The Keeper's Secret 6th Edition Where every voice is heard and no story is left untold; MICHAEL REGAN, MBK COORDINATOR

Welcome to our 6th 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 at 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.

Watch our MBK Public Service Announcement to catch up on WHO we are, WHAT we do, and WHY we do it.


Monti-MBK has partnered with the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission to facilitate "Unity in the Community" gatherings (aka Cop Cafe) the last Thursday of every month at 4:30pm, located at the Savory Sweets Eatery in Monticello. Our next meeting will be held March 28th, same time, same place, with our Monticello Village Police Department.

The purpose of these meetings are to promote unity and trust between our community and law enforcement officials from the criminal justice system. We recognize that there is a need for us to understand each other, and these gatherings are intended for all of us to engage in meaningful dialogue, to share perspectives, and grow closer to one another.

Each gathering will be hosted by a local business owner, Savory Sweets Eatery, located on 452 Broadway, Monticello, NY, who offers free snacks and refreshments for our community to enjoy. Each event runs from 4:30pm-5:30pm during the last Thursday of every month.

This most recent gathering held on February 28th, was led by Sullivan County District Attorney, Jim Farrell, currently running for Sullivan County Judge. Our MBK youth came prepared with some thought provoking questions which sparked meaningful conversation for all involved. Also in attendance was a representative from the office of Congressman Antonio Delgado, along with a variety of other community members and business owners from our community.

Watch video below to witness some of the dialogue that took place between our MBK youth and DA Jim Farrell.


Presented by Dream Tank & Hosted by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

As you may remember, last year Dream Tank presented their first inaugural "I Have A Dream" Talent Show at Bethel Woods.

Over 400 parents and community members were in the audience, and at least 1 act from nearly every school district in Sullivan County performed that night. The winners from last year were Sullivan West 1st Place, Fallsburg 2nd, & Monticello 3rd.

This years talent show will be held at Bethel Woods on April 13th, with our MCSD Students representing over half of the contestants voted forward to the main event! Many of those students were from our very own Monti-MBK program. Doors open at 4:00pm and show starts a 5:00pm. Monti-MBK will be fundraising apparel and food during this event.

Tickets for this talent show are FREE, and Dream Tank is offering some major cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

While last year this talent show was restricted to high school students, this year they will be exploring talent of all ages in grades K-12. It is going to be BIG!



Monti-MBK students and staff speak at the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission's screening of the 13th.

Monti-MBK students, Tim Nash, Noah Moreno, and Zanaya Cooper spoke with MBK Coordinator, Michael Regan, and MBK Academic Mentor, Renee Wilson at the Human Rights Commission's public screening of the 13th in the Hurleyville Arts Center. Zanaya Cooper read a poem by Maya Angelou titled "Still I Rise".

Hosted by the Hurleyville Arts Centre, the event featured NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, NYS Senator Jen Metzger, and others speaking about civil rights, followed by a screening of the 2016 documentary “13th.” Named after the U.S. Constitution’s slavery-abolishing Thirteenth Amendment, the film explores race, justice, and mass incarceration in America.

See video below to watch our students and staff represent MBK at the Hurleyville Arts Center!

Monti-MBK Student Mentor, Noah Moreno, meets the first black president of the United States of America, Barack Obama!

See video below to witness our very own Monti-MBK star, Noah Moreno, putting Monticello on the map as he is featured in the Obama Foundation's Public Service Announcement marking the 5 year anniversary of MBK at the MBK Rising conference in Oakland, CA.

1 minute 17 seconds into this video, Noah engages the crowd at the MBK Rising Conference as they all take his lead in singing along to Noah's VERY OWN ORIGINAL piece of music he created to honor MBK. This song will soon be used to create a music video with MBK Fellows and state leaders from across New York!

See the video which won Noah his spot in MBK Rising!

MBK Students Speak at the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators 48th Annual Legislative Conference

On February 16th, our very own Monti-MBK students, Ulijah Reynolds and Noah Moreno, participated in the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators 48th Annual Legislative Conference.

During the caucus, NYS MBK conducted a three-part workshop, led by NYSED Assistant Commissioner for Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Dr. Anael Alston, to provide an update on the growing MBK movement across New York State and demonstrate the impact and implications of My Brother's Keeper.

Students also attended a leadership workshop entitled "Stand and Deliver" the day prior. The workshop focused on providing leadership development in public speaking and presentations. NYSED's Director of Family and Community Engagement, Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs, facilitated the workshop alongside Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, author of the book Madd Truth.


Our neighbors in Ellenville MBK were kind enough to offer us some spots in their program called "Going Beyond Greatness", which provides educational training services in leadership, effective communication, positive behavior, and personal discipline with a focus in college and career readiness.

Among those from Monti-MBK were Jailyn Jones, Druquan Hurley, Timothy Nash, and Jaquel Smalls. Just recently these students attended a field trip to SUNY Ulster, and will soon be attending a field trip to the United Nations in NYC.

MBK students from Monticello High School came to read books with the youth from KLR Elementary for Family Literacy Night on February 28th.


Monti-MBK Elementary/Middle Expansion Update

Our MBK elementary and middle school expansion is continuing to grow stronger. Our high school mentors continue to work with our youth in KLR, Cooke, and RJK nearly every day of the week. We are currently recruiting additional mentors to support the need for more mentees to have access to our MBK mentor program.

Our MBK Culturally Responsive Library has just arrived with nearly 1,000 books written by diverse authors, from diverse perspectives, and staring diverse characters. This is enough books for our MBK students in KLR, Cooke, and Chase to read 1 new book every week from the beginning of Kindergarten until the end of 5th grade!

We are currently working on recruiting and training our staff to begin this new and exciting portion of our MBK program that will allow us to reach students in Kindergarten-12th Grade throughout every building in the district.

Our MBK academic tutoring program has recently begun in RJK Middle School with over 20 students in grades 6-8 actively enrolled in the program. We are close to opening up an additional day of the week for these RJK students to attend Dream Tank and partner with Community Change Inc. to work on civic engagement and cultural awareness.


MBK Community Update: Striving for Community Equity

We have been working hard behind the scenes to develop a needs assessment which will help us to determine the achievement gaps which exist in Monticello as they relate to the 6 National MBK Milestones.

We have developed a steering committee comprised of youth, parents, faculty, administration, politicians, and community members to guide us through each step in registering Monticello as an official MBK Community.

We will soon hold a "Local Action Summit" which will be open to the public to gather all stakeholders and community agencies together to focus on addressing the needs of our community, and bridging achievement gaps between young men of color and their counterparts.

Once we are registered as an MBK community, we can begin sustaining our efforts to ensure we are a part of a MOVEMENT, not just a moment. We want MBK to support our community for many generations to come!


Watch this video from last summer's MBK Team Building and Mindfulness Weekend Retreat at Honor's Haven Resort and Spa to see our youth practicing yoga, meditation, and team building exercises.

Created By
Michael Regan

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