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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Education Justice
Type: Event

Victory! Students at P.S.19 will finally have room to learn!

MRNY parents and students celebrate the announcement of a permanent addition to P.S.19.

Today, after years of work by Make the Road New York and our allies, the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority announced a plan to remove the trailers that have housed over 500 students and build a permanent addition at P.S.19, one of the most overcrowded schools in New York City.

For over twenty years, hundreds of students have learned in temporary trailers and a temporary annex at P.S.19. The trailers were never meant to be a permanent solution. They now have a history of malfunctioning heating systems in the winter and lead to hour-long bathroom lines, among other issues.

Students get wet during rainy or snowy days because they frequently shuttle between trailers and the main building. The son of Make the Road New York member Rafaela Vivaldo has been a student at P.S.19 since kindergarten, where he studied in a temporary trailer. In the winter, he’d cry every morning before school because he hated how his feet would freeze as he ran from the trailer to the main building and back.

Today Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, the School Construction Authority, the Department of Education, and many other Queens elected officials announced plans for the construction of the permanent addition, which will affect over 500 students currently in trailers and non-permanent classroom space.

The design process will begin shortly, and the trailers will be removed in the summer of 2016. Luckily, students will be relocated to the newly built P.S. 315, only a short distance from P.S.19.

The announcement comes four years after MRNY launched the “Too Crowded to Learn” Campaign to reduce overcrowding in Districts 24 and 30, with an event in front of P.S.19 to highlight its importance in the neighborhood. Read more in the New York Times.

We thank Councilmember Ferreras, Queens Borough President Katz, the School Construction Authority, the Department of Education, Assemblymen Moya, DenDekker, and Aubry, State Senator Peralta, all our allies, and especially all the parents in the Queens ‘Padres en Accion’ committee for the years of organizing to make this possible. Much work still needs to be done so that all Jackson Heights and Corona children have the space they need to learn, but this is a big step!

¡Sí se pudo!