State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic on Tuesday, Oct. 25, announced that she has allocated $375,000 for the expansion and upgrading of Flushing’s Townsend Harris High School’s (THHS) Student Publication Center.
The state funding will renovate one of the school’s classrooms into a digital media space that will host digital art classes, as well as house the new headquarters of the student-run newspaper, The Classic, and student-run literary magazine, The Phoenix. This new funding coincides with Media Literacy Week, a national celebration that highlights the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education across the country.
“Providing students with the best resources and tools available to produce cutting-edge news and media is imperative to shaping the next generation of leaders,” Rozic said. “This new room and gathering space will harness the creativity of students looking to publish their work and allow students to use their voices for change.”
Last year, the editors-in-chief of the The Classic were instrumental in uncovering a scandal involving the sexual misconduct of an English teacher at the school. Utilizing their existing Publication Student Center, the students printed a series of articles that lead to student-wide sit-ins, advocacy and a policy shift by the city Department of Education (DOE). Long known for its student journalism program, this follows prior coverage of the school’s leadership change and other major school events.
Veronica York, assistant principal of Music & Art at THHS, said she’s grateful to Rozic for supporting the school’s dreams of creating 21st century artistic spaces for students.
“With the creation of a new music tech room, new digital art spaces and upgrades to the school theater, we can continue strengthening our passion for the arts and utilizing the humanities to bring people together,” York said.
The state funding will also help renovate a music tech space with digital music production equipment and provide sound, lighting and acoustics renovations for the school’s auditorium.
Rozic added that investing in a school’s infrastructure is an important way to invest in the health and well-being of students.