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The Public Service/Social Justice Committee of the Yale Alumni Association of Metropolitan New York is honored to partner with the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), in its quest to end poverty in Harlem and the United States. 

On March 7, 2009, select volunteers will read to toddlers (ages 1-3) and their families and also assist in devising lesson plans at the Baby College of the HCZ (lessons and books to be selected by the HCZ).  Volunteers may choose between 2 shifts (morning shift from 9:15-12:00 and afternoon shift from 12:00-3:00).

Team Leader for this Project is Ms. Rana Emerson.  Please contact Rana at This email address is hidden from email harvesters via JavaScript .

Alternatively, feel free to contact Amanda Taffy with any questions at This email address is hidden from email harvesters via JavaScript .


Below is an excerpt copied  from re the HCZ:

"The Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) is a non-profit organization that targets poverty-stricken children and families living in Harlem, providing free support for the children and families in the form of parenting workshops, a pre-school program, three public charter schools, and child-oriented health programs for thousands of children and families. The HCZ is "aimed at doing nothing less than breaking the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families it serves." [2]

The ambitous Harlem Children's Zone Project has expanded the HCZ's comprehensive system of programs to nearly 100 blocks of Central Harlem and aims to keep children on track through college and into the job market. [3]

Quoting from the HCZ Project web page: "The HCZ Project began as a one-block pilot in the 1990s, then following a 10-year business plan, it expanded to 24 blocks and then 60 blocks. The goal is to serve 15,000 children and 7,000 adults by 2011. The budget for the HCZ Project for fiscal year 2009 is over $40 million, costing an average of $3,500 per child."

Barack Obama and Joe Biden are planning to create 20 Promise Neighborhoods modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone in cities across the nation.[4]

The 60 Minutes television program profiled the HCZ, including an interview with founder Geoffrey Canada, on 14 May 2006.[5]

The U.S. radio show This American Life produced an episode about the HCZ which aired on 26 September 2008 and 11 October 2008.[6]

Barack Obama announced his plan in a 2008 presidential campaign speech in Washington, D.C. to replicate the HCZ in 20 cities across the United States. Federal government would provide half of the funding with the rest coming from philanthropy and businesses at a cost of a few billion per year.[7] Mr. Obama also noted the HCZ in a 2007 campaign speech.[8]

The Wall Street Journal featured the HCZ in an article about the financial troubles experienced by this and other charitable organization in the wake of the recession.[9] The HCZ has initiated a 100-day public service campaign started on January 23, 2009 to help counteract the effects of the economic downturn.[10]

An article in the January/February 2009 issue of Mother Jones showcases Geoffrey Canada, the HCZ, and its recognition by the Obama 2008 presidential campaign and administration.[11] The author of this article (Paul Tough) published a book in August of 2008 about the HCZ titled, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America.[12]