Far Rockaway Scholar to Mayor: “We’re Not Invisible”
November 1, 2019
Liz Baker, 646-902-4200
Contact: Ann Powell, 646-894-6407
FAR ROCKAWAY SCHOLAR TO MAYOR: “WE’RE NOT INVISIBLE”
Nine-Year-Old Dylan Sukh, Black Belt in Karate and Competitive Chess Player, Wants to Keep Learning in a Challenging Environment – But Mayor de Blasio is Ignoring his Need for a Middle School
Far Rockaway, Queens — Fourth grader Dylan Sukh has already been promoted to principal of his school, Success Academy Far Rockaway. A star student who excels in math and writing, he earned the coveted right to be “principal for the day” in recognition of the effort he puts into everything he tries — and of the number of books he’s read. There’s not much that scares Dylan, who has the confidence of a much older scholar and who often encourages his classmates to speak up. But he’s worried about what will happen if he doesn’t have a Success Academy middle school to go to next year.
“At my school, they challenge us to make sure we understand things. If we don’t understand, they break it down for the whole class and won’t move on until everyone understands it. We all get to learn,” Dylan said.
Dylan has been with Success Academy since first grade, and has high expectations for middle school at Success. He is passionate about math and is looking forward to preparing for high school, and eventually, for college and a job as an engineer or a lawyer. Outside of the classroom, he is a black belt in karate.
Dylan is one of the Success Academy fourth graders currently without a middle school next year. After 33 months, the mayor has failed to fulfill his promise to provide a permanent school. Dylan and 226 other children will have to return to district schools, where on average only one in three students is able to read or do math at grade level. Dylan is zoned to attend fifth grade at P.S. 104, where only 34% of students met state standards in ELA and 42% passed math.
Dylan was at City Hall the day Mayor de Blasio ignored the 200 Success Academy students who had come to demand a school.
“What I want to tell the mayor is that I feel upset because you promised us a middle school years ago, and you broke that promise. These kids that are left in fourth grade, they need an education,” Dylan said.
“He walked past us, like we’re just invisible. We’re not invisible. We have voices and we need them to be heard.”
“I think middle school will be a chance to try new things and be more independent. I want to go to a school where I know I can do that without being bullied and where I know my teachers will care about me.”
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 45 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 18,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for about 4,000 open seats for the 2019-20 academic year.
For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.