Astoria Houses residents, community leaders to celebrate $184K investment in scholarships for elementary school students

claudia coger
Claudia Coger, president of Astoria Houses Tenants Association, spearheaded the Astoria Houses Community Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of Berlin Rosen)

The Astoria Houses Tenants Association, in collaboration with NYC Kids Rise, will host a virtual event to celebrate a landmark $184,000 investment in the educational futures of 184 elementary school students living in the NYCHA complex on Saturday, Feb. 6.

The Astoria Houses Tenants Association organized the Astoria Houses Community Scholarship Campaign, and raised $184,000 in order to invest $1,000 for 184 kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade students with college saving accounts through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.

NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a public-private community scholarship and savings program designed to make college more accessible and achievable for all New York City public school students — regardless of their family’s income or immigration status — starting with kindergartners, first- and second-grade students in Queens’ School District 30. Last year, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joined families and students at P.S. 148 to celebrate the third cohort of public schools students admitted into the program.

The initiative at Astoria Houses is led by Claudia Coger, president of Astoria Houses Tenants Association, and supported by parents, schools, businesses and elected officials.

With contributions from more than 160 donors, the effort demonstrates how the program can be used as a tool to share economic and social capital in order to drive financial assets into communities of color that have been historically excluded from wealth-building opportunities.

“We want every single one of the children living in our community to know that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Education opens doors to tremendous opportunity,” Coger said. “Our youngest need to know that they have a whole neighborhood behind them cheering them on. It is my hope that this investment from our community will make a significant impact in the years to come. I am thankful to all our partners who have joined us in investing in our children.”

Saturday’s virtual event will feature a read-along of Vice President Kamala Harris’ children’s book, “Superheroes Are Everywhere,” by members of the Resident Association Executive Board; a panel discussing about community support for college and career readiness with local Queens parents, educators and community leaders; as well as recorded messages from local elected officials and community members.

The family-friendly event will be taking place via Facebook live at 10 a.m.