State ED Awards $150,000 to ICSD In My Brother's Keeper Grants For Family and Community Engagement Programs

Ithaca, N.Y., March 20, 2017 — The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been awarded $150,000 to improve educational outcomes for boys and young men of color. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) awarded more than $6 million in grants to 42 school districts for the Family and Community Engagement Program of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. These grants will support programs to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color while fostering the development of effective relationships with families to promote the success of all students.

“Our school community is committed to inclusive and equitable opportunities for all young people,” said ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown. “This grant award is an indication of our school district’s commitment to continuously improving our approach to engaging, educating, and empowering all learners.”

The ICSD will be collaborating with the City of Ithaca and various community agencies to deliver direct services as part of the local MBK initiative. The City of Ithaca will contribute an additional $35,000 to the amount awarded by NYSED. A portion of the grant funds will be allocated to community organizations and professional development programs focused on family outreach and cultural responsiveness.

In 2014, President Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force at the federal level. The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential.

With the adoption of the 2016–2017 New York State Budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law. The budget included a $20 million investment in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.

In addition to supporting the six milestones set at the national level, New York’s MBK initiative is also committed to: Ensuring equitable access to high quality schools and programs; Expanding prevention, early warning, and intervention services; Using differentiated approaches based on need and culture; Responding to structural and institutional racism; Making comprehensive and coordinated support services widely available; and Engaging families and communities in a trusted and respectful way.

For more information, please see the New York State Education Department’s official press release here: ers-keeper-grants-family-and-community.