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New Visions for Public Schools and Harlem Children's Zone Receive Support from the New York Life Foundation

Grants Help To Support Local College Readiness Initiatives

NEW YORK, N.Y., August 31, 2011 – The New York Life Foundation announced grants totaling $750,000 to two organizations offering educational enhancement opportunities for high school students in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. The Foundation made a two-year, $250,000 grant to Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) and a two-year, $500,000 grant to New Visions for Public Schools.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the New York Life Foundation to support two nationally recognized organizations with innovative and successful models that prove low-income urban students can graduate from high school fully prepared for a competitive world,” said Marlyn Torres, assistant vice president, New York Life Foundation. “These organizations have shown that change is possible by implementing comprehensive and data-driven programs that improve the lives of thousands of children and their families.”

“We thank the New York Life Foundation for their support of our mission to break the cycle of poverty and provide children with programs to help prepare them to become productive and successful adults,” said Mindy Miller, vice president for development, Harlem Children’s Zone. “HCZ employs a comprehensive continuum of services for children from birth to college, including early childhood education, elementary, middle and high schools, after-school activities and youth development programs. By participating in our pipeline of services, youth are on a path to college graduation and the high-skills job market.”

“We are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for supporting our mission to improve students’ academic achievement by strengthening teacher development and principal leadership, and increasing parent engagement,” said Robert Hughes, president of New Visions for Public Schools. “This grant will help us to increase the number of students who are on a pathway to college and prove that meaningful change is achievable at scale and success is possible for every child.”

The grant to HCZ supports a free college preparation program that serves 1,000 high school students at six youth development program sites throughout Harlem: Booker T. Washington Beacon Center; Countee Cullen Beacon Center; Employment and Technology Center; HCZ Community Center; Learn to Earn; and TRUCE Media and Arts.

HCZ’s college preparation program includes academic case management; one-on-one and small group academic tutoring; test prep for the PSAT, SAT and the New York State Regents exams; trips to local and regional colleges; targeted workshops; and assistance with financial aid and college applications.

The grant to New Visions for Public Schools, an organization that has been highly regarded for its ability to create and provide support to public high schools, supports the College Ready Initiative, which helps thousands of high school students graduate with the skills they need for college. Over the next two years, New Visions will work closely with principals, teachers, and guidance counselors in 30 high schools to increase the number of students who are on a pathway to college. Fourteen of the schools are located in the Bronx; 12 are in Brooklyn and four are in Manhattan. New Visions will help the high schools build their capacity in the core areas of early college awareness, financial aid and college applications, parent and community engagement, and college readiness tracking.

About Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc.

Harlem Children’s Zone was founded in 1970 as Rheedlen, the city’s first not-for-profit aimed exclusively at truancy prevention. Recognizing that children in poor communities such as Harlem face an array of problems, the agency’s scope of work grew over the years. In 1990, Geoffrey Canada, a nationally recognized advocate for children and education reform, became the agency’s CEO and president. Under Canada’s leadership, the agency has grown to serve more than 9,000 children and 6,000 adults. Overall, the organization serves more than 13,000 children and more than 11,000 adults. For more information about HCZ, please visit www.hcz.org.

About New Visions for Public Schools

New Visions for Public Schools, founded in 1989, is the largest education reform organization dedicated to improving the quality of education children receive in New York City’s public schools. Working with the public and private sectors, New Visions develops programs and policies to energize teaching and learning and to raise the level of student achievement. For more information about New Visions for Public Schools, please visit www.newvisions.org.

About The New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $140 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of safe places to learn and grow, educational enhancement opportunities and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation's Web site atwww.newyorklifefoundation.org.

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