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Nancy Wackstein quoted in Mayor's release about education

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

de Blasio announces gains for NYC students on state exams

“Settlement houses and other community based organizations have worked closely with the de Blasio administration to ramp up their partnership with public schools by offering expanded services such as community schools, mental health services, after-school and early childhood education,” said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses. “We are thrilled to learn that State testing offers evidence that the improvements made in education are already making a positive impact for students. We look forward to continuing to work with the City to ensure every child has the tools and support the need to succeed.”

Read the entire press release here.

Soccer champion Abby Wambach inspires kids in visit to Citi Field

Friday, July 31, 2015

Soccer champion Abby Wambach inspires kids in visit to Citi Field

  By Renee Stoll

Thursday, July 30, 2015 05:13PM


Soccer superstar Abby Wambach paid a special visit to kids in Queens Thursday, just before she threw out the first pitch at the Mets game.

Fresh off the US women's World Cup victory, she gave a motivational speech to dozens of kids from the non-profit group United Neighborhood Houses.

They got the treat of a lifetime when the soccer champion and New York native came to Citi Field to inspire the kids about reaching their goals.

"The one big thing I always want kids to walk away with is, don't ever let somebody tell you you're not good enough. Never, not for one second," Abby said. "If you have a dream if you believe you can do something, go after it."

And these kids have big dreams.

"When I grow up i want to be an NBA player," said 9-year old Gregory Drummond.

"My big dream is to be a part of the WNBA and to accomplish things nobody has accomplished before," said 10-year old Ola Matufofanah.

She may hold world records now, but before the Olympic gold medals, even Abby had her doubts about her own soccer career.

"I didn't know I'd be able to call myself a world champion, or World Cup champion," she said. "I can't just snap my fingers and do something, it takes a long time to get good at it."

Many of these children are considered at risk, and regardless of their age, the idea of working hard in the face of adversity isn't lost on them.

"Some people don't got money and you know it's hard for them to go out and buy food," said 10-year old Ashanna Carty.

"No matter what happens to you, you always have a choice how you respond to it," Abby said.

"If you do something, somebody tries to bring you down, turn those words into big things," said Ola.

"If you have a dream and go after it with everything you've got will you be successful?," Abby asked the kids. The answer was a resounding "Yes!!".

See the full story here:

World Cup champ Abby Wambach throws out first pitch before Mets game

Friday, July 31, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015, 5:09 PM

Abby Wambach is looking forward to taking a vacation.

Following the U.S. Women's National Team's run to the World Cup and ensuing victory tour that included a ticker tape parade in New York, Wambach said she's looking forward to shutting off the cell phone for a few weeks.

What happens after that, however, is the question.

Wambach, at Citi field Thursday to throw out the first pitch and meet with kids from United Neighborhood Houses at a Citi Kids event, said she is still unsure if she will play in the next summer’s Rio Olympics.

Read the full story here:

De Blasio allies push day care, afterschool funding

Monday, June 22, 2015

"Another representative from a key pre-K provider for de Blasio, Gregory Brender, the co-director of policy and advocacy at United Neighborhood Houses, led Monday's press conference. United Neighborhood Houses oversees 38 community-based organizations (C.B.O.s), many of which offer pre-K.

Advocates also used Monday's press conference to rally around salary disparities between pre-K teachers, a major problem for many providers, and a serious challenge for the de Blasio administration as pre-K continues to expand. Teachers in C.B.O.s, which make up the majority of pre-K providers, are paid significantly less than their pre-K instructor counterparts in Department of Education public schools. 

C.B.O. teachers also generally have fewer and less generous benefits than D.O.E. teachers. 

Last year, the de Blasio administration pledged to spend nearly $17 million to address the differences, but advocates say it's still not enough."

Click here to read the full article

BK Live: Summer Funding

Thursday, June 11, 2015
UNH Co-Director of Policy and Advocacy Gregory Brender appeared with CAMBA's Christie Hodgkins on BK Live to discuss funding for summer programs.

Immigrants protest NY Mayor's decision

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UNH Co-Director of Policy and Advocacy is quoted in a Spanish-language article by as well as by the Associated Press.
Here's a rough translation of what it says:

Kevin Douglas, a member of the United Neighborhood Houses entity, said they were surprised that de Blasio, "as a friend of immigrants, is  proposing cuts that continue a trend of reducing funds for adult education, both for immigrants and for native-born New Yorkers. "

He added that Mayor Bloomberg "made a record investment of $18 million. Now de Blasio has cut five million dollars of these funds, which is significant and problematic."

According to Douglas, last year the program received $6 million for classes. Though it was aimed at young people eligible to qualify for deferred action, the program expansion was open to all immigrants who needed to learn English.

To read the original story, click here.
To read a rough translation by Google, click here.
To read the original Associated Press story, click here.

Settlement House Advantage Report Released

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Overcoming the Odds addresses age-old questions regularly asked by settlement house staff: “Are we making a difference? Is our work effective? Does what we do matter?” That is, is there a Settlement House Advantage?

The survey on which this report is based engaged 3,000 program participants. Their reports clearly make the case that the settlement house
approach works and indeed improves the lives and places we touch: over 500,000 New Yorkers each year and the hundreds of neighborhoods in which they reside. The report unequivocally shows that the work of settlement houses is important, improves community life, and enriches the lives of New Yorkers of all backgrounds, ages, incomes, and ethnicities. We are proud to know that there is a Settlement House Advantage and that even, or especially, in today’s hard times, what we do makes a real difference.

Click to download the executive summary.

Click to download the full report.

Tweet about the Settlement House Advantage with #SHAdvantage

NY1 Interviews UNH to Discuss Summer Programs

Friday, May 15, 2015

De Blasio Administration Quietly Cuts Tens of Thousands of Seats in Summer Programs

UNH Executive Director Nancy Wackstein was interviewed by NY1 in a story about summer programs for kids.

Watch the full broadcast or read the transcript here:

Mayor de Blasio Releases One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

“United Neighborhood Houses applauds Mayor de Blasio for making increased equity a central part of the City’s long term vision in One New York. Community based organizations including settlement houses and community centers will continue to be part of the work of creating opportunities that will lift low-income New Yorkers out of poverty, reduce incarceration and reduce premature death. We look forward to working with the City to ensure a strong and stable non-profit sector that can contribute to making these goals a reality,” said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses.

Read the entire press release here

State Budget a Mixed Bag for Nonprofit Providers

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Looking beyond funding to directly support nonprofit provider organizations and their staffs, advocates found both good news and bad.

“The NYS FY2015-16 Enacted Budget presents a mixed bag for New Yorkers and the nonprofit settlement houses and community centers that serve them,” said Nancy Wackstein, executive director of United Neighborhood Houses. “In the ‘plus’ column, several key investments such as the Settlement House Program and School Aid support for New York City’s SONYC afterschool program were continued at FY15 levels, preventing a disruption in critical services.”


At the same time, however, advocates cited a range of issues where additional funding was necessary.

“In the ‘needs improvement’ column, other enhancements fell far short of need, as in the case of child care and the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP),” said UNH’s Wackstein. “In still other areas, funding actually remained flat despite growing need, as in the case of Community Services for the Elderly (CSE) and Adult Literacy Education (ALE). For many New Yorkers the cumulative funding decisions in this year’s budget will yield new opportunities, but for far more, their challenges will remain. Still, UNH remains committed to working with State leaders in the legislative session ahead to implement policies that support New York’s children, youth, immigrants and older adults.”

Read the full article here: