Send Educators a Dose of Care & Attention

December 1, 2020

Educators have put their lives on the line this year, and their hearts too. With a contribution to Morningside, you can give them something back.

Dear Morningside Center friends, 

I’m writing with a question for you:

Can you send educators a generous dose of care and attention right now? 

Liz and teacher hugWith a financial contribution to Morningside Center, you give teachers concrete and targeted Covid-era support so that they and their students can get through this pandemic – and even find much needed joy and new connections. Please give now! (And if you’ve already given, thank you!)

As you know, we’ve asked educators to do the impossible this year. They have put their lives on the line, and their hearts too, as they have struggled to be there for students and families in crisis.

Your contribution to Morningside enables educators to access our expertise in social and emotional learning, our tools for building classroom community and self-care, and our strategies for promoting racial equity and justice. We’ve never seen such deep interest by school leaders in taking on anti-Black racism. They want our support – and you can help us provide it!

You’ll also give hundreds of thousands of educators across the country access to free online resources – including lessons that address students’ urgent needs right now. Our web traffic tells us just how urgent – it has jumped 89 percent since March.

Your support will make such a difference for educators and their students at this moment. Here’s one example: 

At an elementary school in Brooklyn whose students are mostly Chinese-American and Latinx, Chinese students experienced hostility and harassment from ignorant neighbors who blamed them for the coronavirus. 

Fortunately, the school has a strong partnership with Morningside Center. Staff and students had been part of our program, which provided them with tools to build community, foster empathy, and work for equity. 

When teachers gave students the chance to talk about what was happening, students picked up the tools they had learned and used them. Instead of devolving into hostility themselves, they stood up for each other. One Latinx student told an Asian-American classmate who had been harassed: 

“The coronavirus is not a Chinese virus, and you need to know that. What that lady said was racist and rude, and you don't have to take that!” 

Students are bursting with ideas about how to help their community, and in this session, they offered up everything from giving out hand sanitizer to fighting to get homes for the homeless. Later, these students helped distribute food to neighbors in need and created thousands of folded paper cranes as a gesture of hope and love. 

Covid has created a crisis of disconnection. Morningside reconnects. 

Your contribution ensures that educators and students have the tools they need to support each other and the community, especially now. The aid you provide is direct and sustained. 

Make your support even more direct: If you like, give in honor of a teacher who has changed your life. Let us know their name when you give, and we will include them in a collective teacher tribute that we’ll send to you and share on our website. 

I am ready to leave 2020 behind – and I’m guessing that you are too. The future is calling us forward. 

Come with me to a future that prioritizes safety over control, solidarity over division. Come join me in creating a culture of liberation, healing, and deep connection to ourselves, our communities, and our children. Start by making a generous contribution to Morningside Center.

With warm wishes for our collective progress in 2021,


Cassie


Cassie Schwerner
Executive Director 

P.S. It will take you just a few minutes to give educators a lasting dose of love and support. Give now!

P.P.S. Please read on to find out about the amazing work your support has enabled us to do in the Covid era. Thank you.

 


 

Morningside’s progress in 2020 – made possible by you!

It’s been a year of anxiety, dislocation, and loss for young people, educators, schools, and communities. It’s also been a time of racial reckoning. There has never been a greater need for the work we do in schools and after-school programs to build community, promote caring and empathy, advance racial awareness and equity, address grief and loss, and promote self-care. 

And yet, when the pandemic struck in March, our contracts were terminated, shutting down our work and erasing over a $1 million in projected revenue from our budget overnight. We reached out immediately to YOU for help. You came through. So thanks to you, we in turn came through for educators and young people this year. Here are some highlights. 

  • We created classroom activities and guidelines to address the sense of disconnection and uncertainty among young people and adults, as well as the loss faced disproportionately by Black and brown families. Hundreds of thousands of people viewed our extensive free resources. Our website traffic increased by 89 percent.
     
  • The NYC Department of Education recognized that in this year of upheaval, summer school programs needed to emphasize social and emotional learning. In June, they called us for help. In the span of a few sleepless weeks, our staff created a 44-unit curriculum with multiple short activities on community, respect, empathy, anger, decision-making, conflict, oppression, and joy.  We then delivered a training for 1600 summer school teachers – 75 cohorts in 48 hours!
     
  • We quickly adapted our training, coaching, and curricula for virtual classrooms.  By the fall, we had begun working with the NYC Department of Education, other districts, and a host of new schools to provide online training and coaching for hundreds of educators
    .
  • During this era of racial reckoning, more schools and organizations asked for our support and expertise in advancing racial equity and cultural awareness. We have updated our 5-day training to be responsive to this moment.
     
  • Our three PAZ after-school programs never shut down – they transitioned quickly to online and kept on providing love and support for hundreds of children. At the end of the school year, we provided every child with a backpack filled with games, supplies, food, and other goodies. 
     
  • We used PPP funds to tap the creativity and expertise of our 30+ staff developers. They worked in teams to enrich our curricula and models – including by integrating our racial equity approaches more fully. They also created more Spanish translations of our materials.
     
  • We shared as much as we could for free. A total of 1,278 educators signed up for the three free webinars we provided on culturally responsive instruction, fostering social and emotional learning and self-care and creating an affirmative space for all.
     
  • We stepped up our efforts to secure funding from foundations and individuals. This included renewing our grant from the NoVo Foundation, finding new foundation support from the Charles Hayden Foundation and others – and increasing the level of support we get from amazing people like you.