dangerous intersections are uncovered.

That is partly because we pay crossing guards poverty wages, for only 4 hours per day (but on a split-shift, so they can’t easily get another job), and lay them off without health benefits every summer. That’s no way to treat the workers we trust to protect our kids, and it also means there is constant turnover and hundreds of vacancies.

That’s why I’m working with the Council’s Public Safety Chair Vanessa Gibson, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Local 372 (the union that represents the guards), Transportation Alternatives, and Families for Safe Streets to fight for more money for crossing guards in our city budget, and better working conditions for the men and women keeping our kids safe as they travel to and from school. My office organized a rally at City Hall last week to raise this issue as the City begins to plan the next year’s budget, and we’ll keep up the pressure until we see a change.

Appreciate Your Own School Crossing Guard!

One way you can personally support and thank your local crossing guard – thanks to Park Slope Parents’ Susan Fox and the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership – is by nominating your guard for a certificate of appreciation. They are often the unsung heroes who keep families safe and who, many times, are overlooked during end-of-the-school-year festivities. Fill out this quick survey/nomination form to give a shout out to your favorite crossing guard.

And on Friday, April 17th, join the 78th Precinct, Park Slope Parents, and the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership for Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.  We’ll be saluting our local crossing guards with a breakfast reception at the precinct. Please call my office for more details regarding the event (718-499-1090).

78th Precinct Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
78th Precinct, 65 6th Avenue (just north of Flatbush)

High-Stakes Testing Forum This Wednesday

I’m also working with fellow Brooklyn lawmakers, State Senator Jesse Hamilton and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon to bring together parents and school communities for a discussion this Wednesday on high-stakes testing – which is too often crowding out well-rounded education and adding stress to our students’ and teachers’ lives.

At the event we’ll hear advice, information, and inspiration from a panel of educators, parents and advocates as part of the discussion on school community organizing around this issue. If you feel as strongly as I do, I encourage you to come. With your help we can work together towards a better system of evaluation and support – one that’s based around learning, thinking, and real engagement, not the answers to a standardized test.

School-to-School Dialogue on High Stakes Testing
Wednesday, April 15 from 7-9 p.m.
Old First Reformed Church
729 Carroll St at 7th Ave.
RSVP here

Brooklyn PTA Fun Run for Schools is May 9th – Register Today!

Finally, I hope you can make it to the Brooklyn PTA Fun Run For Schools on May 9th in Prospect Park.

This event is a chance to bring parents and students from all our local schools together – and it’s one of the only times that PTAs, parents, educators, and students raise funds together for public schools, across lines of neighborhood, race, or income.  

The run (or walk, or scooter) starts at 10 a.m. at Bartel Pritchard Square (PPW and 15th Street). We’ve had great participation from dozens of schools around Brooklyn, with hundreds of families coming together to celebrate our schools.

Register online if you haven’t already, and check out the Brooklyn PTA’s website for more information on the race.

Thanks for supporting our crossing guards, our teachers and students, and our schools!

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