Petition Closed

Save St. Luke's Academy Preschool

This petition had 873 supporters

We, the undersigned, are parents and friends of St. Luke's Academy Preschool and community members of Clinton Hill and surrounding neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY. We are hereby petitioning the Lutheran Synod of Metropolitan New York to re-consider their decision to close our preschool.

The letter received by the Synod about the 120 year old, landmarked church closing barely mentioned the preschool and its importance as a pillar of the community for 25 years- only citing low congregation of churchgoers as a sign of lax/waning interest. There are currently 32 children at the school and 50 children on the waiting list to attend the preschool for 2014-2015. Steps have already been taken to add a third classroom which would have added another 15 students to accommodate the community demand for next year. The interest in St. Luke's is a direct result of the excellence of its program, the relative affordability of a year's tuition, and the longer 12-month school hours that better complement working parents' schedules.

St. Luke's Academy Preschool is one of only three similarly affordable daycare/preschool options left for working families in Clinton Hill. Most rosters for 2014-2015 were already filled at these schools when the news was handed to the parents of St. Luke's about its closing, leaving families with school options that charge double the price for a shorter school day and year as St. Luke's. This has forced many St. Luke's working families to consider quitting jobs to care for children because we can't afford other preschool/daycare options left available, taking on extra jobs or hiring babysitters to care for children, and for some- to consider leaving Brooklyn altogether because of now being priced out of these neighborhoods.

We are proposing that the school be allowed to remain open, and that the Parish Hall be utilized to bring in maintenance income from community groups and programs in need of space, both during the week and on weekends.

As parents rooted in the community, we are aware of programs that are, indeed, looking for rental space. If necessary, we are willing and able to be the managing agents for such programming. In addition, we are willing to hold fundraisers to meet the cost of a new boiler and other building repairs.

The director of the preschool has had a lot of interest about opening up after-school programs in the Parish Hall and this was under serious consideration when the closing of the school was announced. The Parish Hall also housed programming for other community needs, like Friday night AA meetings that were held there, and previously, a basketball league.

If it is impossible to remain open, we are requesting that the date of close be pushed back until June 2015, to allow the parents ample time to find adequate day care for our children. In this case, we would be agreeable to manage Parish Hall rental space as stated above.

Lastly, St. Luke's Church has landmark status and serve as an important historical building in Clinton Hill. We would like to know how the Synod is prepared to preserve this landmark, as it would be a shame to lose such a beautiful piece of architecture in our already rapidly shifting neighborhood. However, if this historic property is to be sold, we strongly urge that the Synod only agree to sell to developers who are committed to building affordable housing, with a commercial space that could house an affordable preschool so that the legacy of Saint Luke’s would live on. We, as members of the community, strongly oppose the building of additional expensive luxury apartments in our neighborhood. 

 Please SAVE St. Luke's Academy!

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