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Jacob Riis Settlement House gets an award

The Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, an organization that is based in the Queensbridge public housing development and provides social and educational services to residents from Queensbridge and beyond, has been awarded $20,000 in honor of its immigrant services program.
This family strengthening award is from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national organization that provides grants to groups serving vulnerable children and families.
Riis applied for the award in March, said William Newlin, executive director of the organization, which is located on 10-25 41st Avenue. “We felt we had a great immigrant program and we wanted to get recognition for it,” Newlin explained.
The $20,000 will be spent, among other things, on hiring more staff for the immigrant services program, said the program’s coordinator, Alison Egic.
The organization served 475 immigrants last fiscal year and it provides English language and computer literacy classes, Egic explained. It also offers workshops on topics such as college admission strategies, food stamp application and immigrants’ rights, said Egic.
Riis’ immigrant program is available to people over 16, so it is considered adult education. “In order for a family to be successful, adult education is very important,” Egic said, explaining that the more knowledgeable parents are, the better able they are to help their children.
Although Riis is based in Queensbridge, the majority of its immigrant program participants come from outside the public housing development, mainly from the rest of Long Island City and Astoria, said Newlin.

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