SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 – The New York Public Library is launching a series of free after-school pilot programs this fall to provide New York City students with structured educational activities, including one-on-one tutoring, technology-projects, literacy training and paid internship opportunities.
The programs – which promote student advancement – will be offered at 10 of NYPL’s 87 branches in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island beginning on Sept. 30. The goal is to develop these programs, which will develop skills needed to meet Common Core standards and eventually expand them to the entire system.
“Every day, about 20,000 kids and teens walk into our libraries after school, looking for safe, comfortable, learning spaces to spend their afternoons,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “We want to provide those students with exactly what we know that they need – unique, exciting, and fun educational opportunities and activities that develop skills tied to the Common Core. The Library has long stood for free and open access to information and education, and as such, we believe it is our mission to support the city’s educational infrastructure, as well as New York’s students.”
The programs fall into three different models:
- Enrichment Zones: For grades 1 through 8, these programs offer customized, one-on-one and small-group tutoring targeting two specific core academic areas where the child needs help, as determined by parents and tutors. Students will also spend time with education technology that supplements the skills covered during tutoring. Group enrichment activities and educational field trips will also be part of the program. Enrichment Zones will be offered at High Bridge Library and Mott Haven Library in The Bronx; Inwood Library and Seward Park Library in Manhattan; and Port Richmond Library in Staten Island.
- Innovation Labs: For grades 7-10, these programs focus on long-term projects in which participants work together to address community issues using podcasts, blogs and video game design as a means of developing problem solving and critical thinking skills, key components of Common Core. The program taps into student passions – such as computer games, robotics, fashion, and so on – and engages them beyond those passions to give them the academic skills they need to succeed. Participants will also receive homework help. Innovation Labs will be offered at Bronx Library Center in the Bronx, Columbus Library in Manhattan, and St. George Library in Staten Island.
- Literacy Leaders: For grades 1 and 2 and 11 and 12, this program gives high school students a chance to earn academic credit and be trained to act as literacy tutors for early elementary school students. The high school students will coach struggling first and second graders, reinforcing reading fluency and comprehension and boosting their confidence as young readers. The program will be held at 115th Street Library and Hamilton Fish Library in Manhattan.
There are limited spots available in each of the programs, which are staffed by full-time educators and require attendance multiple times a week for at least one semester. The programs will be run in three cycles – first semester, second semester and summer – and in total will provide over 2,100 spots in their first year.
“We have recruited a talented team of classroom and after-school educators devoted to helping all children succeed,” said Maggie Jacobs, the Library’s director of educational programs. “There is a tremendous need out there – over 300,000 children citywide spend their after-school hours without any structured, enriching activities – our goal is reduce these numbers through really engaging, educational programming.”
The three new programs are in addition to a fourth pilot being offered within the NYPL system beginning this fall – NYPL BridgeUp, an innovative program that will offer services to 250 at-risk eighth-graders each year for five years. The program is funded with a $15 million grant from the Helen Gurley Brown Revocable Trust – the largest gift ever to the branches for educational programs. Participants in the program will work on a “passion project” with other students each year, learning critical thinking and other skills needed for student advancement. The program will offer kids in low-income neighborhoods a safe space, and opportunities they otherwise would not have.
The after school pilots are just the latest NYPL initiative to focus on education; in 2011, the Library announced MyLibraryNYC, a partnership with the New York City Department of Education to give students and teachers unprecedented access to NYPL collections, providing them with books and materials that they need. It was later expanded to include both the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library systems.
For more information on the new after school programs, go to nypl.org/afterschool.
Major support for after-school programming is provided by The Helen Gurley Brown Revocable Trust; Arthur W. Koenig; the Mr. and Mrs. Timothy R. Barakett Endowment for Children's and Young Adult Programs and Services; the E.H.A. Foundation Endowment for Literacy Programming; and The Pinkerton Foundation, with additional support from the Estate of Brooke Russell Astor and the Estate of Mary McConnell Bailey.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 91 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.
To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.