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Ms. Christine McCartney and Group of Scholars from NFA P-TECH are Finalists for $100K Grant


We are excited to announce that Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH (formerly Excelsior Academy) scholars are finalists for a $100,000 grant to build a memorial in the city of Newburgh. Students and their teachers, Ms. Christine McCartney and Ms. Jackie Hesse will be partnering with MASS Design Group and Blacc Vanilla Community Foundation to design and build a shared public space in our city to foster awareness of our history, acknowledge the factors that have impacted Newburgh, and honor the resilience and hope we see every day in our residents.


Scholars and their teachers have a 1 in 3 chance of winning this national contest, but we need everyone to VOTE FOR US EVERYDAY during the month of October. Anyone who votes everyday will have their name on a plaque on the memorial.


Voting begins today, Monday, October 1st! You can vote once a day per email/device.


VOTE for Ms. Christine McCartney, Newburgh Free Academy: https://www.farmers.com/thank-americas-teachers/vote-for-a-teacher/vote-100k-proposal/


Register for notifications with the contest link to either your phone or your email:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdSsXHs4ReyrIOs5GPSSRgnt61dwQEXD8sArlnSzPlQ1jA9mQ/viewform 






Thank America’s Teachers’® grants program is one of the many ways Farmers Insurance® invests in and gives back to the communities in which we live and work. Through Thank America’s Teachers, this year Farmers® will award over $1 million in educational grants, and now 15 Dream Big Teacher Challenge® finalists are competing for one of six $100,000 educational grants to help make their proposals a reality.


You can vote daily during each voting period — every vote counts! When you do, you’ll help give America’s teachers the chance to fund their educational visions. Voting begins October 1 and will end on October 31. Everyone can go to Thank AmericasTeachers.com to vote daily.




The proposed project is part of the larger goals of Global to Local, a student led organization comprised of scholars from Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH. The Global to Local program provides youth in Newburgh the opportunity to see the world and to begin to envision themselves as change makers in their own community.


About Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH (formerly Excelsior Academy):

At Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH (formerly Excelsior Academy), our students are part of a six-year P-Tech program in partnership with IBM and SUNY Orange, during which they receive both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.  Global to Local will have yearly requirements for participation and build towards a community-based service-learning project in Newburgh during students’ senior year of high school.  


In May 2017, 17 members of the inaugural class of Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH graduated from both SUNY Orange and Newburgh Free Academy receiving both their high school diploma and associate’s degree at the same time. The 17 scholars achieved this goal in four years.


About Global to Local and the vision of the project:

Global service-learning provides students with an opportunity to learn while working on a meaningful volunteer project that addresses an authentic community need in a foreign country.  By immersing ourselves in another culture to volunteer for positive social change, young people will be better prepared to work within our city of Newburgh to make it a better place.


 Through Global to Local, the 2017 cohort of fifteen Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH (formerly Excelsior Academy) scholars volunteered for ten days of service at Casa Victoria in Quito, Ecuador.  Our high school students worked with the sixty children who attend Casa Victoria’s afterschool program, where they are fed a hot meal and provided with homework help and a safe place to spend their afternoons.  Our students taught basic coding using robots and tablets that they fundraised to donate, and worked on literacy skills using books that they contributed to Casa Victoria’s lending library. They also built a learning center for outdoor projects, and learned from Casa Victoria’s founder about what it means to create grassroots change within a community.  Aside from volunteering, students also had the opportunity to visit an Afro-Ecuadorian village, and learn about both the joys and challenges of living in an isolated, underserved mountain community.

 In the summer of 2018, nine 11th grade students will travel to Cambodia, where a majority of the population is directly descended from victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide. We will visit sites and meet with organizations who are memorializing the genocide, with the goal of understanding how public spaces can be used as shared community resources for healing.  Our students will also volunteer at an organization that builds wheelchairs for landmine victims, and visit an organization that rescues women from human trafficking.


In the summer of 2018, scholars traveled to Cambodia. After our trip to Cambodia, students plan to partner with MASS Design and community organizations in Newburgh to create a public memorial to victims of trauma and violence in our city. Our students will research the trajectory of oppression in Newburgh, beginning with the effects of multi-generational trauma experienced by enslaved Africans and their descendants in our area and moving towards more current issues of poverty, oppression and gun violence.  This project will be about legacy and recognition -an acknowledgement of Newburgh’s shared loss, an examination of the lasting impacts of trauma in our community, and a testament to the resilience and hope we see every day in Newburgh youth and their families.

ATTENTION: Are your scholars or colleagues doing something great? Please contact the district Communications Team at communications@necsd.net. We’d love to visit your class or event and/or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district!

Date: 2018-10-01 11:25:21 AM


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