The All Our Children (AOC) program was begun in 2007 by resolution of the Diocese of New York. A joint project of the diocese and Trinity Parish, Wall Street, the initiative’s stated goal is, “for every parish to create a partnership with their local public school-- and build bridges to their community-- to strengthen public schools by educating the whole child.”
Now in its fourth year of grant-making, this summer Trinity Wall Street asked Episcopal Charities to begin overseeing grants adjudication and administration. Trinity has provided funds to allow Episcopal Charities to grant $5,000/year to congregations (within the Diocese of NY) to initiate a partnership with a local public school. AOC grants will be awarded on an annual basis, with existing parish partners reapplying every year for up to a total of five years. The All Our Children steering committee has committed to help participating parishes by (1) providing training and support for connecting with local schools; (2) offering connections to organizations experienced in educational change; and (3) regularly gathering pilot parishes for fellowship and networking.
To be eligible, initiatives must meet the general eligibility and grant guidelines established by Episcopal Charities. These include:
• Any person needing the service offered is eligible to receive the service—eligibility for services cannot be determined by church membership, faith, or participation in church activities
• Programs must be non-sectarian and inclusive, and services provided cannot include religious content
• Programs must be of high quality and show evidence of an ability to serve youth in ways that give promise of more productive and satisfying lives.
The 2011-12 grants recommended to the Board of Directors by the Advisory Committee are:
Christ Church, Bronxville Young at Arts
Young at Arts provides arts and theatre instruction to children from pre-school through 12th grade with a specific focus on community building. The 2011-12 AOC grant supports the Stars Program, Yong at Arts’ performing group.
Christ Church, Poughkeepsie Arts in the Park
Christ Church has a long-standing relationship with Clinton Elementary School, adjacent to church property. This program will use the church’s park and playground resources to provide students a period of organized and supervised play once each week after school. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support the employment of a storyteller to help students learn to value and tell their own stories, and, as well as a local puppet troupe, to provide the opportunity for students to showcase their own stories and puppets for families and friends at two “theater nights” during the year.
Grace Broadway, Manhattan GO Project
The GO Project identifies public school students performing below grade level and helps to improve their academic performance, build self-esteem and develop essential life skills. The 2011-12 AOC grant will provide general support for overall program, helping to increase enrollment by 100 to 450 children, launch a new middle school initiative, and recruit new volunteers from Grace Church.
Grace, Nyack Amazing Grace Circus!
This circus arts program provides a number of programs that help children express their feelings, hopes, frustrations and fears. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support work at Nyack Middle School with identified gang members.
Grace, White Plains After-School Mentoring Program
70-100 children each year participate in this school-based mentoring program; a majority of these children live in local homeless shelters or have lived in shelters with their families in the past. The program provides tutoring, college preparation, college scholarships, and enrichment activities. The 2011-12 AOC grant will help the program match students with parishioners from Grace Church and other local Episcopal congregations with high school seniors applying to college, to create mentoring relationships to assist with this difficult process.
Holyrood, Manhattan SMArts at Holyrood
This program, just begun in 2010, is a Monday-Friday after-school arts program offered free of charge to any students in kindergarten-5th grade in the Washington Heights area. The program’s mission is, “to train children to achieve early excellence and growth through music and arts education.” The 2011-12 AOC grant will support expansion beyond the first year partnership with P.S. 132 to include P.S. 187 and P.S. 173. The grant will also support a new collaborative partnership with the original SMArts program at St. Peter’s Church in the Bronx.
Intercession, Manhattan Community of Readers: Fostering Reading through Relationship
This reading group of six to ten 4th graders from P.S. 368 and volunteers from the church meets weekly. The 2011-12 AOC grant will allow the parish to collaborate further with P.S. 368 on homework help and neighborhood field trips
Our Savior, Manhattan School Partnership
This program is a partnership with PS 184 serving low-performing ESL students, the majority of whom have various Chinese dialects as their first language. About 30 students are served twice weekly, with an emphasis on reading comprehension, writing and math. The 2011-12 AOC grant will help continue the program with a focus on homework help, reading comprehension, public speaking, nutrition.
San Andres, Yonkers School Partnership
This partnership with Maria de Hostos Elementary provides afterschool and summer programs with a focus on literacy activities and folkloric dance. The 2011-12 grant will support the after-school program, including the Power Reading program, the weekend backpack feeding program, and involvement with the school PTA.
St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery, Manhattan School Partnership
St. Mark’s has a long-standing relationship with The Manhattan School for Career Development, (for high school-aged emotionally disturbed children). The 2011-12 AOC grant supports their collaborative arts program which culminates in 2 public events, and includes literacy work and (new this year) photography classes.
St. Mary's, Mohegan Lake Save A Life Event
In spring 2011 St. Mary’s and other churches in their area presented a workshop for 400 teens, parents, educators in response to numerous teen deaths due to overdose or car accidents. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support “Save a Life 2," which will focus on supporting teens returning from rehab and young adults living and using illegal substances at home.
St. Paul's on the Hill, Ossining Music Program
This two day/week afterschool music program works with 45-60 students primarily from Dorner Middle School. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support the continuation of this program that serves children ranging from ages three to 16.
St. Paul's, Spring Valley School Partnership
This program was initiated in spring 2011 to offer children at Kakiat Elementary the opportunity to join the church's "Drumming in Harmony" program, focusing on Afro-Caribbean-Latin drumming. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support the first full academic year of programming
St. Peter's, Westchester Square, Bronx SMArts program
St. Peter’s offers this innovative After-school arts enrichment program two days/week, in partnership with Lewis & Clark elementary. In 2010-11 the program served 16 children, with four instructors and eight parish volunteers. The 2011-12 AOC grant help continue current programming, as they reorganize into a graduated class system and creating incentives for consistent participation of students
Trinity, Morrisania, Bronx Morrisania Coalition
This after-school program works with M.S. 301 and other community organizations in support of adolescent males (& some females) "at risk." The program includes college visits and arts programming. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support the continuing programming, with an added component of drama training, culminating in two performances by the youth.
Trinity, Ossining Youth Band Ensemble
This instrumental ensemble works in partnership with Dorner Middle School to build students’ musical skills and knowledge. The group performs in the community multiple times each year. The 2011-12 AOC grant will support the continuation of the program as they strive to build a stronger partnership with school in order to increase enrollment.
Trinity, Wall Street Trinity School Partnerships with Public Schools
This grant is paid directly to the school to support classroom assistance by Trinity School students at P.S. 84 & P.S. 166. The program includes collaborative service projects and arts enrichment between high school and elementary school students. The 2011-12 AOC grant will help continue the current programming, which will add a tutoring program at P.S. 84.