Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Thursday morning awarded $15 million in capital investments to 58 Brooklyn schools to bolster their STEAM education, including major technology upgrades.
Adams presented physical checks to teachers and principals from the selected Brooklyn schools at an emotional press conference at P.S. 158 Warwick in East New York.
In addition to technology upgrades, the funds will also go toward the creation of 11 hydroponic labs, three maker spaces, a culinary arts space and a creative lab space. Over the last six years, BP Adams has invested $140 million in Brooklyn schools.
“I’m really excited,” said 16-year-old Brianna De La Cruz, a student at the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice. The Borough Park middle and high school received $70,000 for a new computer lab.
“College applications are online now, and we won’t have to worry about the computers breaking down as much, because that happens a lot,” she added.
According to the principal Nathalie Jufer, 90 percent of the students at Urban Assembly live below the poverty line and do not have access to the internet at home, making the computer lab an essential to finishing homework assignments.
“It’s going to make classes a lot easier and everyone’s lives easier,” De La Cruz said.
At P.S. 158 Warwick, the hydroponic lab will create a pipeline for students to keep pursuing STEAM classes in middle, school high school and beyond.
“Having the hydroponic lab not only in our district but in Brooklyn means equity for our students,” principal Latishia Towles said.
The occasion was especially impactful for Adams, he said, because of his experience as a police officer in the community when crime was high. The investments in schools were a sign that things would continue to change for the better in the community, he said.
“You know that one day I would like to be the mayor, but no matter what I do in life, in government, I’m going to find a way to continue to give these kids an opportunity,” Adams said. “We have a long way to go, but we are raising the bar and letting all children know that they matter right here in this part of Brooklyn.”