Harlem Children's Zone

Harlem Children’s Zone

Promise Academy Charter School in Harlem Keeps At-Risk Youth in School

harlem charter schoolAround the country, education is one of the hot topics of debate. While students seem to be slipping further and further behind in the public school system, teachers are getting laid off and classroom sizes are growing. Along with the struggles students face during the school year, teachers must also worry about summer learning loss in the summer, which can throw classes off schedule each year when previous material must be reviewed. The situation gets worse when it comes to kids that are considered at-risk, growing up in extremely poor neighborhoods that are heavily exposed to violence, gangs and drugs.

One school that is making a difference in the life of at-risk youth is the Promise Academy Charter School. This school is run by Geoffrey Canada, the president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone. The Harlem Children’s Zone or HCZ is a program serving over 17,000 students in the city of Harlem. Each child that is part of the HCZ program is supported before birth all the way through high school. Read the rest of this entry »

Whatever It Takes Chronicles Harlem Children’s Zone Program

whatever it takesThe book “Whatever It Takes” chronicles the Harlem Children’s Zone Program and takes an in-depth look at the program as well as the program’s President and CEO, Geoffrey Canada.

Author Paul Tough, who is an editor for the New York Times, researched the program for five years prior to writing the book. He took the time to interview parents and students that are actually participating in the program.

President and CEO Geoffrey Canada has spent the past 20 plus years leading the program and getting results for children in poor homes. The programs offered are for children from the ages of birth through high school.

Canada has devoted himself to the Harlem Children’s Zone to making sure that children get the education and skills needed to lead fulfilling lives, and keep them from falling through the cracks into a life of crime.

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Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone Gets Results

harlem-children's-zoneThe Harlem Children’s Zone, originally called the Rheedlen Foundation, is an organization that began in 1970 in an effort to prevent truancy in Harlem. During the 1980s and 1990s, the epidemic of crack in the Harlem community caused the organization to come up with some new approaches. In 1991, Harlem Children’s Zone opened the Countee Cullen Community Center which made activities available to children on nights, weekends and throughout the summer. As the organization has progressed, it has incorporated assistants for teachers called Peacemakers to keep classrooms safe and began having other nonprofits evaluate results for optimum effectiveness.

Now the network of programs involved in the Harlem Children’s Zone includes almost a 100-block radius. The program services more than 8,000 children and 6,000 adults. Several programs have been introduced through the years to address the problems that poor families face like failing schools, crumbling apartments, violent crime and health issues. Some of the programs offered by the Harlem Children’s Zone include parenting workshops, pre-school programs and obesity programs. The goal of the Harlem Children’s Zone is to break the cycle of poverty for the children and adults in the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Charter Schools are Under Fire in Education Debates

kidsCharter schools provide inner-city kids in Harlem, New York the opportunity to escape the cycle of generational poverty by giving students a better education. The main charter school in Harlem that does this is Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization that has been helping students since the 1970s.

The president of Harlem Children’s Zone, Geoffrey Canada, said the program is “about saving young lives. For parents in devastated neighborhoods such as Harlem, the decision to send their child to the local failure factory or a successful charter school is no choice.”

President Obama recently praised Harlem Children’s Zone, and declared that he wanted to create many more charter schools for kids across the nation through the Promise Neighborhoods program. The main goal of this program would be to help students who come from neighborhoods with high poverty levels and low academic achievement levels.

This sounds like a pretty good idea right? Some educators and education scholars disagree.

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Promise Neighborhoods Bring Change to Families in Inner-Cities

harlem children's zone logoSometimes it is hard to break out of a cycle, especially when the cycle is one your family or you have been living for years. But a non-profit organization called the Harlem Children’s Zone does just that for children and families who live in one of the most impoverished cities in the country.

The Harlem Children’s Zone’s mission is breaking the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families it serves by focusing on urban education. The organization was established in the 1970s and has helped tens of thousands of people since it was founded. Read the rest of this entry »


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