Cypress Hills Promise Neighborhood FAQs

What is a Promise Neighborhood and what is the Cypress Hills Promise Neighborhoods? 

Promise Neighborhoods is a US Department of Education program, which aims to help neighborhoods create a range of academic and social services to support children from cradle to career, inspired by the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone. CHLDC has received a Promise Neighborhoods planning grant, which enables us to bring stakeholders together to create a plan for the continuum of solutions our community would need to help all young people who live or go to school within a particular zone in Cypress Hills/East New York (The street borders of the Cypress Hills Promise Neighborhood Zone are Jamaica Avenue to the north, Pitkin Avenue to the south, Logan Street to the east and Barbey Street to the west.) to reach educational and health outcomes. However, we expect that many of the solutions and services we propose will be able to reach young people in Cypress Hills/East New York who do not live within those boundaries. Our goal is to create a plan by spring 2014 and then to apply for implementation funding, which would enable CHLDC and all the community partners involved to actually put the solutions we propose into action.

Why was Cypress Hills/East New York chosen as the site for a Promise Neighborhood?

The planning grant application for Cypress Hills Promise Neighborhood (CHPN) pointed out a number of issues to explain why the community needs additional support, including:

  • Limited availability of quality child care and early childhood education
  • Low performance on state exams at JHS 302
  • Low graduation rates at the Lane campus schools
  • Above average rates of diabetes, asthma, and mental health issues

In 2010, almost 30% of people living in the CHPN zone were under 18, and 45% of those children lived in poverty. With the support of CHLDC and community partners, the CHPN project will work to identify additional resources and services in the community. .

What role does CHLDC play in creating the Cypress Hills Promise Neighborhood?

CHLDC is the lead agency on this project. We applied to the US Department of Education for funding to start the planning process, and are leading the initiative, working with community partners to create a plan that supports the children of Cypress Hills/East New York through strong programs and services. The planning grant funds the Promise Neighborhoods team, which is on staff at CHLDC: Roxanne Henry, the Project Director, Nolvia Delgado, the Community Outreach Coordinator, and Briana Santiago, the Project Assistant.

How will being a Promise Neighborhood help the Cypress Hills/East New York community?

As a place-based project, the Promise Neighborhood idea challenges community residents and partners to come up with academic and social programs based on the exact needs of the neighborhood. As a data-driven project, those same programs must have evidence that they are successful in other neighborhoods to prove that they will have a positive impact on youth outcomes.

The planning grant has supported the CHPN team’s efforts to do the initial outreach required to find the causes of and solutions for this community’s needs. If the CHPN project wins an implementation grant, that money will provide the foundation for long-term success of the chosen solutions by providing financial support and technical assistance for up to five years.