Rockaway Schools Receive Over $3 Million in Tech Funding

On Tuesday, March 20, Councilman Donovan Richards held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of an $850,000 computer lab at Queens High School for Information, Research and Technology. The funding comes from Richards’ Nelson Mandela Technology Grant, and will provide over three million dollars to keep Rockaway schools up to date with current technology. Other Rockaway schools receiving money include Goldie Maple Acacemy ($104,152), Village Academy ($500,000), P.S. 104 ($650,000) and P.S./M.S. 42 ($250,000). According to Richards, the remaining schools will receive new laptops and SMART boards for their classrooms.

“It’s very important to ensure that we’re providing the resources so that you can have access to technology,” said Richards. “Especially for communities like the Rockaways that have historically been underserved.”

New York School Construction Authority Operations Manager Bryan McGinn spoke at the announcement. Responding to complaints made to his office, McGinn clarified that the scaffolding outside of Far Rockaway High School serves as protection against water damaging the structure. Also noted was the intention for the suspended platforms, which are being used to protect school and surrounding community members from any falling tapestry. Although the appearance isn’t pleasing to the public, it was implied that it’s necessary for the impeding advances, such as new libraries and science labs.

Councilman Richards also announced a $650,000 contribution to the Living for the Young Family through Education (LYFE) program at FRHS and Springfield High School in Queens. This funding initiative be used for the creation of children’s playgrounds at both campuses. Richards expressed that this project is very special to him, having been born to two teenage parents in Queens.