Parents of Alumni

Since many of our supporters have been with EHBN since its humble beginnings, we would love to include your story on this site. As we gather details about EHBN family (including alumni, parents of alumni, former teachers, staff and volunteers), we invite you to share your recollections about the organization as we prepare for the 50th anniversary celebration in 2015-16.

When founded in 1965, EHBN was known as the East Harlem Block Schools. “The Block Schools” (as it is affectionately called by our alumni and their parents) has as its most important legacy the bonds of family and community. In fact, those bonds remain intact through the work of those who serve our students within and outside of the classroom. Here, we highlight a few examples of how the EHBN Experience is a “family affair” in the way that some of our alumni and parents of alumni have chosen to serve current East Harlem and Central Harlem residents to provide quality early education to their children. We are proud of this EHBN heritage where the importance of educating, empowering and community-building has remained a constant.


Former Board Member

Children attended EHBN 1: Samantha, Amanda and Roberto

Recruited to participate in the continuing education program for parents
and graduated with a BA degree

Mother and sisters among the Founding group of EHBN: Carmen Ward & Florence Ortiz (sisters), Margueritta Maristany (mother)

I felt comfortable sending my children to the Block Schools because it was with people from the community. I knew my children would be safe. It felt like family. For me, the highlight of my time at EHBN was being recruited for the continuing education program (GEPFE) where I was able to earn my Bachelor’s degree with other mothers from the Block Schools community.”

- Eudora Ortiz



                                        CARMEN VIRUET

Educational Director at EHBN 1

Teacher at EHBN 1 from 2002-2011

Children attended EHBN 1: Isaac, Edwin and Lizette

I felt comfortable. It was friendly. It was like leaving my kids at grandma’s house . . . with family.”

- Carmen Viruet



Learn more about our early community organizing history in Harlem during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s: A School of Our Own: Parents, Power, and Community at the East Harlem Block Schools.