IS 318K alumnus, Program Director, Kyle Nieves, gives back as an education leader and advocate for his students’ achievements. Kyle’s dedication was recognized in his recent PASEsetter award nomination letter. Partnership for After School Education or PASE, is a child-focused organization that promotes and supports quality afterschool programs, especially those that serve students from high-need communities.
Below is Kyle’s PASEsetter nomination letter.
Kyle Nieves is Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation’s After School Program Director at Middle School 318 (MS 318) in Brooklyn. In partnership with Principal Windley and under Kyle’s leadership, the after school program’s Chess Team won First Place at the 2016 Chess Nationals in Indianapolis. Chess consists of setting and achieving long-term goals. It is a game played and won either as an individual or as part of a team. Thoughtful intellect and long-term sustained foresight determine the outcome of a winning match. Kyle Nieves is the embodiment of a chess master in the realm of after school education. Kyle’s aspirations as an education leader began when he was a student at MS 318. He felt empowered to provide technical support to students and teachers at the school as he learned AV (audio visual) skills in his after-school program when he was just in seventh grade. As a proud MS 318 alumnus, Kyle demonstrated his commitment and dedication to giving back to his community by joining the SASF team in 2013 and embarking on a career that emphasizes the importance of recognizing student achievement, and allows him to implement innovative programming. He is dedicated to youth development principles that produce successful graduates who learn to nurture their aspirations and master their talents. His commitment to his students include developing a cadre of alumni like himself by providing employment and volunteer opportunities within the program upon their graduation.
Kyle leads a team of 53 staff members, comprised largely of teachers within the school. He administers an after school program for over 300 middle school students six days per week. The structured program that he has developed in collaboration with Principal Windley has resulted in a variety of project-based learning initiatives, family engagement events and greater community involvement. Kyle embeds a culture of inclusion in the after school program by partnering with teachers and volunteers who students relate to through art, music and sports. In the three years that Kyle has run the program, he has thoughtfully and methodically built an extensive menu of activities for his students to choose from. In addition to the chess team, the after-school program at 318K offers students the opportunity to join a dance team, drama club, guitar ensemble, RockBand, Jazz, Concert Band, athletic teams (2016 NYC Middle School Baseball League Champions), STEM club, cheerleading, visual arts and a flight simulation program! The Flight Simulation program is a STEM activity that engages students in a videogame-like aviation experience. This year, the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) selected MS 318 to participate in a pilot NYFEST Young Filmmakers Initiative in which students will learn about careers in film. The students will produce a film about soccer which is the after-school program’s most popular sport with an average of 70 students participating on a daily basis. The activities that Kyle incorporates in the after school program allow students to infuse academics with leadership, teambuilding and extracurricular learning opportunities. Students not only explore their interests, they have the opportunity to excel in and often master these experiences.
Kyle and his students have accumulated a multitude of accomplishments. His Chess champions met and played the current reigning world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, who visited the school with Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg in September. The co-ed Robotics team competes in the FIRST Lego League competition at the Jacob Javits Center annually. Kyle maintains community partnerships with the National Book Foundation and the Museum of the Moving Image, where guest lecturers lead classroom instruction. Kyle promotes community engagement through collaboration with Woodhull Hospital to provide service learning for students and their parents.
In addition to after school programming, Kyle operates a summer day camp at MS 318. He welcomes incoming sixth graders at an orientation program that introduces them to the SASF program, teachers and activities. By the end of the summer, these new students anxiously await joining the after school program community in the fall. The summer program is especially beneficial for those students who require academic enrichment activities in ELA and Math.
Kyle Nieves is a bright, thoughtful, strategic, caring, creative youth development and education leader who is passionate about the work he does for his students, their families and community. SASF is proud to introduce him to PASE as a 2017 PASEsetter nominee.