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New York Life Foundation Grants $310,000 To Brooklyn Public Library

Two-Year Grant Supports The Development of A Pilot Program for Brooklyn Middle-Schoolers

NEW YORK, N.Y., November 5, 2007 – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), announced today that it was awarded a two-year $310,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to develop and pilot Brooklyn Connections, an educational program for eighth grade students. Brooklyn Connections will educate students about the historical and cultural resources at the Brooklyn Collection, which is the Brooklyn Public Library’s local history division, as well as instruct students in the use of primary source documents in their research, an important goal of the eighth grade curriculum.

“The Brooklyn Collection tells the unique and diverse past of this borough like no other archive,” said Dionne Mack-Harvin, executive director of Brooklyn Public Library. “Through the generous support of the New York Life Foundation, we will be able to bring the collection’s vast resources into more Brooklyn classrooms and equip students with the skills that they need to explore and document the living history of their neighborhoods.”

“The New York Life Foundation is proud to support a program that will bring local history alive for middle schoolers,” said Christine Park, president of the New York Life Foundation. “This grant provides students with skills and tools they can utilize to better understand the borough they live in and it also helps prepare them to achieve academic success in the future.”

Each year, BPL will work with 12 eighth grade classes, which will be chosen based on their interest, and to maximize geographic and cultural diversity. The program will incorporate class visits to the Brooklyn Collection facility at Central Library, workshops for teachers and students on how to access the Collection for research, annual exhibits, presentations of student work, and individualized assistance for students as they develop their eighth-grade Exit Project. The Exit Project is a New York City Department of Education requirement for successful completion of social studies coursework. The Project requires students to prepare a research project that includes a paper and an oral presentation with graphics, such as photographs, maps, computer-generated images and charts.

In addition, branch libraries closest to the participating schools will be involved in the program by hosting some of the workshops, holding copies of materials from the Collection for student use and providing individualized support to the students.

About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries around the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a huge selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our web site:

About The New York Life Foundation
The New York Life Foundation is the major vehicle through which New York Life Insurance Company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children initiative, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Since 1979, the New York Life Foundation has donated more than $100 million to national and local non-profit organizations. Please visit the Foundation’s Web site at

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New York Life Foundation Grants $310,000 To Brooklyn Public Library

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