Wediko is set to launch Project Task Force K-12 – a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC), later this month (September 2017). The initiative will benefit 800 children from 5 schools located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
The federally-funded 21st CCLC grant, administered by the NY State Education Department, will enable Wediko to provide the much needed extended learning opportunities via educational, health, social, and recreational services for marginalized students and families throughout the school-age years.
The program will benefit children who are currently enrolled in the following schools: Academy for Personal Leadership and Excellence (10X363), New Directions Secondary School(09X350), The Jose Celso Barbosa School(04M206), The Evelina Lopez Antonetty Children’s Literacy Center(07X277), and The School for Innovation(15K442). Children are the most disadvantaged in these resource poor communities which have the highest child poverty rates (50-51%) in NYC, compared to the NYC child poverty rate of 29%.
“These schools were also selected because of their high needs, characterized by low scores on ELA and Math tests, high percentages of English Language Learners and students with special needs, low attendance, and their location within communities struggling to cope with high rates of poverty and crime”, said Kristen Renshaw, Director Wediko NY Programs.
Wediko has a direct experience supporting these children and their families in all of the schools over the last 5 years in their struggle to overcome the persistent cycle of poverty and inequity. In four of the communities, 45%-61% of the population receives some form of income support, such as Cash Assistance (TANF), SSI, or Medicaid. In three of these school communities, 21%-32% of 16-24 year-olds are identified as the disconnected youth (e.g., they do not attend school and do not work). Only 14%-20% possess college degrees and 35%-45% have not completed high school.
Kristen added that “Wediko has built partnerships in these schools over the past five years, and we know the students, families and school staff are resilient. We are delighted to be able to build on their existing strengths and add to that foundation more of the necessary supports that will help students move from surviving to thriving.”
Through this after school program, children will receive a wide range of hands-on, culturally competent academic enrichment, youth development, social and emotional supports, and family literacy services to complement school day offerings and promote self-confidence, adaptability, and a sense of hope and opportunity for the future.
Wediko will be offering supportive counseling, case management, and structured activities to foster academic and social emotional growth. This will build protective skills and competencies to counter the harmful effects of poverty and violence and foster a college-bound mentality from the very first day of kindergarten through the completion of high school.