Mort Eydenberg                     David Serko            Bette Schneiderman



Rotary Club of New York Electronic Learning Center

makes it possible for several thousand children in

Harlem to enter the electronic world


by David Serko


The Rotary Club of New York Electronic Learning Center, which was dedicated on February 6, 2001, is a focal point for the promotion of literacy through art and technology for the youth of East Harlem and Harlem.  Because of this facility approximately 2000 young people ranging, in age from 5 to 18, have had an opportunity to enter the electronic world that is so vital to education, business, social improvement and change.


Fay Feller, the director of this summer's project at the center entitled Mother Earth Is Your Neighborhood Youth And The Environment sees education as the fundamental force for social change. “ Businesses want students who can use technology and think critically”, Feller said.  The Electronic Learning Center makes this possible for several thousand children who otherwise would not have this opportunity.”


The center ensures access to education, providing an alternative structure to the youths’ regular classroom, which closes for the summer in East Harlem, and to the streets and less constructive activities.


President Helen Reisler, past President and Trustee Arcadio Casillas, and Foundation Trustee, Mort Eydenberg and I recently had the pleasure and the privilege of seeing the Rotary's generosity in action.  On July 30th, the Electronic Learning Center hosted two groups of young people from East Harlem and from Hartford, Connecticut.  A total of 80 children visited the Center together Taina Traverso, who heads the East Harlem Development/Applause Holistic Cultural Center and Dr. Donald Blake, who heads the Connecticut Campus Compact, Summer Associates Program associated with Trinity College.  Both of these groups are working with essentially underprivileged youth who come from economically depressed communities.


This summer 350 young people created a newsletter and a blueprint for addressing environmental issues locally and in other parts of the world.  The mission of the project is to promote environmental activities that address the basic needs of communities.


This writer’s second visit to the Rotary Electronic Learning Center more tangibly crystallized in his mind the wonderful contribution that Rotary has made. The contribution starts in the New York community in which it is based, but extends to a much broader community throughout the country and the world as more students go through this center.


The Electronic Learning Center, as you may know, was the brainchild of Mort Eydenberg and his daughter Professor Bette Schneiderman, who teaches at C. W. Post and is the wife of Rotarian Dr. Paul Schneiderman. The Rotary Electronic Learning Center of New York is a project Rotary can and should be very proud of, for it will continue to positively affect the lives of many thousands of people in the East Harlem community and throughout the world.  The center is blessed with extremely dedicated and enthusiastic leaders. In addition to Fay Feller they include the director of the Taller Boricua, Francisco Salicrup, Mr. Miguel Baltierra an urban design consultant, and Irma Ayala, Mr. Salicrup’s administrative assistant.


The Rotary Electronic Learning Center can be visited at its location in the Taller Boricua Gallery Puerto Rican Workshop Inc. in The Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center at 1680 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10029.  Call Fernando Salicrup at (212) 831‑ 4333 and identify yourself as a New York Rotarian to make an appointment.



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