New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David C. Banks along with the Office of Safety & Prevention Partnerships announced today the official launch of a brand-new initiative from the Department of Education, Project Pivot.
As a central component of the Department’s reimagining of school safety, Project Pivot will provide students with access to additional support and resources to guide them toward academic success and social-emotional well-being. The program will place community organizations directly on the ground to work with school communities to offer these essential interventions.
“Public safety remains this administration’s top priority, which is why, over the past few months, we have repeatedly engaged with New Yorkers across the five boroughs on how we can invest in the preventive, upstream solutions that give New York City’s the resources they need to live safe, productive lives. Project Pivot will utilize our anti-violence community-based organizations to provide safety and violence prevention, student counseling and mentoring, and more at our public schools,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “When our kids know there are caring adults looking out for them and making sure they show up to school each day, they feel safer and perform better academically and socially. Our young people are the future of this great city, and Project Pivot will provide our children with the resources they need to succeed.”
“Every young person deserves a chance to succeed inside and outside of school, and it is our responsibility to provide the resources and wraparound supports to make that happen. This initiative will open doors and present new opportunities to our next generation of leaders and changemakers of New York City,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Student safety and wellness is my absolute top priority as schools Chancellor, and I am looking forward to seeing the long-term positive change spurred via Project Pivot.”
Project Pivot, which comprises an investment of approximately $9 million, will operate within a cohort of 138 schools that were selected based on a combination of safety factors and academics including a number of suspensions, incidents, and chronic absenteeism among students.
As part of Project Pivot, the Department of Education has identified nationally and locally recognized Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that specialize in services in the following areas:
- Safety and violence prevention,
- Student leadership and career readiness,
- Student counseling and mentoring,
- Enrichment programs through sports, recreational activities, and the arts, and more.
CBOs include a range of partners including Black Girls Rock, Elite Learners, National Cares Mentoring, 100 Black Men, Aim High International, Man Up, KAVI, NAACP, Renaissance Youth Center, and the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program, just to name a few. Project Pivot will operate in schools in every borough: 51 schools in the Bronx, 37 schools in Brooklyn, 28 schools in Manhattan, 13 schools in Queens, and 9 schools on Staten Island.
CBOs will engage a range of strategies including social-emotional support for students, teaching violence-interruption techniques, creating safe corridors to assist in keeping students safe to and from school, and offering engaging extended-learning opportunities to ensure students feel safe, supported, and empowered in their communities.
Project Pivot partners CBOs with our students during a pivotal point in their development to guide and nurture them toward their full potential. When students have the supports they need, they can thrive both out of school and in the classroom. This initiative looks to build a strong connection between our kids with their school community—a connection that improves campus climate and culture reduces punitive discipline, and helps drive classroom success.
Activities designed by community partners to support identified students will be aligned with, and reinforced by, the five pillars of Project Pivot:
- Optimism, and
All of the provided services and offerings are expected to be developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, and based on the most current research and efficacy data.
“Many of our youth are in need of guidance and support and initiatives like Project Pivot provide that one-on-one mentorship to ensure our students get the resources they need to become success stories instead of statistics,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to thank Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks for spearheading this initiative and for continuing to invest in our future generation of young leaders.”
“As an elected official and as the parent of an elementary school student, there is nothing more paramount to me than the health and wellness of our children. With Project Pivot, our young people will not only be connected with the critical resources provided by our stellar community-based organizations — they will be able to walk down pathways to prosperity that were previously thought to be off limits,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Education to ensure the success of this program and expand it further in Queens.”