March 2022, Fordham/NYC CSTAC Community Schools Spotlight:

PS 57’s Community School Approach: Transformative for a Whole Staten Island Community

PS 57 is an elementary school in Staten Island that is in its fifth year as a community school. The Staten Island YMCA is the CBO for the grant. In addition to supporting activities throughout the school day, PS 57 has a robust afterschool program run by its CBO.    

“The YMCA is honored to be a part of the community school initiative, specifically at PS 57, “ says Meghan Singback, the Executive Director of the Staten Island YMCA. “The strong relationship between school, YMCA staff, and the families ensures we are able to address needs beyond academic success and really work to strengthen the whole child.”

At PS 57, most of the classrooms as well as the gym and cafeteria are in use until 5:45 from Monday through Friday. They also have holiday programs during some out-of-school time days. The afterschool program provides a wide array of opportunities for students, including but not limited to: ELA and Math support, STEM, Dance, Art, Cultural Diversity, and Sports Activities.  The students continue with academic instruction and recreational activities during days off from school.

“Through the much needed 21st Century Community School grant, students and the community are provided with partnerships that may not have otherwise been possible. Basic needs are met, afterschool programs are enhanced, and students and families come together to help the community grow and prosper,” says Joyce Strype, PS 57 Community School Director.    

PS 57 also partners with several non-profits that contribute to the well-being of the students in the school, providing food and clothing assistance as well as books, games, and recreational supplies. They also have a vision screening program and dental services for all of the students.

The students are also very active in community service. They have collected toiletries and have written cards that go to the local nursing homes. They have written letters to military members and letters of thanks to service workers. The local hospital displayed the letters for the staff to see during the pandemic. The students have gone to the park across the way from the school and have worked with the Parks Department to learn about nature and assist with clean-up. They have also done a number of “Change for Change” events and have donated those funds to local charities. They give back and love doing it.

The community school model has been transformative for both PS 57 and its surrounding community.

“Being a community school has allowed us to meet our students and families where they need to be met. It has given us an opportunity to coordinate resources for our community to enhance their educational experience and everyday life,” says Karyn Singleton, Principal of PS 57.

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Email Kevin Coyne at or call 212-636-6100.