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The Keeper's Secret where every voice is heard and no story is left untold Michael Regan, MBK Coordinator

Welcome to our 1st Edition of The Keeper's Secret, our monthly MBK newsletter. Here you will find all of the latest happenings in our My Brother's Keeper Program for Monticello Central School District. With so many amazing things happening in Monti-MBK, why keep it a secret? In this monthly newsletter we will stop at nothing to make sure every voice is heard and no story is left untold. Stay tuned every month and help spread the word so that nothing we do is kept a secret!

This 1st Edition of our Keeper's Secret Newsletter will be aimed at introducing ourselves, and catching you up to speed with the purpose, goals, and progress made in our My Brother's Keeper Program from Monticello and across our nation! Let us start by sharing some of the great things happening right here in our community through our Monti-MBK Public Service Announcement video.

In 2014, President BarackObama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. In 2016, New York became the first state to accept the Obama's challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law. Monticello Central School District is one of the schools who has accepted the challenge to begin a new journey of growth and opportunity for our young men of color.

See video below to watch Barack Obama as he explains the MBK Initiative

Monti-MBK Core Values:

• Love •Commit •Empower

Monti-MBK Vision Statement:

All students and families will achieve their goals together in partnership with the school and community while graduating high school being life ready and prepared for success.

Monti-MBK Mission Statement:

To build trusting relationships between families, school and community through empowerment and mentorship focused on improving outcomes for young men of color.

How Do We Achieve This?

Monticello My Brother’s Keeper Program provides after school activities, professional developments, community events, field trips, and advocacy with an emphasis on equity and a culturally responsive education.

Watch this Quick 1 min clip to see Steph Curry & Barack Obama's MBK PSA Video

NYS Education Department MBK Goals:

1. Ensuring equitable access to high quality schools and programs

2. Expanding prevention, early warning, and intervention services

3. Using differentiated approaches based on need and culture

4. Responding to structural and institutional racism

5. Making comprehensive and coordinated support services widely available

6. Engaging families and communities in a trusted and respectful way

MBK Family & Community Engagement Program Goals for MCSD:

1. Develop the knowledge and skills of school and district personnel, as well as families and community members, to increase required trust and relationships necessary to address student learning needs and abilities at each grade level.

2. Provide access to multi-level networks that foster respect and trust in building family relationships with theschool and school community.

3. Create an environment where partnerships thrive in a comfortable, culturally diverse, and engaging atmosphere that fosters respect and trust.

4. Commit to building and sustaining child-centered roles for the school, family, and community that values student learning and social and emotional development as equal educational partners

Check out this video below to learn more about the NYSED MBK Initiative

A CLOSER LOOK AT OUR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

ACADEMIC TUTORING- Every Monday, Tuesday, & Friday from 2:30pm-4:30pm

MBK students are provided with teachers for academic support with homework help, regents preparation, and study skill development. Participating in academic tutoring earns students a ticket to play basketball in the gym from 4:30pm-6:30pm.

ATHLETIC MENTORING: Every Monday, Tuesday, & Friday from 4:30pm-6:30pm

Students who participate in tutoring are provided with a ticket to play basketball, where they are provided with an Athletics Mentor/Coach to learn life-skills, team building, and discipline in ways they find meaningful and enjoyable.

DREAM TANK: Every Thursday

Dream Tank is one of our biggest MBK Partners. Founded by Regent/Judge Josephine Finn, Dream Tank offers students enrichment opportunities and character education in a safe, supportive environment with music mentors and community members.

Digital Literacy Lab: Every Wednesday

Students are offered a state of the art recording studio where they are taught by professional music engineers and film producers. This curriculum is designed to teach students the business aspect of the music industry along with video production skills. The goal is to empower students to express themselves and partake in civic engagement by sharing their stories and marketing their music to stakeholders and decision makers in their community.

WATCH OBAMA SHARE ON THE PROGRESS MADE AFTER 4 YEARS OF MBK

VIEW OUR PROGRESS REPORT FOR MBK STUDENTS IN MCSD MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL SHOWING GROWTH MADE DURING THE 17-18 SCHOOL YEAR

Monti-MBK Presents: Family & Community Movie Night... FREE pre-release screening of the Movie CHOICES with LIVE PERFORMANCE from America's Got Talent 1st Place Winner Landau Eugene Murphy!

When: Monday, October 15th, from 6:00pm-9:00pm (Doors open at 5:00pm)

Where: Monticello High School Auditorium; 39 Breakey Ave, Monticello, NY 12701

Who: This event is open to the public. We welcome the whole community to come join us with their family and friends!

What: ADMISSION IS FREE! Choices Movie is the true-life story of Ron James, a 25-year repeat offender and drug addict, who turned his life around to become a renowned author and sought-after motivational speaker. The movie is based on James’ best selling book “Choices” and features T.J. Griffin as James. In addition, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., winner of America’s Got Talent has a small but pivotal cameo role that opens the movie and has contributed original music to the film’s soundtrack.

Special note: Landau will be live and singing a few songs right before the movie, so come early!

The Choices Movie lets viewers experience the emotional, sometimes amusing, often harrowing and always thought-provoking journey through James’ incredible personal battles, both good and bad decisions, and the consequences that led him to pay the ultimate price with his life and time.

Ron L James, the subject of the movie and co-founder of Your Choice Foundation stated, “We plan take the Choices Movie and message to schools across the country in order to, ‘end substance abuse before it starts.’ At the end of each showing, we have a question and answer session with the community, parents, and students. It’s an exciting, humbling thing to see your life portrayed in a film, and if just one person sees my story and it touches their life, then it’s all worth it.”

MEET OUR TEAM

Dana Taylor, Executive Director of Special, Summer & After School Programs

Dana Taylor is responsible for overseeing our MBK program, along with many other programs like Empire to meet the social-emotional needs of our students. Ms. Taylor has been a resident of Sullivan County for over 40 years, and began her career as a speech therapist for MCSD over 20 years ago. Ms. Taylor is a proud graduate of Monti High, along with her two daughters. Ms. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY; along with a master’s degrees in special education from SUNY New Paltz, and a master's degree in educational leadership from Long Island University. According to Ms. Taylor, "Programs like My Brother's Keeper are incredibly important to our community to help provide the children with supports they need to be successful in life. It's programs like My Brother's Keeper that have the ability to save lives."

Michael Regan, My Brother's Keeper Coordinator

Michael is a licensed master social worker who is currently responsible for coordinating all efforts of the MCSD My Brother's Keeper Program. During the school day Michael works as a School Social Worker for Monticello High School, providing counseling and coordinating restorative justice efforts for students serving in-school suspension in the ASPIRE Program. Michael is passionate about motivating young people to overcome their obstacles and follow their passion. He is a strong advocate for social justice and believes that all children deserve to have a high-quality education which is equitable, culturally responsive, and filled with educators who believe in their ability to succeed. Michael is currently serving as an administrative intern for MCSD in his pursuit for a degree in Educational Leadership to become a school administrator. According to Michael, "The My Brother's Keeper Program is all about providing our young men with opportunities to see themselves as emerging leaders in their own life, school, and community. We believe that every child has promise to achieve their dreams, no matter how many set backs or obstacles stand in their way. Unconditional love, commitment, and empowerment are the core values that drive us to support our students on this movement."

Shannon Daniel, Student Engagement Mentor

Shannon is responsible for providing character education and mentorship to our young men in MBK. She also serves as our EPIC Coordinator for MBK dedicated to engaging our families and parents through meaningful activities, events, and outreach. Shannon is passionate about working with high risk youth and providing her very own mentor program with a similar mission to that of Obama's initiative, which is to break the school to prison pipeline for our young minority men. Her goal is to provide meaningful character building and life skills to empower our young men to become explorers of opportunity and bring achievement and success into their lives.

Renee Wilson, Academic Mentor

Ms. Wilson is responsible for providing academic tutoring, regents prep, homework help, and mentorship to our MBK students after school. Ms. Wilson has worked as a certified special education teacher in the Monticello School District for over 20 years. She is highly involved in the community as a former Youth advocate and Mentor to students and adults. Ms. Wilson is passionate and dedicated to helping our students succeed in the My Brother's Keeper Program.

Jesse Hinton, Student Services Liason

Jesse L. Hinton is a Licensed Master Social Worker, and native of Sullivan County. Jesse graduated from Fallsburg Jr- Sr. High School Class of 2002. After high school, he then pursued his degree in social work, obtaining both his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from SUNY College at Buffalo State (2006), and SUNY Stony Brook University (2008) respectively. Jesse returned to the area in 2008, to begin a family and career in the field of Human Services before joining the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) in 2015 as a Therapist. Since his return in 2008, Jesse has involved himself in numerous community initiatives and programs that shared his interest in helping young boys of color escape their circumstances through self-awareness, mentorship and guidance. Jesse’s vision to affect change has found its way to MBK, as he joined the program this past July; citing the importance of male leadership and positive role modeling as way to motivate and effect change for the young men of the program. “I came to MBK to make a difference in as many young lives as possible…especially young men of color. Through leadership, accountability, and mentorship, these young men will be given the tools needed to reach their fullest potential, and lead successful lives.”

Rory Stevens, Student Services Liaison

Rory is an avid social worker that is passionate about advocating for social justice issues, along with helping students that can use extra support inside and outside of the school-setting. He received his Master of Social Work degree (MSW) from Marywood University, and is also a certified School Social Worker. When Rory learned of the My Brother's Keeper program in Monticello Central School District, he believed this would be the perfect opportunity to help advocate for students of color that face opportunity gaps. Along with MBK, Rory also works full-time as a Behavior Specialist for Sullivan County BOCES at White Sulphur Springs Elementary.

DeShawn Hines, Family Engagement Mentor

DeShawn Hines is responsible for family and community outreach in our MBK Program. As a proud mother of one of our MBK Students, DeShawn has proven to be an enormous asset in our efforts to engage families in meaningful ways to establish trusting relationships. She has a long history of serving the Monticello Community as a family advocate for many years. DeShawn enjoys working in the program and she looks forward to the continued success and dedication that the program offers our students.

Jada Jones, Family Engagement Mentor

Jada Jones is responsible for engaging our families and community in the MBK program. Jada was born and raised in Monticello and is a mother to 1 daughter and 3 boys, one of which who is a student in our My Brother's Keeper Program. Jada's role as a mother in the community has been instrumental in helping us to build trust with our families. According to Jada, "I have always had a passion for the youth and I want to see a change in my community and that starts with the young men that we serve in the My Brother's Keeper Program."

Coach Dennis Martin, Athletics Mentor

Coach Dennis is responsible for running our athletics program which teaches our MBK students life skills through mentorship both on and off the basketball court. Coach Dennis is from Monticello and has been training youth athletes since 1992. Dennis is one of the original coaches that started the pop warner program in Fallsburg which is still successful today. Currently Dennis coaches modified boys basketball, football, and track. He has been an invaluable member of our team to help motivate our young men to always strive to be their best. The athletics program also serves as an incentive for our students to participate in academic tutoring after school, which has been an effective tool in motivating our young men to focus on their academics.

Robbin Dockery, Safety Mentor

Robbin Dockery is responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our students during after school activities, while providing them mentorship and support. Robbin was born and raised in Brooklyn New York, the youngest of 6 children. She went catholic school during her elementary years, then to Erasmus Hall High school and later entered into BMCC college. She have one living son the age of 27. Robbin moved to Monticello 25 years ago to get clean and sober, and still lives clean and sober to this day. Robbin began her career as a drug and alcohol counselor 15 years ago and then decide to join Monticello school district 11 years ago and still serves MCSD as a safety staff in the high school during the day. According to Robbin, "being in the district, I was introduced to the My Brother's Keeper Program and thought that was something I needed to join. I became part of the program because of my counseling abilities and also because I believe I can help any student get on the right track and stay on the right track. What I enjoy about the program is I get to extend my hand when needed not just as a counselor, but just as a listening ear with no judgment."

Cecil Allen, Music Mentor

Cecil Allen is responsible for providing mentorship through music with our MBK Students in the Dream Tank. Our music program offers a unique way to connect with the youth using creative measures such as hip hop therapy, drum circles, and creative expression workshops. Cecil is a Monticello High School Graduate and a proud Vietnam Vietnam Veteran. He has worked with families in Monticello as an advocate for over 10 years and has been a musician for 50 years. According to Cecil, "One of my greatest joys is to give back to the community and work with the kids to show them what love is all about. Get rid of hate and start loving more. I teach them to love themselves, love their families and love people around them."

Eric Young, Music Mentor

Eric Young is responsible for mentoring our MBK Students after school in the Dream Tank, using music as his vessel for reaching the youth. Eric is a Monticello High School Graduate and has lived in Monticello for most of his life, raising 6 boys with his wife Ann who recently retired as a school nurse for MCSD. For over 10 years, Eric has been managing the Dream Tank and sharing his passion for drumming with the youth. Eric has been instrumental in organizing our annual "I Have a Dream" county wide talent show, and continues to offer creative ideas to motivate our young people to be their best selves. Eric loves these kids as if they were his own and continues to truly dedicated to our MBK Program.

VIEW THE VIDEO BELOW TO CHECK OUT OUR MBK STUDENTS LATEST CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECT CREATED IN OUR NEW MBK DIGITAL LITERACY LAB

This song titled "Wrong Way" was inspired by the young men's struggle of overcoming adversity in the streets with chaos and violence surrounding them on a daily basis. At times, it seems like everyone around them is going down a one way street to nowhere, but they choose to take a different path, going the "wrong way down a one way". This video tells their story of the strength, resilience, and tenacity it takes for them to face the negative forces that engulf their environment so they can keep moving forward on their journey to success.

THANK YOU FOR GETTING TO KNOW US BETTER! Stay tuned next month for our 2nd Edition of "The Keeper's Secret" to learn even more about our program and what we have coming up for this 18-19 school year! And remember... Don't keep us a secret!
Created By
Michael Regan
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