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College Partnership Program Holds First College Orientation for Parents; Majority of which are Low-Income Families

College Partnership Program Holds First College Orientation for

Parents with 15 Partner Universities


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 26, 2009, Brooklyn, New York – Today, PS 247, a Bensonhurst elementary school, announced it has been named by New York City’s Department of Education as The New York City College Partnership Elementary School.  At a ceremony at 1:30 pm in front of the school building, children, parents, teachers, Department of Education officials and local elected officials will participate in a ribbon cutting to celebrate the naming.  This is a dramatic step in the school’s commitment to prepare all students to attend college as part of their education continuum, spurred by the launch of the PS 247 College Partnership Program at the start of this school year by Principal Christopher Ogno.


Later today, hundreds of the students’ parents will attend the school’s first-ever Parents College Orientation.  This program will educate parents about the opportunities to prepare their children and plan their education through college.  College representatives will give presentations about how to select a college, how to apply for college and strategies for financing college educations. 


“PS 247 is dedicated to providing an elementary education that prepares our students for college,” said Christopher Ogno, PS 247’s Principal.  “We are honored to have received the designation as The New York City College Partnership Elementary School and welcome the outpouring of support we have received for this milestone in PS 247’s history.” 


“We will only succeed with our educational agenda if our students’ parents are involved, especially since 75% of our students are from low income families where many parents have not attended college,” Ogno explained.  “Tonight’s Parents College Orientation is important so that parents can help their children benefit from higher education.”


“The PS 247 College Partnership Program has 15 participating colleges,” according to Ivy Cohen, President of Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications and PS 247’s PENCIL corporate partner.  “The entire community is grateful for the support and involvement of these colleges which include: Adelphi University; Brooklyn College; The City College of New York; Columbia University; The Cooper Union; Fashion Institute of Technology; Iona College; Niagara County Community College; The Old Westbury College, State University of New York; Purchase College, State University of New York; Queens College, City University of New York; St. Joseph’s College, SUNY College at Oneonta; University of Connecticut; and New York City Wagner College.”



About PS 247

PS 247 is an exceptional elementary school located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  There are 684 children in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade.  PS 247 is a Title 1 school with 75% of the students coming from families whose incomes are below the poverty line. The ethnic population of the school is diverse. According to the home language report, there are 183 English speaking families, while the others are a mixture of Cantonese (187), Russian (109), Italian (6), Spanish (44), Urdu (25), Albanian (34), Arabic (15), Polish (11) and others. Twenty-one languages are represented.


PS 247 is a high-performing school with both reading and mathematic scores that are well above the city-wide averages. PS 247 received an “A” on its 2007/2008 Progress Report. The school was also recognized for the 4th consecutive year as a New York State, “High Performing Gap Closing School.”

PS 247 believes that every child has their own unique needs and that it is our responsibility to reach the needs of each and every child. We invest a great amount of energy, commitment and resources to help students achieve their full potential. We truly believe in our school motto: “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders.”


About PS 247’s College Partnership Program

Through the PS 247 College Partnership Program, each of the school’s 30 classrooms has been matched with a partnering college that will provide students with information and a connection to learn about the college experience.  The program was developed by PS 247’s principal Christopher Ogno in collaboration with Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications, which has been partnered with the school through the nonprofit organization PENCIL since 2006.   


This spring every PS 247 student, from kindergarten through 5th grade, will participate in a field trip to one of the area colleges for a campus tour.  Most of the participating colleges will have members of their faculty, staff or student body visit their partner classroom each semester to conduct seminars, engage students in educational activities or share personal experiences with them. 


At the school’s Parent College Resource Center, parents will have access to information about college admissions practices, various programs that are offered at the colleges and information concerning financial aid. 



PENCIL builds and supports customized relationships between business leaders and principals to inspire innovation and transform public schools. By bringing together the best ideas, resources and talent across sectors, we develop strong leaders, build school capacity, enhance student learning, and inspire greater community and corporate support, to create real change in our City’s schools.  For more information, please call 646.638.0565 or visit



Ivy Cohen or Tina Posterli

Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications




Ivy Cohen

Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications, Inc.

Phone: 212-399-0026

Mobile: 646-894-0030

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