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State Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing) made a call to Flushing residents Friday to give back to public schools in the area that are suffering from a lack of funding.
"Over the course of the last year, I've visited all the schools in my district and discussed with the principals and the parent coordinators what their needs are," Young said at her office Friday. "I've come to find that our schools have many, many needs."
Young is now encouraging community members to make donations to the schools she said help make Flushing the prosperous and bustling neighborhood it is today. On Friday, Young presented two checks for $500 to PS 22 and PS 24, both Flushing schools, donated by members of the community.
"It is this sort of good nature that makes our community a special place," she said. "I think its very important that our children know that people do care and want to help."
PS 22 Principal Priscilla Milito said the money she received from Zhong Hua Supermarket Owner Song Ling Lin will be used to put additional park benches into their school's playground. She said small donations like Lin's go a long way to help schools like PS 22, where funding gaps are widespread.
"All of the schools have so many needs, so every little bit helps," Milito said.
PS 24 Parent Coordinator Denise Gonzalez said the $500 PS 24 received will go to purchasing books for their new library.
"We were in dire need of a new library, which we got," Gonzalez said. "But it was a very empty library."
Young said she will continue to advocate for more funding for the city's public school system at the state level and also said more should be done to teach students civic responsibility while they are in school. Last week, Young introduced a bill that would require the New York state public school curriculum to include a minimum of two hours of civics lessons each week.
"The instruction shall emphasize the practical application of such lessons and the short-term impact on the student's life and on the lives of others implementing the lessons," the bill, authored by Young, states.
Any business or individual interested in giving back to their local schools are encouraged to contact Young's office at 718-939-0195.
Reach reporting reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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