NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City is launching a $65 million plan to help students recover from the effects of the pandemic on schools.

Remote learning challenges, separation from teachers and classmates and many suffering personal loss to COVID-19.

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Parent Catia Cruz says the pandemic has taken an academic and emotional toll on many kids, like her 6-year-old son, Grayson.

“The children are going to need a lot more assistance, and I hope the mayor can provide that for us,” she told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Thursday, the mayor and schools chancellor unveiled the New York City Academic Recovery Plan to jumpstart each child’s academic comeback.

“Huge new investments, very bold and ambitious approaches to bring us back from COVID and then go farther,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The New York City Academic Recovery Plan will focus on six areas:

  • Early literacy
  • Developing students as “digital citizens”
  • Preparing students for college and careers
  • Investing in special education services
  • Building a universal curriculum across all city schools
  • Expanding social and emotional learning support

With a goal to lower class size, the plan also includes hiring 140 new teachers in 72 higher need elementary schools.

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“The school system is taking on the role and responsibility of bringing all these materials together that represent all of the different children and populations and cultures that we teach and making them available so schools don’t have to scramble all over and find them on their own,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Watch: Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Daily COVID Briefing 

“It is not just enough to bring all the kids back to the classroom. We have to help them recover academically, emotionally, in so many ways. The focus now is on doing unprecedented things to close that COVID achievement gap,” the mayor said Thursday.

The Department of Education will partner with communities, families and teachers to develop the curriculum.

“We know coming out of this pandemic, more than anything, our students need to be engaged and connected,” Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said.

“I think that’s great. I think a lot of kids missed out on a lot of things in the last year, and I think it’s important that they’re investing back into the schools,” parent Elizabeth Battin said.

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The new universal curriculum will be developed beginning next year and will be fully launched in 2023.