In some of New York City’s highest-risk communities – including parts of Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx – our Episcopal congregations are a stalwart presence, providing spiritual and practical support to children and families. Episcopal Charities is proud to support and lift up these parishes’ efforts to reach out to at-risk children and youth in their neighborhoods. In the current school year, more than 15% or our Youth Opportunity grant funds were awarded to programs in NYC’s highest-risk communities. We are grateful to all our supporters and partners for helping us to support this important work. If you’d like join us by making a gift right now, please click here.
Please read on for a look at just a few of the vital programs we support:
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church is located in Bronx Community Board 1 (Mott Haven), one of the highest-risk neighborhoods identified by the CCC study – ranked at #57 out of 59. The parish’s after-school program (pictured above)serves 100 children every school day. Staff oversee homework and provide support and tutoring, as well as opportunities to play and make art. Healthy snacks and a hot supper are provided to every student. And in the summer, St. Ann’s Freedom School (pictured at the top of this post) immerses children ages 6-13 in a six-week community experience focused on encouraging a love of reading and nurturing leadership skills. The School’s young counselors, called “Servant Leaders,” travel to Tennessee for a week-long training with the Children’s Defense Fund and gaining valuable work experience over the course of the summer.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church (neighborhood risk ranking #59 and #55 out of 59, respectively) each provide dependable after-school programs as well as all-day summer programs. Caring staff and volunteers help children with homework, and the programs provide supplemental education, arts and enrichment activities, and opportunities for healthy recreation. In the photograph below, a young scholar works on his homework at St. Edmund’s.
In Washington Heights (risk ranking #45 out of 59), the Washington Heights Choir School at Holyrood Church provides outstanding after-school music and arts education to neighborhood children, free of charge. With small classes and personal attention, young choristers (some pictured below) grow increasingly skilled and confident as they broaden their horizons. Just last year, the choir had an appearance on Good Morning America and performed in world-class venues including the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Thank you for reading this post. Please join your neighbors in supporting programs like these – click here to donate today!