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Joseph D. Gates, principal of I.S. 238 - Susan B. Anthony School - received an award recently for his outstanding commitment to extracurricular arts education at his school.
The Hollis-based school was selected for the honor by The Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), which is one of the leaders in after-school programming.
The presentation of the award kicked off SASF’s new partnership with the Disney Corporation. For showing perseverance for after-school programs, Disney awarded Gates with the “Disney MVP Award.”
“No one values the arts like Disney, and we’re thrilled and honored to be able to support after-school arts programming in a New York City school,” said Disney New York Community Relations Manager Bernadette Longford.
Susan B. Anthony’s Dance Troupe was the shining star of the event, performing “West Side Story.” They have reaped the benefits of Gates’ long-standing commitment to providing students with the opportunity to strive with diverse arts education.
This performance at the awards ceremony by the after-school dance troupe was not the first time they have worked with Disney. For the past four years, they have traveled to Disney World to perform as part of the theme park’s Magic Music Days program, which invites outstanding school performers to act as honorary Disney cast members at the park.
“I was deeply humbled by the award, but it more deservingly goes to the site supervisor of the dance program, and students who made this all possible,” said Gates.
The SASF, established in 1992, is one of the largest providers of after-school programs in the city. Not only do they provide a dance program, but they present students with yearlong after-school activities including team and individual sports, performing and visual arts and academic tutoring. Their overall goal is to give the students a positive outlook on the community and a strong educational experience.
“The students gave us the wings, and without them, we couldn’t have grown to what we have going now,” said Gates.

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