East/EPO – Step to College Program: The Step to College program provides students transitioning from grade 8 to grade 9 the experiences, expectations, and rigors associated with a successful first-year student college experience. Academic, social, emotional, recreational, and community-related activities are strategically designed to equip students with the skills and habits of mind that reduce the need for remediation during their freshman year and set the stage for college completion (math, science, vocabulary development, research, and social-emotional preparation). Throughout four summers (for two-week periods), students will be housed on a college campus and take classes duly taught by a 7-12 educator and a college educator. They will also engage in STEM-related research. The program’s five goals are: 1) Provide scholars with academic rigor and experiences to prepare them for college persistence and completion. 2) Scholars will be socially-emotionally healthy. 3) Scholars will successfully transition to a two to four-year institution of higher learning. 4) Produce scholars of character who demonstrate traits for long term achievement. 5) Create a “college-going” culture in East.
Warner School of Education – Project READ at John Audubon School #33 and Expansion to East/EPO Middle School: This is a renewal and expansion of a six-year literacy initiative. Program elements include Individualized reading interventions for 60-80 students provided by Warner School interns supervised by a reading expert; teacher professional development sessions and family events designed to improve student literacy learning opportunities; and preparation of high-quality literacy specialists for urban settings via internships.
Connected Communities – Community Schools Site Coordinator at School 33: As part of Connected Communities’ focus on applying anti-poverty initiatives in the Emma-Beechwood neighborhood, attention is given to cradle to college & career education and community wellness. This project is designed to enable School #33 to become a “Community School,” defined as a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources resulting in the school becoming “the hub of the neighborhood.” In collaboration with Coordinated Care Services (CCSI), School #33 will receive support and planning activities to coordinate all community partnerships and resources. CCSI as the Lead Agency will manage the collaborative efforts involving physical/mental health, social services, out of school programming, adult education, and other community supports. The Site Coordinator will collaborate with the school leadership to create an integrated set of services tied to the priorities identified.
Strong Museum of Play – Transforming the Strong’s Woodbury School: A Model for Play-Based Education:This project will enable the school at Strong to increase its enrollment by 50 percent or more annually and will support them in offering summer enrichment programs. Essential elements of the project include the construction of two new state of the art Woodbury School classrooms and expanded accessibility of professional development offerings. In addition to expanding enrollment, the grant funds will be applied to ensure greater diversity in access to school and summer programming for urban youth and their families.
Rochester City School District (Mikva Challenge) – Action Civics Model Site Initiative: The Action Civic Model Site Initiative’s overarching purpose is to create a sustainable system to develop youth voice, support students in taking civic action and build a robust civic culture in the Rochester City School District. The goals are to increase teacher capacity for engaging students in civic learning, increase informed youth voice levels, and build a connected community of youth activities in the District and the broader Rochester Community. This initiative will focus specifically on students and teachers in grades 7-12. Teachers will participate in professional learning both here and at Mikva headquarters in Chicago. Students will engage with the curriculum as part of their classroom experience and participate in youth development events in Rochester.