Motorcycle and Church Thieves, Plus Meredith Graves About Town — The Hook-Up 9/26

Photo: Driely Schwartz via Racked
Photo: Driely Schwartz via Racked

As Pope Francis alights upon our city, the New York Times turns its attention to Greenpoint’s own St. Anthony Church, where graffiti, theft, and abuse of holy water bely the sometimes less savory side of embracing the destitute.

Progress for Newtown Creek’s new Kosciuszko Bridge are right on track. Where public development projects are concerned, no news is certainly newsworthy.

New York’s first Polish Dual Language Program has landed at PS34. On the agenda: preserving the neighborhood’s cultural heritage, preparing kids to succeed in English, and raising a class of high-achieving wunderkind. Continue reading

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Charter Schools and WAGPOPS! (Interview)

This article brought to you by a donation to our Writer’s Fund from Five Leaves.

Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents Our Public Schools! or WAGPOPS! is an organization formed in 2011 by parents of public school students in North Brooklyn’s District 14.

The group, which is the focus of a recent Village Voice story, consists of hundreds of parents and community members “who support and promote schools that are of, for and by the community.”

Just this month, WAGPOPS filed a lawsuit against SUNY, in an attempt to stop Citizens of the World Charter Schools, which is trying to make inroads into District 14, from opening two new charter schools in North Brooklyn in Fall 2013.

The following interview was conducted via email with Brooke Parker, one of WAGPOPS’ founders:

GP: What does WAGPOPS do? When and in response to what was the group formed?

Brooke: Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents: Our Public Schools! was formed by a group of parents who met on the brooklynbabyhui, a private listserv for local parents of infants and toddlers. In December 2011, “Success Academy Charter Schools” launched a super-expensive ad campaign with “Success Academy” posters all over the Northside subways.  Parents on the listserv then discovered that Eva Moskowitz’ husband, Eric Grannis, was trying to recruit parents off the brooklynbabyhui to push for more charter schools in North Brooklyn. We began emailing each other off-list, only meeting in person months later. None of us expected to become grassroots activists, but like the neighborhood residents who fought Radicac, we responded to a real threat to our neighborhood public schools and became more outraged the more we learned.

Continue reading

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McGolrick Park School Alliance

Paseo por Msgr. McGolrick Park
@ Arianys "Nany" Wilson

Here on “this side” of Greenpoint, we are very proud of our park that goes by the name of Winthrop or McGolrick depending on what century you moved or were born here. While we can’t agree on the name, we all love this hidden gem of a public park.
The McGolrick Park School Alliance has recently formed in order to get surrounding schools (P.S. 110, St. Stan’s & P.S. 34) to collaborate in clean-up and beautification of our park, starting March 2012 through November 2012.
There are some really cool events planned including a grass-seeding, tree planting, an art show, nature workshops led by the Hall of Science, a craft/painting day and a compost project. Count me in!
The group needs funding in order to accomplish these goals, which will make the park better for ALL to enjoy. The alliance needs a little over $2000 to make it all happen. You can donate to this project here. Even $1 helps, so fork it over!

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Is The G an F?

On this morning’s commute I was greeted by two MTA workers hawking rider report cards for the G train. I usually don’t bother with things like this but lately, but I am going to fill out this Rider Report Card. And I’m not going to just be some stupid moron who checks the unsatisfactory “F” box for every item. I’m going to sit down, really think about it and grade appropriately.

Speaking of grades, the NYC School Progress Report came out this week and our Greenpoint elementary schools did pretty good with PS 34 and PS 31 each getting an A. PS 110 (my alma mater) got a B. Embarrassingly JHS 126 (also, my alma mater) got a D which explains why most of the people I know in Greenpoint with kids of middle school age have been finagling their kids into JHS 318 over in Williamsburg who scored a B.

I have a feeling the G train is going to score more along the lines of 126.

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