Please support our fight for our school’s home. Maple Street School has called 21 Lincoln Road home for over 10 years, and the location has become part of our very mission and identity. Our lease is up at the end of 2015, and we need to convince the MTA, which owns our building, that we are the best use for the space. Please sign our petition to urge them to award us a new lease. Thank you for your support.
To: Thomas F. Prendergast, MTA Chairman and C.E.O
I am writing to ask you to allow The Maple Street School, which currently leases the MTA property at 21 Lincoln Road in Brooklyn, NY, to remain in its home. I want to tell you why Maple Street School offers the “the best or highest use of the property” and urge you to award the school a new lease.
Over thirty years ago, the school was founded in a parent’s house in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The mission then was the same as it is now: to be an affordable, sustainable parent cooperative preschool that provides excellent education to a diverse group of children. Since then, hundreds of students have attended Maple Street School. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a mark of the highest quality in early education.
The school moved to its current location in 2001, and the proximity to Prospect Park and mass transit have become part of its very mission. Everyday, weather permitting, the students explore and learn in Prospect Park, and the teachers build lesson plans around the park itself. The school’s close proximity to the subway system and bus lines makes it accessible for working families. In class, students study mass transit and connect to city’s vast transportation system in a unique way.
In this day of urgent need for early childhood education, Maple Street School contributes a great service to the community. Its innovative cooperative model makes the school more financially accessible to all families and, additionally, parents raise money so that the school can offer need-based scholarships every year. Its afterschool program is open to all children in the neighborhood, not just enrolled students. It hosts parent education classes, which are open to the public. Last year, parents built a new children’s garden outside the school, which provides a wonderful green streetscape on the block. The school also hosts a Community Supported Agriculture program on the weekends, giving the community access to fresh and healthy food.
At the end of 2015 the lease is up on Maple Street School’s space. Rents in the neighborhood are skyrocketing, and the school — which plays a crucial role in the health of the community— may not be able to compete financially against the highest bidders. As you consider potential bids and who offers “the best or highest use of the property,” I can affirm that The Maple Street School clearly meets this “best use” criteria.
Maple Street is an intrinsic part of the community and a godsend for families. Please allow it to stay in its home.
The Maple Street School Community
cc: Jeffrey Rosen, Real Estate Department; Lois H. Tendler, Government and Community Relations
Note: Your signatures and the letter above will be sent to the MTA as part of a formal request by Maple Street School.