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New York Life Foundation Grants $87,000 to Learning Leaders

Grant Funds Early Awareness Pilot Program to Provide College Planning Program in New York City High Schools

NEW YORK, N.Y., May 25, 2006 — Learning Leaders, New York City's largest nonprofit organization that recruits, screens, trains and supports public school volunteers announced today that it was awarded a $87,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to pilot a ninth and tenth grade component of Learning Leaders' college planning program in eight New York City high schools. This pilot will provide low–income students with individualized instructional support, intensive workshops and school visits.

"This grant from New York Life Foundation will allow up to 900 high school students to receive guidance about college planning as early as ninth grade, giving them the chance to explore educational opportunities they may never have thought about pursuing," said John Corwin, interim chief executive officer of Learning Leaders. "We are grateful for the New York Life Foundation's investment in this new initiative."

"We are pleased to support a program that gives students from economically disadvantaged communities the personal attention and resources they need at a critical time in their education," said Peter Bushyeager, president of the New York Life Foundation. "Giving students the opportunity and encouragement to participate in informational and esteem–building workshops and to visit area colleges will afford these students a chance to see what higher education has to offer and the future success higher education can provide."

During the fall of 2006, the early awareness pilot program will serve students and parents from The Heritage School in East Harlem and the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. In the spring of 2007, the program will add six other high schools that serve economically disadvantaged students. The pilot will serve 900 young people and their families in 2006–2007.

Participating ninth and tenth grade students will attend six workshops, one and a half hours in length, which will be held during the school day and after school. The workshops will offer topics that include self–esteem, realizing career and life–style goals, charting a challenging high school experience that will pave the way to college, and how to pay for higher education.

Students will also participate in a one–day forum including recent high school graduates in college, and visit at least two colleges or universities, including Fordham, Marist, Vassar, SUNY New Paltz, and Manhattanville. In addition, parents will attend three two–hour evening workshops that provide information on college admission and financial aid. All program materials will be available in English and Spanish.

Learning Leaders is New York City's largest volunteer program dedicated to helping public school children. Founded in 1956, it mobilizes and trains volunteers to work with students in NYC public schools. Nearly 15,000 volunteers provide tutoring and other school–based support to 219,000 children in 937 public schools, helping students from pre–K through 12th grade with programs that range from basic tutoring in reading and math to art history classes and college planning. The result: Parental involvement increases, school environments improve and children perform better. To learn more about Learning Leaders, visit us at www.learningleaders.org or call 212–213–3370.

The New York Life Foundation is the major vehicle through which New York Life Insurance Company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children initiative, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Please visit the Foundation's Web site at www.newyorklifefoundation.org.

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New York Life Foundation Grants $87,000 to Learning Leaders

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