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Grant gets high school freshmen college ready

The New York Life Foundation recently awarded New Visions for Public Schools a two-year, $400,000 grant to launch the Campaign for College and Career Readiness initiative throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

The initiative will provide at least 1,000 parents and 50 school personnel with pertinent information to ensure that more than 7,000 ninth grade students are graduation ready and possess the necessary skills to further their education at the college level.

“We are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for supporting our efforts to dramatically increase high school graduation rates among students who have been traditionally underserved by the system,” Robert Hughes, president of New Visions for Public Schools, said.

Of the 25 Bronx high schools in the New Visions network, 16 are participating in the program, which is designed to increase parental engagement, develop community resources and track student progress.

“This grant will allow us to sustain the progress we’ve made and continue our ability to help students understand that college is possible,” Hughes explained.

Addressing the project’s first component, the grant will fund 50 parent coordinator training sessions, which will provide 1,000 parents from across the five boroughs the information needed to keep their children on the academic path to college or to a successful career.

Similarly, in order to establish community resource development, New Visions will help initiate the development of school-community data driven action plans to accelerate the schools’ progress toward college readiness.

“I don’t know how many parents know how vital ninth grade is,” New Visions communication director Karen Crowe said, referencing a statistic that states that if students don’t earn at least 11 credits in their first year of high school, they are at a high risk of dropping out. “So we’re sending this message out loud and clear thanks to this grant.”

Completing the initiative’s third component, tracking student progress, New Visions will partner with CUNY to develop a database to document and analyze information about how students perform in their post-secondary experience at CUNY.

The programs began this summer and will continue throughout the school year. Interested parents are encouraged to contact their schools’ parent coordinators for more information on how to get involved.

Schools receiving the trainings are: Bronx Academy of Health Careers, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy, Bronx High School for Law and Community Service, Bronx Leadership Academy II High School, Bronx School for Law and Finance, Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, Christopher Columbus High School, Collegiate Institute for Math and Science, Leadership Institute, Marble Hill School for International Studies, New Explorers High School, School for Community Research and Learning, Theatre Arts Production Company, West Bronx Academy for the Future and the Women’s Academy for Excellence.

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