49 New Pre-Kindergarten Seats Open at Roosevelt Island Day Nursery

09/09/2016

Council Member Kallos, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and Parents Network Support for Day Nursery Leads to Department of Education Approval and Opening

Roosevelt Island, NY – Today forty-nine 4-year-olds will be able to attend free pre-kindergarten at Roosevelt Island Day Nursery thanks to the advocacy from Council Member Ben Kallos, organizing by Roosevelt Island Parents Network, and last minute intervention from Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

Roosevelt Island Parents Network’s Eva Bosbach and Susana del Campo helped to organize a list of more than 90 families that agreed to send their children to Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Roosevelt Island. Council Member Kallos reached out to every Pre-Kindergarten and childcare provider on Roosevelt Island and the East Side to ask them to participate in Universal Pre-Kindergarten. Roosevelt Island Day Nursery led by Executive Director Pamela Stark was the only provider on Roosevelt Island to stand up for their community to serve their needs. Council Member Kallos helped Roosevelt Island Day Nursery through the bureaucratic Department of Education application process through approval. Once approval was obtained an obstacle arose that Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s President Susan Rosenthal was able remedy leading to the on-time opening of Roosevelt Island Day Nursery to serve forty-nine 4-year olds on Roosevelt Island.

Since taking office Council Member Kallos and organizers in the community have also successfully doubled the number of seats at P.S./I.S. 217 on Roosevelt Island. As of 2016 the number of seats in the Upper East Side and on Roosevelt Island has more than quintupled from 123, as was originally reported by WNYC in 2014, to 646 as of the today.

“Universal Pre-Kindergarten means having a seat for every four-year old in their neighborhood where children can get an education and parents get the help they need in order to afford to live, work and raise a family in the city,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to Pamela Stark Executive Director at Roosevelt Island Day Nursery and the many Parents for working with me and the Department of Education to bring Free Pre-Kindergarten to Roosevelt Island.”

“RIOC is thrilled about the UPK opening at RIDN.  Ben Kallos, the Department of Education, the FDNY and Manhattan Park have demonstrated that, when we put the interests of the public ahead of individual concerns, we can successfully overcome all obstacles,” said Susan Rosenthal, President of Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

“The Roosevelt Island Day Nursery is thrilled to be able to offer three full day Universal Pre-K classes this year, making RIDN the largest UPK provider on Roosevelt Island and helping address the significant need for additional on-Island UPK options in our growing community. For more than 40 years, RIDN has provided Roosevelt Island families with high quality early childhood education.  We are confident that our UPK program will help prepare our students for kindergarten and the years ahead. We are very grateful to Council Member Kallos’ office, Susan Rosenthal of RIOC, RIDN's Board members, and to the Department of Education officials who all worked so diligently to help make this happen,” said Pamela Stark, Executive Director of the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery.

“Roosevelt Island could not be more thankful for 49 additional universal Pre-K seats for our families! For more than a year members of the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network including Nisha Nihan, Danielle Goldblatt, Josie Chamla, Susy del Campo Perea and Heart Sugiyama teamed up in an effort to get more local UPK seats for our children. We collected lists of names, called and e-mailed our elected officials and requested more seats from the DOE. The mission of the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network is to serve its over 500 member families, keeping them connected through a discussion forum and various activities, and to advocate for their needs. We thank Council Member Ben Kallos and his team for working with us and bringing more local UPK seats to RI! Having a sufficient number of UPK seats on Roosevelt Island strengthens our commitment to the international, diverse, mixed income island neighborhood, a community that is welcoming to all,” said Eva Bosbach of the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network.

Following reporting by WNYC in 2014 that Yorkville, Lenox Hill and Roosevelt Island had 2,118 four-year-olds and only 123 Pre-Kindergarten seats Council Member Ben Kallos has worked to bring new seats to the district. This included identifying parents with four year olds who pledged to send their children to Universal Pre-Kindergarten, working with schools and providers to become UPK locations, and working with the Department of Education through the application process to open more seats in the 5th Council District on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

The list of locations with available in the Upper East Side and on Roosevelt Island are:

Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN) (NEW)
4 River Road, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
2016-17 Seats: 49 Full day
 

P.S. 183 Robert Stevenson (NEW)
419 East 66th Street, Manhattan, NY 10065
2016-17 Seats: 20 Full day

P.S. 6 Lillie Blake (NEW)
45 East 81st Street, Manhattan, NY 10028
2017-17 Seats: 40 Full day

P.S. 151 Yorkville Community School (NEW)
421 East 88th Street, Manhattan, NY 10128
2016-17 Seats: 20 Full day

UPK Center at Wagner (NEW)
220 East 76th Street, Manhattan, NY 10021
2016-17 Seats: 60 Full day

Manhattan Schoolhouse (NEW)
1608 First Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10028
2016-17 Seats: 36 Full day

P.S. / I.S. 217 Roosevelt Island
645 Main St, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
2016-17 Seats: 40 Full day

Renanim Manhattan
336 East 61st St, Manhattan, NY 10065
2016-17 Seats: 14 Full day

East Side Elementary School, P.S. 267
213 East 63rd St, Manhattan, NY 10065
2016-17 Seats: 20 Full day

Ella Baker School
317 East 67th St, Manhattan, NY 10065
2016-17 Seats: 60 Full day

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
331 East 70th St, Manhattan, NY 10021
2016-17 Seats: 80 Full day

P.S. 158 Bayard Taylor
1458 York Ave, Manhattan, NY 10075
2016-17 Seats: 80 Full day

Cassidy's Place
419 East 86th St, Manhattan, NY 10028
2016-17 Seats: 18 Full day and Half Day

Eisman Day Nursery
1794 First Ave, Manhattan, NY 10128
2016-17 Seats: 39 Full day

P.S. 198 Isador E Ida Straus
1700 Third Ave, Manhattan, NY 10128
2016-17 Seats: 50 Full day

Lexington Children's Center
115 East 98th St, Manhattan, NY 10029
2016-17 Seats: 20 Full day

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