To the Editor:

We are a group of 7th-graders from the United Nations International School. On behalf of our class, the three of us, Katerina Grozdanic, Hue Chang, and Czarina Elisaia, have been tasked with trying to spread the word of an exciting project we’re working on.

The three of us are all residents of Roosevelt Island and we have lived here our whole lives. Katerina and Czarina have both been featured in the paper for sport-related activities.

This year as part of the English curriculum, our grade spent time focusing on the art of storytelling. Throughout the unit we listened to stories, analyzed them, and then started to come up with our own.

Throughout the year, our class has also shown an interest in participating in a service learning project regarding the growing issue of homelessness in New York. We have taken trips to Goddard Riverside, an organization that works with bringing homeless people off the streets into safe housing. We have also been doing research every day in class about the topic, looking at what we could do to help.

We had the idea of combining the two issues in a storytelling night at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (235 East 3rd St., between Avenues B & C) with the theme of Help, on June 9, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. We have reached out to many storytellers in New York City, students like us and adults as well. The tickets will be $20 each. This is a great opportunity to bring people in our community together with the power of storytelling, and all the proceeds raised at this event would be able to raise money to help a cause in which we truly believe, and in which we have invested a great amount of time and effort.

Hue Chang

Katerina Grozdanic

Czarina Elisaia

To the Editor:

As we have seen in the news, in Flint, Michigan, over 8,000 children under the age of six were exposed to unsafe levels of lead after a short-sighted, budget-cutting decision to switch drinking-water sources. This may be the most serious contamination threat facing the country’s water supplies. But it is hardly the only one.

Unsafe levels of lead have been found in many other American cities but, fortunately, this is not an issue here on Roosevelt Island where we have very good water and, I assume, equally good pipes to deliver it.

I recently obtained a kit from the NYC Environmental Protection Agency and sampled the tap water coming from my apartment building, Island House, which is one of the older buildings here on the Island.

I am happy to share their findings of zero micrograms/liter of lead both before (first draw) and after water was allowed to run for 1-2 minutes.

Anyone currently living here or planning to live here, can take comfort in this good news.

Neal Weissman

To the Editor,

As many of you may already know, the Department of Education (DOE) heard our needs, read our letter, and has seen our 2012 UPK (Universal Pre-K) List with more than 70 names we sent earlier this year.

Our next task is to fill those 50 seats [added by the DOE as a result of those efforts] with children from Roosevelt Island and show DOE Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Senator Jose Serrano, Councilman Ben Kallos, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, RIDN, and our community that we will use those seats. It is our duty now to apply for those seats, in the second round application, that ends May 20. The RIDN code is 02MAXYFDPKR2.

I want to thank you all for all the support and for believing in what I wanted to accomplish. This is our community’s victory. And it is the parents who deserve the credit for getting those 50 seats. We put ourselves and our information on a list and, even those of you who don’t know me, trusted me to send it only to elected officials and Chancellor Fariña.

A special thanks goes to another mom who was instrumental in reaching out to our Japanese community to get their names on our UPK list. Arigato!

Another thank you goes to Ms Kaja Meade, who took my original letter and rewrote it to make it more powerful and diplomatic. She’s the pen behind our success. Thanks, Kaja, you’re a great part of our victory!

Thank you to all of the parents who helped with the translations of the UPK list information, and to those who distributed the flyer in their buildings. We are in this together with a united front.

A very special thank you goes to the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery for all the months of hard and challenging work they did to make this project a reality. Thank you Pamela Stark, Board of Directors, and staff, for going to meetings at the DOE, filling out and filing paperwork, going through the organizational requirements, and jumping through all of the bureaucratic hoops necessary. Going from a parent organization back in 1975, to an established non-profit educational corporation in 1979, to an approved UPK provider for District 2 in 2016, is an unbelievable accomplishment.

And last but not least, a big thanks to The WIRE for publishing our multi-language flyer. The WIRE was the only media that supported us in helping to spread the word. All elected officials and DOE staff received a copy of that edition of The WIRE with the Pre-K list article on the front page. The article was instrumental in our receiving these additional seats.

We hope that our fight for our kids will last several generations and not stop here.

If you wish to send your toddler information for the 2013 UPK list, please send an email to Susy del Campo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to make sure that in the next school year, 2017-2018, every single four-year-old can have a local seat, and to keep asking for Crèche Du Monde and Island Kids to have the opportunity to be UPK providers as well.

Lastly, PS217 has not yet received its waiting list. It’s not ready. I want you to tell me if you got a seat at PS217 or not and, if not, which school you got a seat in. That way, we can track our progress and know how many kids still need a seat on Roosevelt Island. (Remember to put RIDN as first choice in round 2. RIDN code is 02MAXYFDPKR2)

Please do not hesitate to contact me for anything you need.

Thank you! Gracias! Arigato! Merci! Obrigado! спасибо 谢谢

Susy del Campo Perea

Tags: Letters

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