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Lefrak City Community Library

Queens Library, NY

Contact: Vikki Terrile,

Community Partners: NYC DOE schools, Council Member J. Ferraras


Our space is still in the planning stages.

Few students in the Lefrak City area, which is a predominantly immigrant, working class community, attend any of the NYC Specialized High Schools. To begin correcting this, NYC Council Member Julissa Ferraras donated funds to the Lefrak City Community Library to support an intensive afterschool program for kids and teens. Included was funding for capital improvements and equipment which will be used to turn an unused space in the library into a MakerSpace and computer lab for youth to open in the fall of 2014. This space will include desktop and laptop computers with black and white and color printing for homework help and project-based learning. There will also be a 3-D printer youth will use to design and fabricate their creations.  In addition, we will include a mobile kitchen unit for youth to engage in cooking and nutrition activities, as well as to celebrate their ethnic and cultural heritages through shared food and drink. Through hands-on STEM activities with librarians, youth counselors and other staff, students will build skills necessary to secure spots in competitive high schools which will help them advance to college and career. With project-based learning and student-driven programming, this space will become a much-needed source of exploration and skill-building for kids and teens in this community.

Expected Outcomes

  • Kids and teens will learn to use design software to use the 3-D printer to fabricate items
  • Kids and teens will develop writing and critical thinking skills by creating their own blogs and newsletters about the library’s programs and activities.
  • Kids and teens will learn about nutrition, healthy eating and develop cooking skills through the mobile kitchen; they will also learn about other cultures.
  • Kids and teens will use technology to conduct virtual tours of colleges and museums.
  • Middle school students will build skills to improve school performance and placement on the NYC Specialized High School Admissions Test.