Learning Leaders Opening Meeting Kickoff Party featuring Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch .
Learning Leaders helps New York City public school students succeed by training volunteers to provide individualized instructional support and other school-based support, and by equipping parents to foster their childrens education development. Learning Leaders was founded as the NYC School Volunteer Program in 1956 by twenty dedicated volunteers who helped teachers at P.S. 191 in Manhattan. Learning Leaders was the first program of its kind in the country and has served as a model program nationwide. Learning Leaders recruits, trains and supports school volunteers — over 12,000 last school year — who devote an average of 3.8 hours a week to working with one-fifth of the New York City public school student population in 912 schools city-wide. Trained, screened volunteers offer tutoring in reading, writing, ESL, math, visual literacy, and literature. They help students prepare for Regents and other critical exams, and assist with college and financial aid planning. Simply speaking regularly with an adult school volunteer can provide a strong English language base for English Language Learners and students whose literacy skills are below grade level expectation. Moreover, Learning Leaders introduces parent volunteers into the schools, which can result in higher student grade point averages and scores on standardized tests, better attendance, improved behavior, and better social skills. Simultaneously, parents gain an understanding of the school system and comfort with their childs school, and are often inspired to pursue their own educational and career aspirations. Learning Leaders programs help parents and community members experience a sense of ownership in their school and make student achievement, and school success, the charge of all concerned citizens. Learning Leaders annual budget is $4.7 million. As an independent not-for-profit organization, Learning Leaders raises 85% of its funds from private sources. Major support is provided by the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Council. Every $1,500 donated results in 400 hours of service to a New York City public school.