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"39 Lessons" and More Coming to JCAL's "Education at Home" Series

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning adds new titles to “JCAL Education at Home,”

an Online Educational Series exclusively on JCAL’s YouTube.

July 11, 2022 (New York) — In a continued effort to produce and provide learning opportunities that are accessible and affordable for local, regional and national audiences, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) is releasing new titles as part of its innovative, groundbreaking JCAL Education at Home series.

Launched in the summer of 2020 as a pilot program on JCAL’s YouTube channel, and original focused on music, dance and visual arts for youth, the list of new JCAL Education at Home titles begins with 39 Lessons, based on the best-selling 39 Lessons for Black Boys & Girls by author Kenn Bivins, which is a series of affirmations and lessons that promote self-esteem, education, justice and wisdom among Black children of all ages. Filmed in four short parts, 39 Lessons is also a great kick-starter for in-depth conversations about race with boys and girls of all ethnicities.

Conceived and produced by JCAL Manager of Special Projects Wendy Arimah Berot and filmed and edited by the author himself, 39 Lessons is also suitable for any curriculum or mode of learning—in class, blended or remote—and made available for free, exclusively on JCAL's YouTube channel.

In addition, JCAL is currently integrating 39 Lessons series as part of its educational practice in public schools and senior centers throughout Queens, New York.

Author Kenn Bivins is currently completing two novels and working on a fully illustrated children’s book. He is excited to bring his acclaimed work to JCAL’s platforms for this free online series.

The JCAL Education at Home series has been made possible through grants from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, William Talbott Hillman Foundation and Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, with additional general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Future JCAL Education at Home titles coming this summer include The ‘Queens English’, spotlighting approaches to and techniques in public speaking for both youth and adults, and a title on physical conditioning and self-defense from the coaches and trainers of the Eastern Queens Boxing Club.


"The new titles for the series were chosen with a common theme, self-empowerment," says Wendy Arimah Berot, the JCAL Manager of Special Projects. "Everyone has a strength. Whether it be in your voice, your presence, or your innate talents. These videos were designed to help the viewer be comfortable with exploring and expressing their unique strengths. We have many more titles in the pipeline with varied themes and I am excited and proud to be on the producing end of such a community-centric mission."


"Even though most people have been getting out and getting back to life as COVID goes on," adds JCAL Artistic Director Courtney Ffrench, "the need for creative online learning opportunities, particularly in BIPOC communities, hasn’t gone away. To me, 39 Lessons is such a gift. For anyone who knows Kenn Bivens’ books, 39 Lessons for Black Boys & Girls offers agency and uplift for the most precious commodity in our world—our children. And so JCAL has been blessed to adapt the title for video—and for the chance to commission Mr. Bivens to put his superb wisdom and positive energy before the camera."

About JCAL

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), founded in 1972, is a multidisciplinary arts center based in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. Our mission is devoted to offering quality visual, performing, and literary arts, and to providing accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts. JCAL is temporarily closed in accordance with state and local guidelines. Normal operating hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm; closed Sundays and major holidays. For additional information, call JCAL at 718-658-7400 or visit JCAL.org.

Media Contact:

Tyrel Hunt, Marketing Director 347-515-3652 or tyrelh@jcal.org