Corporation awards $1.85 Million in Honor of Teachers


Grants support two Community School Districts and Downtown New York City High Schools

The board of trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York voted to make the first installment of its $10 million pledge to support the metropolitan New York community following the September 11th attacks. The first awards, totaling $1.85 million, will be given to New York City schools in honor of the teachers who played such a pivotal role for students in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center. 

"While no one in the City of New York was untouched by the events of September 11th, two of the city's school districts were disproportionately affected, since the attacks occurred in their neighborhoods," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "We recognize that teachers bore the brunt of consoling their students and explaining events on that first day, as well as dealing with the emotional and educational needs of their students in the months since. We wanted to make a direct contribution to these lower Manhattan schools and to do so with support that could celebrate, commemorate and congratulate the work of this city's teachers in general and the teachers in Community School Districts One and Two and the high schools affected in particular."

The Corporation will donate $800,000 in honor of the teachers to establish two model libraries to be built in elementary schools within District One and Two. Besides a library in each district, the Corporation will award a total of $600,000 for projects to support some specific needs of teachers within the district's classrooms by making two $300,000 grants to the districts' superintendents for projects to be decided by them in consultation with teachers.

"We believe teachers are closest to the needs of their schools and their students and this support will offer them a tangible opportunity to respond to specific needs," said Gregorian.

Three of the city's high schools--Stuyvesant High School, The High School of Economics and Finance and the High School of Leadership and Public Service--were within blocks of Ground Zero and had to be evacuated for weeks following the attack. The impact on these three schools and the emotional trauma for students and teachers were probably greater than anywhere in this city.

"These high schools are only now returning to normal and we believe a grant to support the principals of the three schools for a project chosen in consultation with the teachers will make a difference in these important school communities," said Gregorian. 

Each of the three high schools will be awarded grants of $100,000 each. As well, the schools that became temporary homes for the dislocated students and teachers of these three downtown high schools will receive grants of $50,000. 

"Although not at the site of the World Trade Center towers, there was much disruption in school activities," said Gregorian. "We believe that the teachers at these schools should also be congratulated for their work and contributions." The three high schools receiving awards are Brooklyn Technical High School, Norman Thomas High School and Fashion Industries High School. 

To make the announcement and celebrate the city's teachers, Vartan Gregorian joined New York City Schools Chancellor Harold Levy at the High School of Economics and Finance as he welcomed students and teachers back to the last of the downtown high schools to be reopened following the September attacks. "We believe the strength of the school system is the commitment of the teachers, and when the community responds to needs as Carnegie Corporation of New York has done today and in earlier projects, the teachers' commitment is only reinforced," said Chancellor Levy. 

The Board of Trustees of Carnegie Corporation voted on supporting New York City's teachers and schools at its February board meeting and underlined the fact that this outreach furthers the mission of the Corporation, which is dedicated to "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding" and which, since the days when Andrew Carnegie was president, has worked with teachers and on education issues. 

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.7 billion on September 30, 2001. The Corporation awards grants totaling approximately $75 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy.