GradNation 2015!


On Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 Community-Word Project facilitated a panel discussion at Gradnation Community Summit, which was presented by Zone 126. The panel was titled “Building Bridges for Education and Community Success: Collective Impact & Effective Education”. This event brought together community-based organizations, local government, DOE representatives and CWP administrative and artistic staff.

Panelists included:

Council Member Costa Constantinides
Principal Rebecca Heyward and Classroom Teacher Joanna Antonio from PS 17Q
Principal Alex Anguiera and Phillip Barone from IS 126Q
Michelle Makabali from Zone 126
Program Director David King
Teaching Artists Katie Rainey, Carrington Alvarez & Kate Lee 

The program was moderated by CWP Executive Director, Michele Kotler and Deputy Director, Megan Morrison.

The focus of the panel was to share the collective impact model of partnership currently taking place between CWP, Zone 126, PS 17Q and IS 126Q in Astoria, Queens. This partnership began in 2012 between CWP and PS 17Q. In 2013, Zone 126 brought their cradle-to-career initiative support to the partnership, offering valuable resources including in-depth, long-term evaluation. Thanks to the support of Council Member Constantinides and NYC Department of Education Grant funding during the 2014-15 school year, the partnership expanded to feeder middle school IS 126 as part of the NYC Department of Education Arts Continuum Initiative. In the 2015-16 school year, this multi-pronged partnership is going strong with each stakeholder committed to the collaboration. CWP programming at PS 17 and IS 126 was made possible in part by The New York Community Trust and our collaboration with Zone 126.

During discussion, each member of the panel contributed to the conversation by discussing their role within this model.  Panelists emphasized the value of the arts for supporting students’ academic, social and emotional growth. Moderators asked the panelists to reflect on the role of collective impact within this partnership. Panelists responded by expressing their gratitude for the support that a collective impact model provides, allowing each individual’s efforts to go farther, impacting more students for long-term, and sustainable student success. As stated by CWP Executive Director, Michele Kotler:

“Change doesn’t happen overnight nor does it happen alone. Student success is positively effected by different groups working together to provide a range of supports – imagine each support as a part of a bridge that when woven together provide a means of crossing over challenges to arrive at growth.”