Photo courtesy of Councilman Vallone's office
P.S. 31 partnered with the Alley Pond Environmental Center for the CASA program

A northeast Queens lawmaker announced the expansion of cultural program funding to two public schools in the area.

This fall, P.S. 32 in Auburndale and P.S. 209 in Whitestone will be amongst 17 schools to receive funding for CASA (Cultural After School Adventures) programs, according to Councilman Paul Vallone’s office.

City Council members throughout the five boroughs designate funds for the arts initiatives, which are then administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs. Since 2014, Vallone raised funding from $100,000 to $340,000, allowing northeast Queens institutions to provide unique cultural education opportunities to students.

“The CASA program, which allows students to participate in cultural programming outside of the classroom, provides our students with exciting, hands-on experiences that broaden their horizons and open their minds,” said Vallone. “As we welcome a new school year, I’m proud once again to partner with our great local cultural organizations to bring these unique programs to more of our northeast Queens schools.”

Through the CASA program, P.S. 32 and P.S. 209 along with the other schools will receive grant funding and pair with an eligible nonprofit community organization. Over the course of several months, students engage in after-school arts educational programming, with a final performance or event towards the end of the school year.

During the 2018-19 school year, Vallone secured CASA grant funding for 15 schools, all of which are participating in the program this year.

“The funding that CASA brings, especially for a school like [P.S.] 159Q, help us create a mutually developed program that will fund multiple residencies that help support the school’s efforts. The arts can be a very powerful tool in helping these special students become successful in their lives. A strong after-school program is essential to a great school these days and is strongly favored by parents,” said Chris Forte, education liaison for Marquis Studio.

Below is a list of northeast Queens schools and nonprofits that will participate in CASA programming this year:

  • TBD – P.S. 32Q
  • TBD – P.S. 209Q
  • Alley Pond Environmental Center, Inc. – P.S. 31Q
  • Conrad Poppenhusen Association – P.S. 29Q
  • Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, Inc. – P.S. 184Q
  • Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, Inc. – P.S. 193Q
  • Magic Box Productions, Inc. – J.H.S. 194Q
  • Marquis Studios, Ltd. – P.S. 159Q
  • Marquis Studios, Ltd. – P.S. 94Q
  • Midori Foundation, Inc. – J.H.S. 67Q
  • Midori Foundation, Inc. – P.S. 98Q
  • Queens College Foundation, Inc. – P.S. 129Q
  • Queens Museum of Art 112278998 – BELL Academy
  • Queens Theatre In The Park, Inc. – Public School 130Q
  • Queens Theatre In The Park, Inc. – P.S. 169Q
  • Research Foundation of the City University of New York – J.H.S. 185Q
  • Wildlife Conservation Society – P.S. 79Q

“Students of P.S. 98 and M.S. 67 greatly enjoyed their experience working with our teaching artists to further their studies and skills in voice and percussion. We are all excited to continue the programs to enrich the students’ education and engage the greater community through the performing arts.” said Greg Pierson, chief operating officer of Midori & Friends.

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