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The 2022-23 Crew Initiative cohort kicked off on September 21 as educators from public schools across the city gathered at NYC Outward Bound Schools to build community and set goals for this coming year.

Crew Initiative is a New York City Council initiative supported by Speaker Adrienne Adams and Education Committee Chair Rita Joseph and adopted by the Adams Administration in their FY23 city budget. Crew Initiative is a joint public/private partnership funded by the City and private grants. The 50 schools that are part of Crew Initiative this year will work ​with NYC Outward Bound Schools to build the capacity to successfully embed a Crew program and culture in their school communities​.

The kick-off convening was a chance for returning Crew Guides — the primary liaison at partner schools — to reconnect with their NYC Outward Bound Crew Coaches after the summer and set goals for the coming year. For new cohort members, the day provided a chance to build foundational knowledge about Crew, NYC Outward Bound’s signature advisory and community building structure. For everyone in attendance, the convening was full of opportunities to build community with fellow educators and get a chance to model Crew in action.
Throughout the day, the Crew Guides took part in initiatives that they will be able to adapt and use with their own students, including one activity during which they designed paper “petals” highlighting their strengths and superpowers before combining them into a flower as the finished product.
“The individual petals didn’t look like much at first, but when they’re all combined they really do create something beautiful!” said Julie Kelly, a Crew Guide and Social Worker at Bronx International High School. “And that’s the whole idea behind ‘Crew, not passengers,’ right? Together, we all bring something special to the table.”
Throughout the year, the Crew Guides will continue to meet as a cohort and work one-on-one with their Crew Coaches to engage in collective problem solving, generate change ideas, and analyze data to assess the impact of their work. Because Crew Initiative schools have different needs and capacities, not all of their implementation steps will look the same — some are working on fostering student voice within their school communities, for example, while others are building out curriculum for daily or weekly Crew classes. However, all schools in the cohort have the shared end goal of increasing a sense of belonging through building capacity around Crew.
“Although Crew Initiative schools are all in different places in their journey, the kick-off gave Crew Guides a great opportunity to collaborate and reflect on their work for the upcoming year,” said Christian Narvaez, Director of Crew at NYC Outward Bound Schools. “It was also a great chance for them to build relationships with each other that will be beneficial throughout the year.”

Browse photos from the kick-off convening:

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