REACH (The Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem)Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Office of School and Community Partnerships
REACH (Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem)
In 2012, TC launched the Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem (REACH). REACH aims to improve students' educational outcomes in a group of high-need PK-12 schools in Harlem. It seeks to demonstrate how universities can effectively and strategically partner with public schools in sustainable and cost-effective ways to help address the needs of children and families in distressed communities.
The six schools currently included in REACH are Margaret Douglas Elementary School (P.S. 36), Harriett Tubman Elementary School (P.S. 154), Countee Cullen Elementary School (P.S. 194), Frederick Douglass Academy II (FDA II), Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts, and The Heritage School.
TC’s unique approach to school partnership is shaped by two interrelated principles. The first is the idea of "university-assisted" schools, which refers to deep and sustained partnerships, tight cohesion of efforts by school and university personnel, and shared accountability for student academic success. The second principle is “comprehensive educational opportunity”, which brings into focus the range of specific factors that have the greatest impact on student development and learning. Those factors derive from research conducted by TC faculty and reflect the College’s expertise in teaching, health, psychology and leadership.
REACH therefore implements a set of coherent and strategic actions that increases access to comprehensive educational opportunity. The project's main areas of focus are school leadership, pedagogical practices, expanded learning experiences, early childhood education, physical and mental health, and family engagement. TC dedicates intellectual, human and financial resources and leverages the assets of Columbia University and community-based organizations to promote students' learning, health and well-being.
REACH has been an active partner with New York City and New York State Departments of Education as they have expanded the role of community schools to strengthen children's educational outcomes. Since 2013, TC has participated in state and city-funded efforts such as the Community School Grant Initiative, the Attendance Improvement and Dropout Prevention program, and New York City's Renewal Schools agenda as a lead community partner with REACH schools.