Robots and Rockets Launch Harlem Ivy After-school Partnerships
Published in Inside - Volume XIV, No. 2
TC has received a $3.2 million grant to work with
The Office of School and Community Partnerships, which received the three-year grant from the New York State Department of Education, will design and run after-school programs focused on the so-called “STEM” disciplines, science, technology, engineering and math. These subjects have received insufficient funding and attention in recent years, especially in schools where poverty is high and funding is scarce, and where, as a result of pressure to meet the student proficiency goals of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, teachers have had to focus most of their efforts on literacy and basic math, and test preparation.
The Harlem Ivy project is a partnership with The After-School Corporation (TASC), Children’s Art and Science Workshops, Harlem Children’s Zone, Harlem Dowling, and the New York City Mission Society. The after-school programs will run at Public Schools 161, 115 and 92, and Middle School 344. Students who participate will get the chance to operate and program a robot and do other types of hands-on projects intended to spark their interest in technology and the sciences.
“There is no more important place to do that work and no more important place to start than in our own neighborhood,” said TC’s President Susan H. Fuhrman to the group of 30 who gathered at TC on Oct. 15 to launch the project. The Harlem Ivy project will create “the highest quality after-school programs to provide a model for the rest of the country.”
The programs had previously been run by The After School Corporation, which requested TC’s involvement and will continue to offer technical and administrative support.
“We are going to be able to help children in cutting-edge ways through new technologies and connections to the university campus and community,” Nancy Streim, associate vice president at Teachers College and director of the Office of School and Community Partnerships, told the group.
Mary Bleiberg, Vice President for Policy and Program Development at TASC, was enthusiastic about exposing the after-school participants to Teachers College and
Added Stephanie Palmer, executive director of the New York Mission Society: “Never before has there been a time when these services are so important to residents in
Harlem Ivy is part of a national organization, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which funds and oversees after-school programs across the country and helped organize national “Lights On Afterschool” day Oct. 16. To commemorate the day, children at one of the Harlem Ivy schools, P.S. 161 in
“After-school is a movement,” Palmer said at the program launch. “It is a right for kids across the nation and especially in communities where parents are struggling.”
Harlem Ivy is one of several new ventures by Teachers College to support