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4th Grader to Mayor: “Don’t Stop Scholars”


Contact: Liz Baker, 646-902-4200 [email protected] Contact: Ann Powell, 646-894-6407 [email protected]org  



Nine-Year-Old Bryanna Harrison: “I Have a Lot More to Learn” – But Mayor de Blasio is Ignoring Her Need for a Permanent Middle School

South Jamaica, NY – Fourth grader Bryanna Harrison believes hard work is its own reward — her teachers at Success Academy South Jamaica love that she always gives 100 percent effort to the task at hand. She enjoys challenging herself and taking pride in everything she does — whether that’s playing basketball, expressing herself through art, or discovering chemical reactions in science lab. She’s funny and compassionate, always noticing when someone is upset and offering a shoulder to lean on until they feel better. But now, Bryanna is the one who is upset. One of the 227 children who face uncertain futures because of an unfulfilled promise by Mayor de Blasio, she still doesn’t know where she will go to middle school next year. After waiting three years, Bryanna learned last week that the building the mayor proposed as her middle school is grossly inadequate: In addition to giving her and her classmates only half the space that other public school students in the city have, the building lacks a standard gym and  auditorium. Even though there are six underutilized public school buildings with 400 to 1,000 empty seats nearby, Mayor de Blasio is refusing to provide Bryanna and other Success Academy fourth graders in Queens “reasonable, appropriate and comparable” space to learn, as state law dictates. Bryanna may have to return to her zoned school, P.S. 43, where only 26 percent of students met state standards in ELA and 29 percent passed math last year. “I think that Mayor de Blasio is being unfair. Success Academy is a nice school that pushes us to our limits! He is being unreasonable and stopping scholars when they still have so much to learn!” said Bryanna. This year, she’s worked especially hard to improve in ELA, a subject that she finds challenging. While Bryanna used to rush in her reading, she now paces herself and jots down notes so that she has evidence to back up any main ideas in a text. “I want to stay at Success for middle school because I have a lot more to learn. I’m not done pushing myself yet!” Bryanna said. ### 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.

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