Queens Schools Recognized for Service to Communities

Projects Helped Students Give Back

More than a half-million New York City public school students have performed over 8,000 unique service projects to improve their school communities as part of “Service in Schools,” an initiative of NYC Service and the Department of Education (DOE), it was announced.

According to Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, approximately 587,676 pupils in 1,402 schools in all five boroughs participated in projects which included working on a sustainable organic farm serving Crown Heights, Brooklyn and leading workshops for elementary school students as part of the Young Heroes program among other projects.

Additionally, 30 schools were recognized last week for excellence in engaging their students in service.

“Service in Schools has been a vital part of NYC Services’ goal to make service a core part of what it means to be a New Yorker,” said Billings-Burford. “Thanks to the work of our schools, the Department of Education and our non-profit partners, this initiative has been successful in encouraging students to make service a key part of their everyday lives.”

“As we work to ready all our students for college and careers, service and service-learning opportunities help prepare them for active civic participation-in their schools, in their communities and throughout their lives,” said Walcott. “I am proud of the hundreds of thousands of New York City students who gave back to their communities through the myriad service projects, and I congratulate these 30 schools who are leading the way.”

Service in Schools supports the expansion of service and servicelearning programs in New York City public schools. The program began in the 2009-2010 school year, when 400,832 students worked on service projects, and expanded during the 2010-2011 school year surpassing goals by engaging 572,229 students in service.

This school year, the Bloomberg administration aimed to engage 600,000 students in over 1,700 unique service projects. In order to achieve that goal, schools were offered a range of resources, including resources to development service plans and the opportunity to attend a three city-wide training for schools. Surveys were conducted throughout the year to gauge progress of each school against its stated plan.

Additionally, Service in Schools hosted its second annual awards for schools last Thursday, June 21. Schools applied for the Excellence in Service Award, given to schools with developed and exceptional service or service-learning programs. Over 250 applications were received.

Billings-Burford and Walcott distributed the Excellence in Service Award to 30 schools, including P.S. 062 in Richmond Hill, John Adams High School in Ozone Park, J.H.S. 190 in Forest Hills, P.S. 78 in Long Island City and Flushing High School.

NYC Service was launched by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in April 2009 to meet his State of the City pledge for New York City to lead the nation in answering President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. NYC Service is meeting its goals to make New York City to help more New Yorkers connect to service opportunities more easily, help address the city’s greatest needs through volunteerism, and promote service as a core part of what it means to be a citizen of the greatest city in the world.

NYC Service aims to drive volunteer resources to six impact areas where New York City’s needs are greatest: strengthening communities, helping neighbors in need, improving education, increasing public health, enhancing emergency preparedness and protecting our environment.

More from Around New York