The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) is a 170-year-old non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty and strengthening our city by combatting racial and economic disparities. Recognizing that NYC’s future lies in the hands of our youth, CSS’s mission also focuses on helping young people and their families gain the skills needed to achieve academic success, build promising futures, become productive citizens, and enhance their communities. CSS recognizes that early intervention strategies and high-quality education services are crucial in enabling student achievement. Our signature program Experience Corps has provided literacy services to students all across New York City for the past eighteen years. Experience Corps brings together older adult volunteers (aged 55+), teachers and struggling students (K-2) to significantly improve reading skills and prevent lifelong learning difficulties.
Jumpstart, a leading national early education organization, helps break the cycle of poverty in a cost-effective way, giving children the “jumpstart” they need in life. Operating with a focus on direct service, impact, and scale, Jumpstart’s mission is to work toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Since its founding in 1993, Jumpstart has known that the relationship formed by well-trained caring adults to work with young children from disadvantaged communities results in a certain magic. Our unique approach – training adults to implement an evidence-based curriculum with young children in a preschool setting – gives children the relationships, skills and resources they need to be prepared for a successful educational career, and indeed, for life.
Learning Leaders is New York City’s largest and most experienced organization dedicated to engaging families and communities to support student success. Serving NYC public schools since 1956, our programs are proven to contribute to student achievement by enhancing schools’ learning environments, providing additional resources to schools, and increasing parents’ ability to support their children’s education. Learning Leaders recruits, trains, and supports family and community members to become effective school volunteers. Learning Leaders also provides workshops to increase parents’ knowledge, skills and confidence in supporting their children’s success in school.
Literacy Inc. (LINC) addresses the literacy crisis facing children living in poverty in New York City. Early childhood programs, family involvement and community support are crucial to developing strong literacy skills, which are generally lacking for children growing up in poverty. To combat this problem, LINC developed its Comprehensive Literacy Model, based on research showing that mobilizing three key constituency groups – peers, parents and community members – has a demonstrated impact on early childhood literacy development. Using community-based coordinators, LINC works with schools, families, libraries, local businesses, and community partners to create a sustained, coordinated, community-based effort to promote literacy skills for at-risk youth.
The Parent-Child Home Program works to close the achievement gap by giving low-income parents the tools, skills and encouragement to prepare their children for school success. The evidence-based program provides a two-year cycle of twice weekly home visits to two to four-year-olds and their parents. Using books and educational toys that are gifts to the family, trained home visitors model reading, play and conversation activities, building language-rich home environments, increasing positive parent-child interaction, and developing pre-literacy and social-emotional skills that are essential for school success.
Queens Borough Public Library (Queens Library) serves 2.3 million people at its 62 Community Libraries, across Queens County. For over fifty years, the Library has provided programs for children around its core mission by providing lifelong learning opportunities through a variety of formats to meet the educational and cultural needs of an ethnically and socio-economically diverse population.Queens Library offers innovative public programs that encourage reading (i.e., Summer Reading, Toddler Learning Centers for early learners, homework assistance for school-aged children and Family Literacy programs); relevant educational collections, references and materials; and support for children, parents, and teachers in variety of areas (parent/child workshops).
Reach Out and Read of Greater New York (ROR GNY) prepares children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the six-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a six-month developmental edge. This provides a solid foundation for success in school.
The mission of Read Alliance (READ) is to improve the educational trajectory of at-risk kindergarten and first grade students through one-to-one tutoring in foundational reading skills. Established in 1999, Read Alliance is a not-for-profit corporation that improves the chances for academic success of the educationally and economically disadvantaged children we serve by ensuring they possess the foundational reading skills necessary to read grade-appropriate text and catch up to their classmates.Over the past 13 years, Read Alliance’s intervention program has proved to make a significant difference in the academic success of the students it has served. Since our inception, nearly 12,000 kindergarten and first grade students have received reading intervention through Read Alliance’s one-to-one model delivered by over 9,000 trained teen-aged tutors. Students who receive Read Alliance intervention average more than a full year’s growth in foundational reading skills.
Reading Partners’ mission is to help students become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction that yields measurable results. Reading Partners pursues this mission by connecting community volunteers to Title I elementary schools and empowering these volunteers to provide individualized one-on-one tutoring that produces tangible improvements in students’ reading skills. Our vision is that all students in New York City regardless of socioeconomic status will have the literacy skills needed to reach their full potential in the classroom and beyond. Reading Partners launched programming for New York City students in the 2011-2012 school year.
Summer Advantage exists to transform the academic achievements, self-confidence, and life trajectories of children living in under-resourced, urban communities. At the core of our work is the goal of bridging the academic achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers. We forge strong partnerships with schools and districts to deliver out-of-school-time programs to children that empower urban children to overcome academic underperformance and economic disadvantage. Summer Advantage increases student achievement and self-efficacy by delivering rigorous, data-driven, and individualized academic instruction, as well as mentorship, a wide range of enrichment activities, and community engagement.
South Jamaica Reads is bolstered by partnerships with local community-based organizations, and coordinated outreach and advocacy targeting families in the neighborhood. Local partnerships include: Baisley Park Branch Library, Concerned Parents of Jamaica, Cornerstone South Jamaica Community Center, Jamaica Center BID, Marconi Park – NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Myrtle P. Jarmon Child Care Center, Providence House, Queens Hospital Center, Rochdale Village Nursery & Kindergarten School, South Jamaica Branch Library, South Jamaica Center for Children and Parents, The Child Care Center of New York.