New York – Apr. 19, 2012 – The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is helping improve education in New York City by providing $2.5 million to Turnaround for Children Inc. to help open six new public schools, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, in the city's high-poverty districts using the non-profit's innovative intervention model.
The three-year grant will also support Turnaround's continued transformation of three schools in Central Harlem, which began in 2009 to help students and teachers overcome poverty-related obstacles to teaching and learning and implement whole school practices.
The new K-8 public schools are expected to open in Brooklyn and Queens by fall 2012.
"As New York's largest bank, we are committed to investing in programs that increase economically disadvantaged children's access to high-quality educational opportunities," said Kimberly Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. "Turnaround has built a model for success by attacking the achievement gap and creating the positive school culture essential for healthy learning and growth."
Studies show that poverty has a direct impact on children's success in school, and that students in schools with high concentrations of poverty generally do not receive the same level of academic and social support to prepare them to learn.
Turnaround addresses this issue through a three-year program that provides professional development for teachers and leaders in instructional and behavioral strategies, sets up behavioral and academic intervention systems for the highest-need students, and supports the principals in key school leadership issues. It also helps the school establish partnerships with community-based mental health providers and other child-serving agencies.
"Turnaround believes that poverty challenges children and schools in profound but entirely predictable ways," says Pamela Cantor, M.D., Founder and CEO of Turnaround for Children. "We know that schools can be designed to confront these challenges head-on by addressing culture, teacher practice and supports for students. If schools are able to do this work well, it will accelerate and magnify the effects brought about by all other aspects of the current education reform effort."
The $2.5 million grant was announced last night at Turnaround's Annual Impact Awards Dinner in New York City, where JPMorgan Chase was being honored for its leadership in education reform.
Over the last six years, JPMorgan Chase has provided nearly $340 million to non-profit organizations and programs across the country focused on education, including $70 million in New York City.
About Turnaround for Children
Turnaround for Children, Inc. (Turnaround) works to transform low-performing, high-poverty public schools to bring about dramatically improved academic and life outcomes for children growing up in poverty. Through work in over 60 high-poverty schools since 2002, Turnaround has developed a model for equipping schools to address recurring and predictable barriers to learning and healthy youth development that arise from the circumstances of poverty. The model is delivered through a methodical, three-year process that instills fundamental instructional and behavioral practices in teachers and administrators, realigns community mental health services, creates permanent student support systems and fosters leadership practices essential for the success of high poverty schools.