HARLEM, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kumon and the Children’s Harlem Zone Promise Academy elementary school, celebrate literacy together on Tuesday, January 11th, in a dedication ceremony for the new children’s library donated by Kumon at 5:30 p.m. with students and families. Promise Academy students Jasmine Jordan, Na-Kim Ryan, Shaleek Casserberry and Sterling Payne will read passages aloud from their favorite books, and then students will be able to select a book to keep from Kumon’s collection of 500 books now available for all students to enjoy. The event takes place at Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy located on the third floor of 175 W. 134th Street (within PS 175).
In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 books to one child, while in low-income neighborhoods the ratio is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Kumon hopes that their donation inspires companies and organizations to invest in children’s literacy. Kumon’s Harlem Centers have worked with hundreds of families to provide after-school enrichment in both math and reading. Currently, Kumon works with 57 subject students from Harlem’s Children Zone.
“Our students and parents read daily together, and the donation from Kumon gives our students access to even more rich literature,” said Ms. White, principal, Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Elementary School.
The need for books is great, and for more than 50 years, Kumon has helped families in more than 46 countries foster a love of reading. Kumon’s donation is part of their annual book drive, which this year raised more than 12,000 books for more than 60 non-profits and schools that bring books to children in low-income neighborhoods. Kumon Instructors and students across the country collect and donate books to local organizations to bring books to children.
“Access to books is critical for a child’s academic and personal development,” said Hideki Kusuzawa, president of Kumon North America. “Literature opens the mind, and exposes children to stories that can inspire, teach and motivate them to reach their full potential. Kumon Instructors and students are very generous and as a result of their efforts, thousands of families will now have award winning books from authors around the world in their homes.”
CHILDREN’S LITERACY FACTS:
- According to the National Education Association, increased access to books and print literature is the most successful way to increase reading achievement among low-income students.
- According the National Testing Service, students who read more at home are more proficient readers and are likely to have higher math scores.
About Promise Academy I
Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Charter Schools (HCZPACS), opened in September 2004 with grade K in Promise Academy 1 elementary and grade 6 in the middle school. Currently, HCZ Promise Academy I consists of three schools including the elementary, K–3, led by Ms. White; upper elementary/middle, 4–7; and high school, 10–11. At scale, HCZ Promise Academy I will grow to grades K–12.
Since its creation in 2004, Promise Academy I elementary schools have done well enough to lead Harvard economist Roland Fryer to conclude that the students had actually closed the black-white achievement gap. The schools have a longer school day and year, and feature wide-ranging, enriching after-school programs. In 2009, the third-graders of PA1 earned 100 percent on or above grade level in the statewide math program. At PA1 the third-graders were 94 percent on or above grade level in English Language Arts.
About Kumon Math and Reading Centers
Kumon [Koo-mon] is an after-school enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own. Founded in Japan in 1958, the learning method uses an individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 centers in 46 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide. The company’s North American headquarters is in Teaneck, New Jersey. Visit www.kumon.com to learn more.