Two young girls on school bus
Two young girls on school bus

Why do we focus on middle school transitions?

Research suggests students who begin high school “on track” are four times more likely to graduate and go on to college, which is why the Foundation focuses on an array of educational enhancement programs for middle school and high school students.

In 2013, we implemented a new targeted focus of supporting educational enhancement specifically supporting afterschool and summer programs that help disadvantaged middle school students make a successful transition to high school, both academically and socially.

Since then, and we have invested close to $60 million in grants to this focus area. It has become one of the Foundation’s priorities to help middle school students’ transition from middle school to high school and afterschool and summer learning programs are critical components.

Two young girls on school bus

Teacher working with teenage students

Our trusted grantees and partners

Middle school is a particularly critical time period for students. That's why we focus our grants on programs for young teenagers, preparing them for their transition to high school and setting them up for success.


How we're taking action

Making Learning Fun: Classroom, Inc.

New York Life invests in Classroom, Inc. and its innovative Read to Lead program because it makes kids “the boss” and puts them in a real workplace scenario where they must use critical thinking skills, collaborate, solve problems, and make important decisions.

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Read to Lead

Each year, the New York Life Foundation supports the Excellence in Summer Learning Awards, coordinated by the National Summer Learning Association. These awards honor summer learning programs that go above and beyond in giving all kids access to the support they need.

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Supporting School Communities

In partnership with First Book, we are increasing access to bereavement books and resources among educators in underserved communities. As well as provide free grief resources to school communities that experience a traumatic event.

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Diverse group of students working at desk
Diverse group of students working at desk

Helping middle-schoolers prepare for life

Since 2016, the New York Life Foundation has partnered with the Afterschool Alliance to administer the Aim High competitive grant program. The Aim High program is a part of the New York Life Foundation’s ongoing investment in out-of-school time programs to help underserved middle school students become better prepared for high school and beyond. This competitive grant program includes both one- and two-year grant opportunities.

Diverse group of students working at desk