Background

The Bed-Stuy Parents Committee is a community of parents who have come together to nurture and improve our neighborhood schools. We believe that by supporting our own educators and our existing schools, we can have innovative, integrated, excellent public schools in our own backyard.

BSPC advocates for more enrichment, stronger afterschool programs, and more robust teacher support and training. BSPC supports the expansion of educational choices for parents in District 16 public schools and favors learning environments that support curiosity, joy and intrinsic motivation.

BSPC aims to reverse steady disenrollment in District 16 by encouraging parents to consider neighborhood schools first. We facilitate that engagement through tours and volunteer opportunities. We have encouraged dozens of parents to tour schools that they might not otherwise have considered, and we have discovered many gems, including: museums and rainforests created by students, town hall meetings run by students, students who write and publish their own books with the help of Brooklyn authors, and students who tackle a social justice project every spring.

BSPC wants respectful, child-centered approaches to learning that are rooted in the community and the real world. We have begun by partnering with schools to write Creative Play grants to bring giant building blocks and life-sized engineering kits to District 16.

BSPC supports equity and racial and socioeconomic integration in public schools. We believe that we are as responsible as anyone else for the state of our schools.

When we began in June 2015, we focused on parents of babies and toddlers — building a pipeline of families to help revitalize our schools, whose biggest challenge is declining enrollment. Since then we have grown rapidly because there is a pent-up demand for better neighborhood schools. Our mailing list — join here! — has 250 members and our Facebook page has over 300. Here is a little bit of our story.

In March 2016 we formed an executive board and began the process of becoming a non-profit. We are creating volunteer opportunities, writing grants, and showing parents how to get involved and have a voice. After many tours and much feedback from our members, we chose two schools, Brighter Choice Community School and P.S. 309, as the primary focus of our initial efforts.

Here are the results of a 2015 survey of our members and a look at what people said in their long-form answers.

To get involved: join our mailing list. Join our Facebook page. Come to a meeting. Email us at bedstuyparentscommittee@gmail.com.

BSPC is grateful for the pro bono legal assistance of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.