As the pandemic abruptly turned life upside down around the world, roughly a million public school kids in NYC were thrust into a wildly inconsistent learning environment, with repeated openings and closings of school buildings and systemwide shifts to online learning as COVID-19 rates surge.,While education officials promise to reopen schools this fall for full-time learning again, many New York City parents and students are calling for more than academic recovery, but a reckoning with the disrupted school system’s mental health toll on kids.,A Year Of Anxiety And Turmoil In the short term after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that public school buildings were closing on March 16th, 2020 and students were shifting to remote learning, some kids said they initially celebrated a break from school.,Disparate Impacts For New York City’s public school system, whose enrollment is 41% Latino, 26% Black, 16% Asian and 15% white, the deadly toll of the pandemic has been acutely felt: “During the first five months of the pandemic, an estimated 4,200 of 4 million children in the state lost a parent or caregiver to coronavirus, a rate of more than one out of every 1,000, according to a report by the United Hospital Fund and Boston Consulting Group released at the end of September,” with more than half of those affected children residents of the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, according to Gotham Gazette, which reported the pandemic has disportionately taken parents away from Black and Hispanic families: 1 out of every 600 Black children, and 1 out of every 700 Hispanic children have lost a parent or caregiver, compared to 1 out of 1,400 Asian children and 1 out of 1,500 white children in New York.,The public school student population is also primarily low-income, a point which was hammered home last spring when the city Department of Education had to scramble to outfit hundreds of thousands of families with devices for remote learning.

The MLK Youth and Children’s Program will be marked Saturday at the Sycamore Youth Center at 301 N. Fourth St., beginning at 9:30 a.m., and include a variety of service projects, the memorial service moves to a virtual platform with the service set for 6 p.m. Sunday at Mount Carmel Community Baptist Church.,The association was organized and created during the 1970s by local citizens, including Mary Ruth Thorn, Eugene Gillison, Delores Wiggins, Anita Jackson and others

“The goal of the MLK Association was to have an annual memorial of the legacy of Dr. King and to keep the ‘Dream Alive’ for the citizens of the Steubenville area,” Baber said.,“Over the past 50 years, the association has attempted to keep the dream alive by the establishment of scholarships for college students, an annual memorial service, an annual reflections of the civil rights movement, a musical of Black songs related to the movement, a prayer breakfast and awarding of monetary gifts to elementary and high school students who write essays regarding Dr. King’s vision and hope for America.”,“The MLK Association annually awards students these gifts in order to encourage students to reflect upon Dr. King’s life and impact of his work during the civil rights movement and of current America,” Baber continued.,“The association is thankful for sponsors such as Huntington Bank, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Jefferson/Eastern Gateway Community College, Steubenville City School District, local governments, local churches, the Sycamore Center and community citizens that have supported the goals of the association over the years,” Baber said, noting anyone can join the nonprofit organization by informing the association’s secretary, Carol Ann Simmons. read more