Harlem Children's Zone
The Harlem Children's Zone is a non-profit organization for poverty-stricken children and families living in Harlem, providing free support in the form of parenting workshops, a pre-school program, three charter schools, and child-oriented health programs for thousands of children and families. The HCZ is "aimed at doing nothing less than breaking the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families it serves." In part because not enough time has passed, there is not evidence available that the HCZ achieves its central goal.
Harlem children's zone offers a comprehensive network of education, social-service and community-building programs across a 97-block area of central harlem. Harlem children's zone supports children from birth through college as well as working with the adults around them. The organization serves 14,535 children - most of whom go to traditional public schools - and 14,206 adults. The organization has been successful in teaching new parents how to engage with their children to optimize brain development, which sets the stage for later academic success. The baby college parenting workshops have graduated more than 6,000 parents and caregivers since it began in 2000. In the harlem gems pre-kindergarten programs, three- and four-year-olds attend an all-day, year-round program that teaches in english, spanish and french. In 2017, 100% of the children who completed the harlem gems pre-school program have been assessed as "school ready," as determined by the nationally recognized bracken scale assessment. We provide support for students in the traditional public elementary schools within harlem children's zone after school program. We work with middle-school and high-school students through several after-school programs, making sure they are ready for college. The high-school programs offer personalized tutoring in math, science, history and other subjects; writing workshops; sat and act prep and tours of college campuses; and provide instruction in other fun, enriching disciplines. We have 948 students in college and to make sure they are successful, our college success office offers a variety of supports: tutoring, scholarships, financial aid counseling, time management classes, as well as resume-writing and interview workshops. Each student is assigned an advisor who stays in regular contact and visits the school to make sure the student is getting the supports they need and is staying on track for graduation. We also help students with getting workplace experience through paid internships in companies, health-care institutions, government agencies and non-profits as well as employing them to help with programs at hcz.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS HCZ's College Preparatory Program provides comprehensive academic enrichment year-round to students across all of our high-school sites. Services include one-on-one tutoring, standardized test prep, and assistance with college essays and financial aid applications. Students also take trips to visit college campuses and participate in a host of extracurricular activities, including robotics, chess, fashion design, music and video production, creative writing, and much, much more. In building on our students' passions, these activities also help them gain confidence, discover the rewards of commitment, and even get exposure to potential career paths. At the heart of our College Prep programming is our unique Academic Case Management (ACM) approach. Through ACM, all middle-school, high-school, and college students are assigned a Student Advocate. Whereas guidance counselors in New York City public schools have an average caseload of 400 students, Student Advocates advise an average of 25 students, working closely with each and every one to create individualized action plans with concrete, targeted strategies to help advance both academic and personal development. Like everything we do at HCZ, helping our students' achieve college readiness is a team effort. In order to better foster and track their progress, Student Advocates collaborate with parents, teachers, tutors, social workers, and other stakeholders. It is also a multi-pronged effort. College readiness calls for a robust knowledge base in core subject areas, certainly. Yet it also calls for strong study habits and academic behaviors, as well as non-cognitive skills, such as curiosity, grit, persistence, and resourcefulness. Across sites and grades, we help students develop both the character traits and the soft skills they need to face the many challenges that college brings and achieve their long-term academic, professional, and personal goals. Ultimately, our College Prep Program consists of far more than campus visits and case management. Throughout our pipeline, HCZ's dedicated staff consistently aim to cultivate a college-going culture in which each and every child is empowered to aim high and is equipped with the resilience and tools to follow through. INCLUDED WITHIN THE PROGRAM SERVICE EXPENDITURES REPORTED IN PART III, LINES 4A THROUGH 4D ARE AMOUNTS PAID OUT AS STIPENDS/GRANTS. HCZ PROVIDES STIPENDS TO HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS. THE STIPEND SYSTEM IS A PRE-EMPLOYMENT MODEL, INTRODUCING STUDENTS TO THE TYPICAL WORKPLACE SYSTEM WHERE EMPLOYEES RECEIVE A FINANCIAL REWARD FOR CONSISTENT, HARD WORK. THERE ARE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS THAT STUDENTS NEED TO SATISFY TO EARN A STIPEND. THE SMALL STIPEND IS ALSO AN INCENTIVE FOR THE CHILDREN TO STAY ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM EVEN IF THEY ARE BEING TEMPTED BY LESS-ENRICHING PART-TIME WORK IN THE COMMUNITY OR EVEN RISKY ALTERNATIVES FOR THEIR OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME. WE STRONGLY FEEL THAT THE STIPENDS ARE A VALUABLE INVESTMENT TO KEEP CHILDREN IN THE SAFE, ENGAGING ENVIRONMENT WE HAVE CREATED, WHERE THEY CAN GET ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE AND LEARN VALUABLE LIFE SKILLS. HCZ ALSO GIVES INCOMING COLLEGE FRESHMEN THE CHOICE OF A LAPTOP COMPUTER OR A $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP TO ENSURE THAT STUDENTS START COLLEGE IN A STRONG POSITION FOR SUCCESS. IN TODAY'S COLLEGIATE ENVIRONMENT, ACCESS TO A LAPTOP IS AS IMPORTANT AS HAVING A PEN OR PENCIL ONCE WAS, SO WE WANT TO ENSURE EACH OF OUR STUDENTS HAS ONE FOR WRITING AND RESEARCH. IF THEY ALREADY HAVE A LAPTOP COMPUTER, THE $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP - WHICH WE SEND DIRECTLY TO THE COLLEGE - IS ALSO A HUGE HELP FOR STUDENTS WHO WILL STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET WHILE THEY ARE WORKING TOWARD THEIR DEGREE.
HCZ HAS ESTABLISHED PIONEERING AND AWARD-WINNING COMMUNITY CENTERs, WHICH TRANSFORM PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDINGS INTO COMMUNITY CENTERs FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS DURING EVENING, WEEKEND AND SUMMER HOURS. FOR STUDENTS, THE CENTERs PROVIDE CRITICAL ACADEMIC SUPPLEMENTS AND PERSONALIZED TUTORING, AS WELL AS A SAFE, ENRICHING PLACE TO SPEND THEIR OUT-OF-SCHOOL HOURS. THE CENTERs PROVIDE TUTORING, TEST PREPARATION, ARTS AND SPORTS PROGRAMS. FOR ADULTS, THE CENTER OFFER RECREATIONAL AND SPORTS PROGRAMS. OVERALL, THE CENTERs are SORELY NEEDED RESOURCEs IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE BEREFT OF PLACES FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS TO GATHER, HAVE FUN, LEARN NEW SKILLS AND IMPROVE THEIR FITNESS. Form 990, Part III, Line 4d OTHER PROGRAM SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS early childhood SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH HAS SHOWN CONCLUSIVELY THAT THE VERY FIRST YEARS OF A CHILD'S LIFE ARE OF ENORMOUS IMPORTANCE TO BRAIN DEVELOPMENT AND CHANCES FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS. THAT IS WHY AT HCZ EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IS THE CRITICAL STARTING LINE FOR OUR CHILDREN IN THEIR JOURNEY TO COLLEGE GRADUATION. OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS OFFER A HOLISTIC COMBINATION OF EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT AND SERVICES THAT COACH PARENTS TO FACILITATE THEIR CHILD'S HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT, ENCOURAGE STRONG PARENT-CHILD BONDS, PROMOTE LITERACY-RICH INTERACTIONS, AND PREPARE CHILDREN TO ENTER KINDERGARTEN FULLY READY FOR SCHOOL. THE BABY COLLEGE GIVES EXPECTANT PARENTS AND PARENTS OF CHILDREN AGES 0-3 A STRONG UNDERSTANDING OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND THE SKILLS TO RAISE HAPPY, HEALTHY BABIES THROUGH WORKSHOPS AND HOME VISITS. THE BABY COLLEGE GRADS PROGRAM DEEPENS PARENTS' UNDERSTANDING OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR CHILDREN, ALSO THROUGH WORKSHOPS AND HOME VISITS. HCZ CREATED THE THREE-YEAR-OLD JOURNEY PROGRAM TO CONTINUE THE PARENTING-SKILLS DEVELOPMENT THROUGH PARENT WORKSHOPS AND GROUP ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN. THE FINAL STEP IN OUR EARLY-CHILDHOOD PIPELINE, HARLEM GEMS OFFERS A HIGH-QUALITY, YEAR-ROUND, FULL-DAY PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM THAT ENSURES THAT EVERY STUDENT ENTERS KINDERGARTEN SCHOOL-READY. PREVENTIVE SERVICES HCZ'S FOSTER-CARE PREVENTIVE PROGRAMS WORK TO STRENGTHEN FAMILIES IN CRISIS SO THAT THE FAMILIES CAN STAY WHOLE AND NOT HAVE CHILDREN PLACED INTO FOSTER CARE.