As a Social Worker with Partnership for Children, David has worked with our scholars for many years and he embodies many characteristics…These characteristics include but are not limited to his ability: (a) to develop congenial relationships with scholars and their parents/guardians; (b) to facilitate multiple scholar groups with fidelity; and (c) to demonstrate integrity by following through on all endeavors.

Furthermore, some of David’s notable initiatives include designing, implementing a Peer Mediation Program, creating, and facilitating a Young Men’s Group. Our peer mediators are instrumental in diffusing situations without requiring intervention from school personnel. Regarding the Young Men’s Group, we have seen a decrease in the number of referrals and incidents specifically from the scholars in the group. It is impressive that David continues his relationship with the boys beyond middle school, which speaks to his profound commitment to the work.

…in collaboration with of our school’s Climate and Culture and Social Emotional Learning teams, David regularly analyzes school wide academic, attendance and behavioral data and devises action plans to ensure success. To date 100% of scholars that Mr. David serves has shown significant improvement in all of the above areas.”

—Principal Roshone Ault Lee, MS 296 South Bronx Academy for Applied Media in her recommendation nominating David Ortiz, a Partnership with Children Social Worker for the 2019 School Social Worker of the Year Award


The partnership between Partnership with Children and Renaissance School of the Arts has been tremendously fruitful over the years. Our partnership has allowed us to reduce occurrences across all of our grades significantly [and] we’ve increased attendance over 20% since embarking on our partnership. Partnership brings mental health and regular health services to the table—lots of counseling and relationship-building with both our students and our families. Additionally, they bring resources and opportunities for our families, including counseling and other social services—housing assistance, job placement, and a variety of other different things they need. More than anything else that Partnership brings is a legitimate partner—somebody who is willing to roll up their sleeves to do the work they need done for the students here at our school. They’ve been really open to our suggestions [and] without them, the growth that our school has seen wouldn’t have been able to be achieved without their partnership and collaboration.”

—Principal Dr. Brian Bradley, Renaissance School of the Arts


Partnership has been here since day one. They were here the first day of school at 7 o’clock in the morning with all of our teachers, greeting students and families when they walked in the door. From that day forward they’ve all been an integral part of the staff and the community at large.

A lot of our students come to school without their basic needs being met, in terms of both food and shelter; over 18% of our students are currently in temporary housing or homeless shelters. Our students are coming to school on Monday morning knowing that they might not have had a meal all weekend or that food is scarce. We also have a lot of students that are doubled up in their homes so you might have a three-bedroom apartment where there could be up to twelve people living there with multiple families. A lot of our students are craving space and attention. The challenges that happen throughout Brownsville are really per day. It doesn’t really matter where students are coming from, on a daily basis, that need to survive and that need for survival really outweighs what’s really going on in the school building.

As a school, we know that before our students can focus on learning to read or write or math, we have to make sure they’re well fed that they are well rested and that they know there is an adult around that cares for them and who’s there to help them through their challenges. That’s really hard within a public school. Our staff is limited, as it always is. Our resources and money are always limited and the number of adults that we can get in a building who are really there to support students and their social and emotional needs means that we are really setting students up to be more successful.

When students are coming into school and they’re hungry or they’re tired or somebody hasn’t said ‘I love you’ to them in a really long time, it’s really hard for a 6 year old to want to learn what the letters are of the alphabet or to learn to add two digit numbers, but when you have these people in place, both in terms of DOE school staff and in terms of Partnership staff who are there every morning once kids walk in to make sure you get breakfast to see that ‘Oh you don’t have a good pair of shoes? Let’s go find someone who will donate shoes for the whole school.’ In September, Partnership was able to provide backpacks with school supplies to almost all of our students. We forget sometimes how important many of these needs are to set students up for real success for learning in the classroom.”

—Principal Meghan Dunn, PS 446 Riverdale Avenue Community School


My Community School Director, Tal Bar-Zemer, works with the nonprofit Partnership with Children and has been an essential partner. Tal and her team of social workers and counselors earned the trust of parents and provide one-on-one counseling along with arts and after school experiences to students who need it the most. These intense supports are working and the results speak for themselves. The third grade class, in which no students passed the ELA exam? 20% of them graduated from PS 67 proficient in ELA. Across the entire school, we’ve doubled our scores in ELA and increased in Mathematics by nearly 10 percentage points.”

—Principal Kyesha Jackson, the fourth principal in five years when she took the helm at PS 67 Charles A. Dorsey. From her op-ed in Bklyner.

What’s Special: School is making a comeback with caring leadership & community support

PS 67 is making a comeback after years of decline. Test scores for reading, while still low, are improving. Discipline has improved, according to school surveys, and teachers are enthusiastic about the principal, Kyesha Jackson, who came in 2015…. Jackson and Tal Bar-Zemer, community school director from the non-profit organization Partnership with Children, have teamed up to offer children both challenging academics and a range of services designed to address some of the effects of poverty. The division of labor allows the principal to focus on instruction while Bar-Zemer can focus on attendance and families’ well-being. Bar-Zemer call herself the “assistant principal of feelings.”

The school helps parents manage their children’s asthma. It works with city housing authorities to fix up apartments and make needed repairs that could adversely affect children’s health. On our visit, we saw brightly wrapped Christmas presents piled up in the principal’s office, courtesy of New York Cares and chosen in response to student letters. A nice perk for parents: a free ticket to the Nets or Islanders games at Barclay Center.

—Insights from Inside Schools. Read the full article here.


Partnership has brought a tremendous value system that has impacted upon the children making better choices, the attendance rate has improved from where it was when they first came in at 87%. Our attendance is 96.3% now…We needed an organization to come in that was going to give the children the self-esteem and the support that the parents need. Partnership with Children is the lifeline of this building. They’re indispensable.”

—K-8 Principal, PS 124 in South Ozone Park, Queens