Hollywood Access Highlights i3 School & Our Staffer Dionne Grayman

Students and educators at Brooklyn’s Meyer Levin Middle School (including our staff developer at the school, Dionne Grayman) are once again in the spotlight for the joyful and equitable school they are working to create together.  

The NBC program Access Hollywood captured the warm and exuberant community at Brooklyn’s Meyer Levin Middle School in a feature aired on November 18, 2019. The segment features the school's morning "town hall" and amazing steel drum band (see them below). We'll share the clip as soon as it's posted.

Access Hollywood also interviewed our staff developer Dionne Grayman and Meyer Levin principal George Patterson about their 3-year collaboration to create a "community of belonging" through our Whole School Racial Equity Program at the school. The program combines school-wide social and emotional learning, restorative practices, and a focus on racial equity. Meyer Levin is part of our federal Investing in Innovation (i3) research study, which is examining the impact of that program on young people in 12 NYC public schools.

"You see the [scores rising] at Meyer Levin, you saw what happened during town hall today, you can feel the energy in the school. It's palpable," Dionne told reporters. "Morningside and I could not be more pleased and honored to work alongside Principal Patterson and his staff to activate his vision." 

"The moment our kids step into the building, they're placed in a 'house,'" explained Principal Patterson. "So they're part of a community ... This is a community of love and a community of support, so we don't want any kids being loners." 

Asked why she does this work, Dionne said:

 As a student who grew up in the New York City public school system, I was most successful when I was part of a community of care and belonging, and when who I was was seen and recognized, and my voice was heard. Principal Patterson, and the whole Meyer Levin family, have created this community of belonging that centers joy. So why would you not want to do this? 

See the full interview with Dionne and Principal Patterson right here! 

And in case you missed it, here's another recent story about the joyful way Meyer Levin opens its day, this one aired on NY1.  And here's a glimpse of that amazing steel drum band...