The Reading Team
In 2016, the foundation provided first-time support to the Reading Team, a Harlem-based literacy program that works with students in Pre-K through fifth grade to provide in-school supplemental reading instruction that serves 250 students at P.S. 36, and after-school programming that serves 175 students from 18 local elementary schools. In 2015, 80 percent of Reading Team children passed the New York State ELA exam, compared to 30 percent of New York City public school students and 16 percent of Harlem students. The Reading Team has encouraged students, especially those in the after-school program, to continue on this positive educational trajectory by enrolling in academic enrichment opportunities once they “graduate” from the program in fifth grade.
Current funding from the foundation supports a partnership with the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) to create a Bridge to Success pilot program for middle school students who have graduated from the Reading Team’s after-school program and are interested in joining HEAF in high school. Through this program, the Reading Team and HEAF provide a co-delivered, project-based learning program for students in sixth through eighth grade. Engaging these students in structured academic programming during the middle school gap years will prevent digression from recent academic achievement.
In addition to maintaining gains in literacy and reading, the Reading Team is projecting that at least 70 percent of fifth graders from the after-school program will enroll in the Bridge to Success Program and at least 80 percent of Bridge to Success participants will enroll in HEAF by ninth grade. HEAF’s results speak to the anticipated success of the partnership: 100 percent of HEAF students graduate from high school on time, 100 percent matriculate at college (97 percent at a four-year college), and 92 percent persist in college and earn a bachelor’s degree on time.