United Way of New York City Receives $52 Million Grant from NYC Department of Education


Attendance Improvement and Dropout Intervention Grant to Benefit More Than 40,000 Students Over Next Four Years through Largest Program Grant Awarded in 2014

NEW YORK, NY – United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been awarded a $52 million 'Attendance Improvement and Dropout Prevention' grant from the New York City Department of Education, the largest education grant to be given by the city to a nonprofit organization. United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has worked with numerous city government administrations on attendance improvement and dropout prevention (AIDP) initiatives. This new grant, awarded by the de Blasio administration, marks a seamless transition, highlights the ongoing confidence in UWNYC's work and allows for the continuation and cementing of a twenty-year partnership between UWNYC and the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE).

The grant will allow UWNYC to bolster resources for community-based partnerships, improving academics and attendance rates for more than 40,000 New York City students over the course of four years. UWNYC designed the attendance improvement initiative, and will provide quality assurance to assist the NYC DOE, New York City schools and community-based organizations in implementing the program.

"This is one of the cornerstones of our education agenda. Along with pre-K for every child and expanded after-school programs, launching more Community Schools will help fundamentally transform our education system in a way that lifts up every child. From in-school mental health services to homework help and family counseling, Community Schools have proven to be incredibly successful at helping students thrive in the classroom and beyond. We are excited to have the United Way of New York City as partners in bringing these innovative models to more communities," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"As we continue to combat the challenges of increasing the number of New York City students graduating high school, especially students living in poverty, we look to strengthen the partnership of UWNYC and the DOE that has collaborated around servicing chronically absent students for the last 20 years," said Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of New York City. "With this new grant for Attendance Improvement and Dropout Prevention, we strongly believe that the most promising future reform in serving low attending students lies in addressing the school's whole community. UWNYC's initiative will connect solutions—such as community safety, health care, and family involvement—to ensure students achieve in school, from the moment they and their families walk in the door, to the moment students walk out in cap and gown."

Attendance is one of the key strategies for UWNYC's education initiatives, which aim to increase by 25% the number of youth graduating from high school ready for college, a career and citizenship by the year 2020. Over the last twenty years, UWNYC has worked hand in hand with the NYC DOE on improving attendance rates and preventing dropouts in New York City public schools. Over the last 7 years, UWNYC's AIDP programs benefitted more than 45,000 students across the city, giving students an attendance advantage of 8.5 days over their peers, adding up to more than 24,000 additional days of learning. Importantly, Black and Hispanic male students were as likely to improve attendance as all other participants – closing the attendance gap for black and Hispanic boys.

Community-based organizations, schools and anyone interested in more information can contact United Way of New York City at educate@uwnyc.org. For media inquiries, contact Rida Bint Fozi at The TASC Group at (646) 723-4344 or rida@thetascgroup.com.