Union Settlement Association (http://www.unionsettlement.org), Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service (http://www.littlesistersfamily.org) and The Boys’ Club of New York (http://www.bcny.org) today announced the award of a $125,000 grant from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation to expand and deepen support services that encourage and support academic achievement among a population of Mexican toddlers and children at high risk for developmental delays, poor academic performance, and teen pregnancy.
There has been a significant increase in the number of Mexican families moving into East Harlem in the past several years, and many of these families are living in poverty, with the parents struggling to provide their families with life’s basic necessities because of low-wage jobs or unemployment. In addition, many children in these families, even those born in the United States, quickly fall behind in school and tend to drop out early, which makes it very difficult for them to succeed.
By granting funds to this partnership of community-based organizations in East Harlem, the Deutsche Bank grant is leveraging the expertise of a variety of specialized programs for greater impact among the target population. In particular, Little Sisters, the Boys’ Club and Union Settlement are building a new East Harlem Neighborhood Network, focused on serving the community’s large population of Mexican immigrants. The Network will provide supportive educational services for children of Mexican origin and descent, from birth through third grade, as well as providing referral and wrap around services to their families with the aim of supporting the children’s academic achievement.
The Network has hired an Educational Advocate and will be using a holistic and culturally sensitive approach to identify and provide the assistance needed by each member of the family. The Network will seek to fortify each family’s foundation in the community, and thereby improve their children’s ability to achieve grade appropriate performance and academic success. Over the next three years, the Network will also work to transfer the knowledge gained to schools and other community-based organizations serving Mexican and Mexican-American families The long term goal is to empower families by strengthening their ability to successfully navigate important life transitions, including school enrollment, entry into the job market and career advancement.
“Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is pleased to support the East Harlem Neighborhood Network as part of our Anchoring Achievement in Mexican Communities initiative, which establishes educational hubs in neighborhoods across New York City with large concentrations of Mexican and Mexican-American children, youth and families,” said Gary Hattem, President of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “The three organizations involved in this network are leaders in the nonprofit field, with rich and long histories of service and positive impact in the East Harlem community. We are proud to count them among our partners in our shared mission to improve the educational and economic well-being of this vibrant immigrant community of New Yorkers.”
“Many Mexican families are struggling here in East Harlem, and it is crucial that we develop a comprehensive effort to reach these families and provide the services and support they need in order to break the cycle of poverty,” said David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement. “We are very grateful for Deutsche Bank’s support for this initiative, and particularly for its focus on improving the educational prospects for the children in these families.”
“LSA Family Health Service has been targeting the most critical –and vulnerable –early years of child development among the Mexican community in El Barrio for many years,” said John Corwin, Interim Executive Director of LSA Family Health Service. “The Deutsche Bank grant allows us to deepen our involvement and reach more families through our Parenting and Child Development (HBS) program, and even provide a dedicated case manager who can advocate for Mexican families in the education realm, ultimately helping us set the stage for stronger scholastic achievement when these toddlers reach school age.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with two organizations with strong ties to East Harlem.” said Stephen Tosh, Executive Director of BCNY. “The Boys’ Club is committed to further engaging the Mexican American community and enthusiastically invite them to take advantage of our services. Collaborating with Deutsche Bank, LSA, and Union Settlement will help BCNY extend our reach and connect with even more families in East Harlem.”