Queens Community House to open two new Beacon Programs in Queens
This September, Queens Community House will operate two additional Beacon Programs in Queens. Beacons are school-based community centers designed to offer comprehensive support services for children, adults, and families while strengthening neighborhoods - a mission that goes hand in hand with that of Queens Community House.
In addition to the new Beacons -- at JHS 210/Elizabeth Blackwell School in Ozone Park and PS 149/Christa McAullife School in Jackson Heights -- QCH was awarded a renewed grant for the Beacon program at JHS 190/Russell Sage in Forest Hills, which it has operated since 1998.
The Beacon model partners a community-based organization with a public school to create a community hub for after-school programming, teen leadership activities, financial and employment workshops, exercise and nutrition classes, ESOL, cultural celebrations, and more.
“Our Beacon programs are designed to engage youth, adults, and families in ways that encourage lifelong learning and strengthen peoples’ connection to their neighborhood,” says Helena Ku, QCH Assoc. Executive Director. “Our Beacon in Forest Hills is known for its success in incorporating civic engagement opportunities for the youth, and we will replicate that with component into our two new programs as well.”
“QCH’s organizational experience is extraordinarily appropriate for the Beacon program model,” says QCH Executive Director, Ben Thomases. "Operating intergenerational community centers is what we do. We’re excited to extend our reach to even more young people and families in Jackson Heights and Ozone Park.”