Cycling program creates more accessibility opportunities in New York City

NEW YORK — Susan Genis has limited vision. When she’s out, she wears dark, bulky sunglasses that cover all sides of her eyes to protect the vision she has left from the sun. She doesn’t use a walking stick or need a guide dog’s help to navigate the hustle and bustle of New York’s streets – she has already been doing that for years. But when it comes to some things, Genis needs a little help. One of those things is riding a bike.

Q and A: A look into the accessibility problem within New York City mass transit

NEW YORK — The MTA New York City Transit is one of the largest public transportation agency in the world with 472 operating subway stations. According to the MTA, the subway system has a daily ridership of an average of 5.6 million people. But there’s a population that finds the subway system one of the least accessible – those who face a mobility challenge or have a physically disability that require stair-free access. Colin Wright is an advocacy associate for the TransitCenter, a research-based organization that works with transit agencies nationwide on how to improve public transportation services. In his 2017 report “Access Denied,” Wright found that there are currently 110 subway stations out of 472 total – about 23% – that are accessible under the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

Girl Scout Troop 6000 provides stability for homeless youth in NYC

NEW YORK — Ebony Daniel didn’t expect to find herself in the situation she was in. She had just become a single mother to three young girls after losing their father to an unexpected heart attack and was living in a tiny one-room bedroom in a shelter in Queens. “My kids were devastated because they thought he would have been coming home the next day, but he didn’t wake up,” Daniel said. “Being in a shelter, there is a lot of strain.”

Daniel saw that her girls – Leilani, 12, Maliyah, 7, and Melanie, 5 – needed a change. That’s when she found out about Girl Scout Troop 6000, New York City’s first troop entirely comprised of young girls living in homeless shelters.

East Lansing Public Schools find strategies to bridge achievement gap


Michigan State University education professor Dr. Dorinda Carter-Andrews on the achievement gap results in East Lansing Public Schools. Carter-Andrews has been working with the district since 2007 to find new ways on how district members can narrow the gap. By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

Pinecrest Elementary’s Title I reading teacher, Sarah Colechin, makes sure to meet with each of her students individually each week to see where they need extra help. Colechin’s job, supported by federal funds, is to help first through third graders struggling in academics to help close the “achievement gap.”

The achievement gap measures differences in academic performance between groups of students. Groups are generally categorized by economic status, race/ethnicity and by gender.

Documentary on human trafficking features areas of East Lansing

“Break the Chain” is a documentary that focuses on the discussion of sex and labor trafficking issues in Michigan. The premiere date of the documentary is to be set sometime in the beginning May. By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – In a tiny conference room that can probably fit no more than 10 people in the Capitol Building in Lansing, documentarian Laura Swanson waited for the arrival of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. Swanson says she stood behind a wooden table in the middle of the room as her two crew members finished setting up two large Canon cameras on tripods. Stabenow entered in a cobalt dress suit.

East Lansing Public Schools discuss how to reduce the achievement gap

By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Teachers’ relationships with students can play a major role in helping low-achieving students catch up with their peers, participants in a panel on the achievement gap said this week. Title I reading teacher Sarah Colechin at Pinecrest elementary believes in this idea that developing a teacher-to-student relationship is key to helping students improve their education performance. As a Title I teacher, she was employed by the federal government, not the district, to work with students in grades first through third that are falling behind in academics. Since the beginning of her career at Pinecrest elementary six years ago, Colechin has seen a huge improvement in motivating her students to succeed academically. “It’s really all about showing your students that you care for each one of them,” Colechin said.

Bailey Community Center approved for renovation

By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING — The Bailey Community Center will be undergoing renovations to its eastern half in the near future. The East Lansing Planning Commission approved the application at their meeting March 23 to transform the building into a facility with senior housing, day care programs and office spaces.  

The application proposed to remove the one-floor eastern portion of the building and add a three-story building complete with 25 new apartments for independent senior citizens, ages 55 and above. The majority of the first floor of the building will be marketed to a daycare provider and low traffic office uses. A gym will also be built on the first floor and will be preserved for scheduled community uses.

City council to accept new technology and innovation task force

Council member Shanna Draheim on the new task force. Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – The East Lansing City Council tabled the acceptance of the proposal for a new technology and innovation task force at their meeting March 8 until clearer details regarding the task force’s responsibilities is released. A technology and innovation task force is a group of technological experts that assist a city in expanding technological communication to reach out to community members. This force will not serve as another committee under the city of East Lansing. It will most likely consist of about two to three technological experts that will report a couple times throughout the year to analyze the technology concerns and communication needs of the residents.

Board of Education to accept district-wide water testing proposal

East Lansing Board president Nell Kuhnmuench on the proposal to test the water in all eight school buildings. By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The East Lansing Board of Education will be accepting the proposal for drinking water sampling and lead analysis from Materials Testing Consultants soon, according to board president Nell Kuhnmuench. The board was set to accept the proposal and reveal the new details regarding the testing procedures at their special meeting on March 1, but due to severe weather conditions, the meeting was canceled and has not been rescheduled. The board tabled the proposal after a 5-2 vote in favor of the testing at their meeting Feb.

East Lansing High School introduces new college preparatory program

By Camille Douglas
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING, Mich. – East Lansing High School social studies teacher Bob Filter showed a presentation on the school’s new program to help get more students ready for college during the Board of Education’s Feb. 22 meeting. The program, known as AVID, stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It was enforced at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year to selected freshmen.