CARIBBEAT: Recognizing NYC’s teachers and pandemic helpers in Brooklyn

·3 min read

Sometimes just saying thank you isn’t enough, and that’s the case for Trinidad-rooted New York City school teachers Persephone DaCosta and Joshua Modeste — two of the grand prize winners of the FLAG Award for Teaching Excellence, which comes with $25,000 prizes, and $10,000 grants for their respective schools.

The FLAG Awards began in 2019 to recognize and reward the efforts of public-school teachers the city.

Winners can used the cash grand prizes however they want. The additional school awards of $10,000 each are to be used for ‘’often underfunded’ arts education initiatives, with input from the triumphant teachers.

DaCosta, from Brooklyn’s Khalil Gibran International Academy, plans to use the $10K in grant money to renovate the dance studio, bring in ‘teaching artists,” and start a community dance performance troupe.

Modeste, of the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce in Manhattan, shows his Black and Hispanic students STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career opportunities using a Science Research club he started at the school.

Founded by philanthropists Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, the awards are open to full-time teachers at city public schools, “with at least five years of teaching experience.”

And awards are not limited to just the five grand prize winners — with 10 finalists and 20 semi-finalists receiving smaller personal awards and grants for their schools. The Flag Awards will “expand to other U.S. cities in future years,” according to the organization.

For information and the procedure for nominating teachers, visit


A celebration of Caribbean culture takes place in New Jersey on Wednesday when the 27-year-old Jersey City West Indian Caribbean American Carnival Association holds its CARICOM Flag Raising Ceremony and kicks off its 2022 carnival season.

The event will be held at noon in the Jersey City Hall chambers, 280 Grove St., in Jersey City. The “Meet Us on De Road”-themed, Jersey City Caribbean Statewide Carnival Parade will be held on July 23.

For information, call (201) 332-5538 or text (201) 757-9043.


Looking towards the future of Jamaica on its 60th anniversary of independence, People’s National Party President and opposition leader Mark Golding is sharing his party’s outlook for the Caribbean nation on a U.S. tour of South Florida, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., with a final stop in the New York City tristate area on July 20 and 21.

Golding will be accompanied on the tour by PNP chair Angela Brown-Burke, the opposition spokeswoman on Labor and Social Security; Donna Scott-Mottley, opposition spokeswoman for Information and Justice; PNP General Secretary Dayton Campbell; Party Treasurer Kisha Anderson; and Senator Peter Bunting, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate and opposition spokesman on Security.

As part of the Medgar Evers College Caribbean Lecture Series, Golding wiill address the “Caribbean Diaspora’s Impact in the United States” and other topics in a July 21 lecture themed “Jamaica 60: Reigniting a Nation for Greatness.”

The free talk — which will be livestreamed on the college’s YouTube page — will be held in the college’s Edison O. Jackson auditorium, at 1650 Bedford Ave., at 6 p.m., and is open to the public. Registration is required and COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

For more information on the tour, send email to Carmen Glover at


Caribbean Power Jam Radio’s “Reset Talk Show” — and its varied health professional and VIP guests — were recognized last week at the first annual Reset Appreciation Awards held last Sunday at 26 Bridge in Brooklyn.

Mayor Adams, Deputy Commissioner Torian Easterling of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and epidemiologist Dr. Syra Madad were among the honorees who, “lent their voices and expertise to share valuable information” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Reset Show is hosted by J.R. Giddens, of JRG Entertainment, which is presenting the BUTB (Bikini Under the Bridge) 2022 show on July 24. Send email to or call (917) 416-8160 for information and tickets.