We Are Foundations For Life

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Foundations For Life, Inc. is committed to providing families in the Brownsville/ East Flatbush, East New York section of Brooklyn with counseling, educational programs, conflict resolution classes, career development, tutorial, and youth programs that will enable them to become culturally, socially, and economically self-sufficient. An alarming 30% of Third grade students in our target neighborhoods cannot read at grade level combine with the fact that only 9.5% of Brownsville residents 25 and older have a Bachelors degree. Foundations For Life (FFL) is a 501(C) 3 nonprofit charitable organization which was established to provide our community with a systematic response to the growing problems of juvenile delinquency, high school drop outs, teen pregnancy, and the continued decline of standardized test scores. FFL was born out of community and parental concern that their children were not being served in the best interest of their future. Our mission statement is" to empower and support families to meet their needs through educational, cultural, and social services”. To accomplish these tasks we endeavor to address the needs of the whole person by promoting personal responsibility and self-confidence, by giving them the knowledge to understand their own minds, and a set of tools to run them more successfully. The After School program is the foundation of our organization through which FFL addresses the root causes of both the individual student and overall community’s lacking academic achievement. We offer unique programming using multiple intelligence and accelerated learning techniques. Foundations For Life is a member of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc., (NPCC) and the International Alliance for Learning (IAL). New York City’s public education system is said to be a litmus test of the decline in quality education across the country. Riddled with private investments and agendas that serve corporate interests at the cost of poor families, public education is an inalienable right for all American citizens. Over 1.4 million children attend school in New York City about 70% of who attend public school. Most of the City’s public school students are poor and from communities of color. 71 % qualify for the federal government’s free or reduced-price lunch program; 86 percent are Latino, Black or Asian. Reading and math scores of black and Latino students drop more than ten points between elementary and middle school. The four-year high school graduation rate reached 62 percent in 2007 but black and Latino students, English Language Learners (ELL), and students with disabilities are performing poorly, and do worse as they move through the system: In one-third of schools serving middle-schoolers, a majority of eighth graders are reading below the standard, and these students are overwhelmingly black and Latino. Less than half of black and Latino students and a quarter of special education and ELL students graduate from high school in four years. The trend will get worse as higher standards go into effect. Large numbers of students graduate from high school academically unprepared—three-fourths of graduates who enter the CUNY system fail the placement exams and require remediation in basic skills. High schools and middle schools are struggling with unwelcoming school environments, low student attendance, and poor academic achievement. Interventions are needed to bring students back to school, engage them in learning, and maximize classroom teaching time and effectiveness. Schools are focusing on test preparation rather than important subjects, such as social studies, science, and the arts; Hence, FFL’s initiatives create a one-stop-shopping approach to the broken family, the results of which are tangibly noted in students’ declining school achievements, their ability to focus, and the simplicity of believing that they are capable of changing a cross-generational epidemic of mediocrity Our purpose in forming Foundations For Life is as our name suggests, to provide our community with access to knowledge, training and opportunities that will help form the foundation for quality living. As such although our primary focus will start with programming for children and youth, we fully intend to develop into a resource for those adults in our community in need of our services as well. Programs Foundations for youth – our after school and summer program offers structured activities that help young people develop a love for themselves and their own educational development. Youth Volunteer Leadership Academy (YVLA) –Participants identify and research a community need each cycle. They formulate and implement projects that address the identified need. This activity fosters the development of English Language Arts Standards: language for information and understanding; language for critical analysis and evaluation; and language for social interaction. Transitions – Same gender students engage in team building, cultural and living skills exercises. Family hood, financial literacy, relationships, community, friends, violence prevention, time management, career development, life skills and our bodies are constituent components of this activity. IN-School Time- The In school time program provides a comprehensive, diverse net of support to those students who have histories of poor attendance and are at risk of dropping out. Recognizing the abilities and potential of these students, the program seeks to empower through accountability and outreach, raise consciousness through group and individual counseling and maximize their support network by partnering with the families as their child develops new, more constructive strategies of navigating their lives. Step – (Starting The Empowerment Process) is a Work readiness program which prepares participants with hand on job readiness training and career development goals. Population served FFL’s After School program has 95 students, 85% of which are black, a combination of African-American and Afro-Caribbean students, the remaining of which are a combination of Hispanic students and other ethnicities. Accordingly, our primary target population is disproportionately impacted by socio-economic conditions, which impact their success, their perceived potential, and their overall sense of self and their future. Nationally, our target population traditionally scores lower on standardized tests, specifically reading and language arts; these statistics and scores are consistent across New York City as well as across the country. While FFL’s After School initiative shows marked progress in students’ academics, there is still room for growth. When surveyed regarding the impact of the after school program from the 1st to 2nd marking periods, 84% of our students reflected an increase in self esteem and in their perception of school and their academic matters. 81% listed improved confidence in their ability to learn. 65% cited an increase in motivation to attend school. FFL attributes these factors to a 55% increase in grades. Indeed, those participants who attended programming for at least three days a week displayed an increased in the overall average between the 1st and 2nd marking period. The average grade for all students in the program was 72% but those students attending 3 or more days a week displayed an average of 79%. FFL‘s approach to supporting sustained academic excellence in our community is unique, in that our programs are not just “more of the same”, but strive to model and incorporate the latest, and most successful practices in advanced teaching methods, and brain function research. At the core of our educational philosophy are the ideas and techniques found in the fields of Nuero Linguistic Programming, Suggestopedia (or Accelerated Learning) and Multiple Intelligence theory. In the same way that we envision our agency functioning in a holistic community-encompassing manner, our educational process is also holistic and all encompassing, taking into account the cultural, emotional and psychological components of the students’ life, as well as the educational.

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