In the summer of 2013, New York Community Trust issued a call for proposals, funded by the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education, for initiatives to “projects with potential to generate widespread, systemic improvement in reading skills in the early grades among disadvantaged students in New York City” (NYCT, RFP, 2013). Brooke Astor dedicated her philanthropy to supporting libraries, museums, and community programs in New York City. She was a great reader and wanted everyone to enjoy reading and believed that good reading skills were key to a good life.
A team of Hunter College School of Education educators, let by Dr. Jenny Tuten, worked together to develop a pilot project that drew upon their extensive work in literacy teacher education to support the professional development of second grade teachers in 3 East Harlem, District 4 schools. Together, we developed a model of professional development that would be grounded in research-supported practices in effective professional development that would support teachers in implementing strong literacy instruction in their classrooms.
We received a planning grant for work from spring 2014- Spring 2015. During this time we were able to deepen our relationships with teachers and school leaders and fine-tune our model.
We received additional implementation funding to expand the grant to 11 more schools and additional grades in Fall 2015.
Continued our work with K-2 teachers in the 11 schools.
Strengthened our relationships with principals and schools.
In Fall 2018, we were able to expand our work to all 16 elementary schools in the district.
This was the final year of the grant. Some specialists continued to support individual schools, (with a lighter touch). In addition, worked with the district in a few strategic ways and developed this online resource.