The Fund’s opening grant will be awarded to the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center (MLKMPC) of Spring Valley, NY, a nonprofit community center providing after school and summer programs for young people attending East Ramapo Central public schools. The US$125,000 grant will establish a “Saturday Academy,” supporting the supplemental education program during its first year, and enabling the MLKMPC to provide English lessons for students and their families, tutoring, STEM programming, and related support including hot meals and health programming.
To be considered for funding, projects must aid in the education and enrichment of East Ramapo public school students. Grant applications and additional information will be available in the coming weeks.
Those involved in the case and the Fund offer the following commentary on today’s announcement:
Latham & Watkins: “We took this case pro bono to rectify a gross injustice. The court agreed, and today the East Ramapo School Board is democratically elected, following the tenets of the law. We are honored to further support the East Ramapo community by establishing The Fund for East Ramapo’s Public School Students,” said Latham & Watkins partner Andrew Clubok, who helped guide the associate-led team that litigated the case.
Rockland Community Foundation: “The cornerstone of the Rockland Community Foundation is to seek and stimulate permanent endowment building and to help ensure that today’s and tomorrow’s charitable needs in Rockland are met, including the needs of our children. The Fund for East Ramapo’s Public School Students will benefit generations to come, enabling them to shine ever-more brightly,” said Julie Sadowski, Executive Director.
Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center: “The Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center is honored to receive the Fund’s initial grant. We are grateful for the opportunity to offer East Ramapo public school students resources to help them attain the skills to achieve personal success and contribute to a stronger, sustainable society,” said Lisa Kaess, Co-President of the Center’s Board of Directors.
“Thank you for entrusting us to help make this long sought-after dream a reality,” added Nathan Mungin III, the Center’s Executive Director.
NAACP, Spring Valley Chapter: “At its heart, this was a case about access to education. Through the Fund, East Ramapo students will be able to access the futures they deserve, and that will benefit our entire Rockland County community,” said Oscar Cohen, Education Committee Co-chair, NAACP Spring Valley Chapter
NYCLU: “The needs of the public-school community in East Ramapo, who are overwhelmingly students and families of color, have been ignored and even undermined by district leaders for far too long. Our case rectified one crucial part of a deep and longstanding injustice. Now this fund will allow the community to invest in itself and in other long-term solutions. Black and Latinx students deserve a voice, and the NYCLU is proud to be in the fight for their future,” said Brandon Holmes, Hudson Valley Regional Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
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Notes to Editors
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