Nov. 17, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
A group of schools in North Brooklyn have received over $90,000 in grants combined to fund individual enrichment programs within their schools.
The seven schools, one in Greenpoint, three in Williamsburg, and three near Bushwick, each received between $5,000 and $25,000 from the Walentas Family Foundation, the family behind the Brooklyn-based real estate development firm Two Trees.
The funds will help pay for programming in a variety of disciplines that are central to each school’s mission, where there is little money within a school’s budget to pay for it.
In Greenpoint, the Monitor School’s “The Arts Grow Hearts and Minds” program received $17,500 from the foundation. The program, aligned with the school’s goal to instill learning through the arts, pairs each grade level from kindergarten through the fifth grade with a performing arts residency in partnership with arts-in-education non-profits like Young Audiences New York and Theatre for a New Audience.
Art residencies at the nearly 50-year-old school, also known as PS 110 and located at 124 Monitor St., include Latin dance, percussion, and theater.
“Despite severe budget cuts, we are excited that we are offering the following arts residencies to our students this year,” reads part of the Monitor School’s page. “The arts are alive and well at PS 110!”
The Williamsburg and Bushwick elementary and middle schools include PS 132, PS 257, and IS 318. PS 132, also recognized as the Conselyea School and located at 320 Manhattan Ave., was given $25,000—the most out of any North Brooklyn school—for its “Designers -The Thinkers of Tomorrow” program, which teaches architecture and design to students in the K-5 school, and encourages them to build structures in a newly-opened studio at the site.
P.S. 257 John F. Hylan, on 60 Cook Street and bordering Williamsburg and Bushwick, received $15,000 for its highly-esteem marching band for students from grades three to five. Students learn to play either the drums, the trumpet, or the flute, and perform at a variety of local and city-wide events through the program.
Over in East Williamsburg, IS 318 Eugenia Maria De Hostos on 101 Walton St. received $5,000 for their chess team, which has won more national championships than any other in the country, and was the subject of the award winning film “Brooklyn Castle”.
The Brooklyn Latin School, which was based on Bushwick Ave. until it moved to its current address at 223 Graham Ave., near Williamsburg, was awarded $15,000 for its STOKED program, which focuses on personal development through sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. Aside from learning the sport, students also take classes on skateboard design, marketing, and the sports industry.
Two Trees, the developer behind the 11-acre, $3 billion Domino Sugar site along the Williamsburg waterfront, has given $1.6 million to public schools in Brooklyn’s districts 13 and 14 since 2013. In total, 21 Brooklyn schools received $350,000 in funding for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The Neighborhood School Grants program amplifies the creativity, vision, and energy of the school community – from the students and their families, to faculty and staff, and the neighborhood at large,” said Jed Walentas, CEO of Two Trees Management Company, in a statement.
Schools in the two districts can submit applications for funding by late spring, and winners are announced over the summer, with funds distributed by the beginning of the school year. For more information, visit the Two Trees grants site.
The seven Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick schools are listed below. For the full list of this year’s grantees, visit the recipients page.
The Brooklyn Latin School
MS 577 Conselyea Preparatory School
PS 132 The Conselyea School Designers
PS 257 John F. Hylan Elementary
PS 110 The Monitor School
PS 319 Williamsburg Early Childhood Center
IS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos