Maple Street School needs your help, neighbors!

From: "Jessica Stander [Lefferts]" <>
To: Lefferts <>
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:37 PM
Subject: [Lefferts] Maple Street School needs your help, neighbors!

Hello all,

Our local preschool needs your help! Many of you already are familiar with The Maple Street School, have children who have attended, or walk by our space on your way to Prospect Park or the Q train. Maple Street is a cooperative school, which means parents are actively involved in operations in order to keep costs down and enrich everyone's experience. Most of the school's students are from our neighborhood, and we even have some parents who are MSS alumni!

Our space at 21 Lincoln Road (next to the subway) is coming up on the end of its lease in 2015 (sooner than you might think!)

Here's the background: Our property is owned by the MTA, and the MTA, by law, is required to lease the property in a competitive bidding process. Rents in the neighborhood are skyrocketing, and it's likely that a new business will offer a higher rent than we can afford. But we have one thing going for us: There is a provision in the law that allows the MTA to consider “the best or highest use of the property” as criteria for awarding the license. That's where you come in.

Even if you don't have children, or your kids are beyond preschool age, please consider supporting this neighborhood institution that has been in PLG for over 30 years. Through the years the school has hosted our local CSA, community meetings, conferences, knitting clubs, parties, educational seminars, and other community services.

Please help us convince the MTA that our school offers the very best and highest use of 21 Lincoln Road. Help us convince them to award us a new lease.

Here's how:

1. Sign our petition at (anyone who thinks Maple Street should be permitted to stay can sign this petition, they do NOT need to be local. Send the link to your grandma in Costa Rica etc. etc.)

2. Write a letter to Thomas F. Prendergast, Chairman and CEO of the MTA. See example below, but writing your own personal letter would also be fabulous! Our case will be much stronger if we can submit individually written letters full of personal anecdotes instead of the same form letter over and over again. We will gather all the letters of support and submit them to the MTA with our application. Please send your letter to

3. Got contacts? Friendly with any influential politicos? PLEASE CONTACT US. We need politicians and civic leaders to argue our case to the MTA, and we need you to help get us connected with them. Please don't be shy. This part is very important.

4. Spread the word! Create a Facebook link! Put it in your Twitter feed!

Questions? Ask away. Please email them to or you can reply to me directly.

Thank you in advance.

Jessica Stander
Maple Street School Expansion/Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair
and the rest of the Maple Street School community


Thomas F. Prendergast
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Dear Mr. Prendergast,

I wholeheartedly support Maple Street School in its application for a new lease for the MTA property at 21 Lincoln Road in Brooklyn. I strongly urge you to allow the Maple Street School to continue its extraordinary work at its current location, which has been its home for nearly 15 years.  Even if you receive a higher bid for the space, Maple Street is by far the “best and highest use.”

Maple Street School fills an urgent need in the community that I live in. It gives families a much-need option for high quality early education, which is vital to our city’s well being. Its cooperative model makes the school more accessible to all by reducing tuition, and parents raise money to fund a scholarship program for students who would not otherwise be able to attend. The school also opens its doors to the larger community by providing an after school program, parent education classes, and hosting a community supported agriculture program that gives families access to fresh, healthy food.

Our community would suffer if Maple Street School were forced to move from its home. A move would be incredibly disruptive and would likely cause the school to cut back on the number of students it can enroll. Already it fills such an urgent need that it has to turn away more children than it can accept.

Please allow this vital community organization to stay.



cc: Jeffrey Rosen, Real Estate Department; Lois H. Tendler, Government and Community Relations