The Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP) at Teachers College, Columbia University, has won a new round of federal funding for its Harlem Ivy 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC). A grant of $1.173 million per year, renewable annually for up to three years for a total of up to $3.52 million, will enable Harlem Ivy to build on its successful programming and partnerships in three Harlem schools.
In partnership with Harlem Dowling Westside Center for Children and Family Services and Urban Arts Partnerships, Harlem Ivy will design, deliver and evaluate about 6,800 hours of high-quality, expanded learning opportunities in P.S. 36, the Heritage School, and Frederick Douglass Academy II.
“These schools struggle to achieve desired academic outcomes and lack the resources for expanded learning opportunities,” according to the Harlem Ivy grant application.
The schools belong to the Teachers College Partnership Schools Consortium, comprised of six public schools in Harlem that TC supports with a wide range of resources. The other schools in the partnership are P.S. 154, the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering, and the Teachers College Community School.
Through the Consortium, TC works to improve the academic outcomes of Harlem youth by helping schools to strengthen the instructional and leadership capacity of teachers and administrators, fostering students’ physical and mental health literacy and access, cultivating more robust family engagement, and providing students with expanded learning opportunities. The new grant will allow TC to grow its work and to increase students’ academic learning through expanded learning opportunities.
With the new funds, the Consortium will target about 1,300 underachieving students who face challenges in achieving academic standards. Many of the students qualify for free- and reduced-price lunch, and fewer than half score at grade level on English and math state assessments.
The new grant “will enable us to provide even more high-quality, expanded learning opportunities to students in Harlem," said Nancy Streim, Associate Vice President for School and Community Partnerships and Special Advisor to the Columbia University Provost.
Harlem Ivy was established in 2008 with an earlier CCLC federal grant of $3.2 million, in collaboration with The After School Corporation and four community partners in four schools in Upper Manhattan. In addition, TC runs a full afterschool program for 100 students at Teachers College Community School, a public school established in 2011.
Under the leadership of Director Dr. Kecia Hayes, the PSC has expanded learning opportunities, and teacher- and leadership development in its six member schools. The programming is tailored to the needs of each school, based on input from teachers, principals and parents.
Angela Fulcher, Expanded Learning Opportunities Associate at the OSCP, said the new grant will allow the Consortium to add services such as social-emotional and service learning, literacy and story-telling, mathematics instruction, arts programming, and help for students in making the transition from middle to high school.
“These are all things that principals and teachers want to do,” Fulcher said, “but they don’t have the extra hours in the day to get this type of planning done.” The Consortium also has provided TC graduate students with opportunities for “great work,” Fulcher said. “It’s been really impactful on our graduate students.”
Harlem Ivy is one of 125 award recipients selected in New York State from more than 450 proposals through an extensive peer review process, with priority given to programs that serve students and their families at high-poverty, low-performing schools. An independent statewide study showed that attendance at TC’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers was 50 percent higher than at other CCLCs across the State, and student test scores in English Language Arts and math were “significantly better” than those of a non-participating matched comparison group.
The 21st CCLC Program is authorized under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Title IV Part B.