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Children's Zone Project
Detail: The Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), which according to The New York Times is one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time, grew out of a small truancy-prevention program that started in the 1970s. Today HCZ provides educational, social and medical services to more than 10,000 young people and 5,000 adults across 100 city blocks.

Under the leadership of its president and CEO, Geoffrey Canada, HCZ, does not only tackle everyday problems as they emerge. Instead this project is about an entire neighborhood, with services ranging from parenting classes to health clinics to charter schools. HCZ Project gives children an intensive experience in a succession of programs until they graduate from college. The project’s charter schools have longer school days and a longer school year. Last year, nearly all the third-graders in these charter schools scored at or above grade-level in math, better than recent citywide averages and eighth-graders outperformed the average New York student in math, according to New York state data.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal Article, the HCZ Project that had won big corporate backing is affected by the current economic downturn and now faces big cutbacks as donors stop funding. However, this project has attracted the attention of the White House and President Barack Obama's advisers met with Mr. Canada recently to learn more about his approach. Spreading the model of Mr. Canada's charity in 20 cities across the U.S, to create "promise neighborhoods", remains part of the White House's publicized agenda.

For related stories see:

1. He’s the Angel of Harlem: Geoffrey Canada leads a nonprofit that helps thousands of poor city kids. The secret: conquering one block at a time.

2. Bear Market for Charities: A Harlem Education Project That Won Big Corporate Backing Now Faces Cutbacks as Donors Close Their Wallets
Date: February 20 2009