Expansion of America Reads/America Counts and Jumpstart at NYU Expansion

New York University — Goal 2 Initiative Expansion of America Reads/America Counts and Jumpstart at NYU Expansion

The interruption of in-person learning in New York City public schools further exacerbated the achievement gap between students from lower and higher income families. To help combat this problem, NYU will expand its America Reads/America Counts program beyond current partner schools surrounding its two campus locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn to encompass a greater number of New York City public school students in Harlem, the Bronx and additional sections of Brooklyn.

NYU has participated in these programs since their inception. America Reads, started in 1997, challenges every American to help children learn to read well and independently by linking public school children with tutors. America Counts, its mathematically-centered equivalent, was initiated in 1999.  From its existing footprint of 850 tutors in 72 New York City public schools, NYU will expand its partnerships to include approximately 10 new Title I public schools in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx and 2-4 nonprofit organizations and community centers throughout the city.  

Along a similar vein, NYU is also expanding the reach of its Jumpstart at NYU program, geared toward helping preschool children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten. NYU Jumpstart currently deploys 100 NYU AmeriCorps and non-AmeriCorps members to provide social and emotional skills to children attending local NYC pre-K classrooms in New York's Lower East Side each year. NYU will increase the number of Jumpstart corps members by 30 in order to provide services at three additional early childhood centers in Brooklyn. 

These separate but thematically coordinated efforts have allowed thousands of NYU students over the years to have a meaningful impact on the lives of New York City children, and the longevity of the programs has served to establish trust within the institutions and not-for-profits with whom the university partners in these target areas.  The expansion of both programs at this critical time will help increase the impact and efficiency of service delivery. 

Initiative Differentiators

 NYU America Reads/America Counts tutors receive direct-service professional development and skills training, as well as opportunities for career-building and networking while earning Federal Work Study (FWS) compensation. While tutors are 100% federally funded through FWS, NYU determines how to allocate their FWS funds each year and sets priorities for how annual allotments are distributed, and provides the administrative and training resources for student tutors.

Key Interventions and Milestones

 For Academic Year 2021-22, NYU has increased the Financial Aid allotment for these programs to $2.5M for additional America Reads/America Counts and Jumpstart tutors to expand in person and remote programming to additional federally-designated Title I NYC Public Schools, nonprofits with tutor placements, and community centers.

Expected Impact

The added funds represent a 40% increase in Federal Work Study in support of America Reads/America Counts and Jumpstart, allowing us to hire and place approximately 150 additional America Reads/America Counts tutors serving in 10 additional NYC public schools, 2-4 nonprofits and community centers, and 30 additional Jumpstart corps members serving in 3 additional early childhood centers in Brooklyn. This expansion will translate to an additional 37,000 tutoring hours, bringing the total number of hours annually provided by both programs to over 130,000.