A $15 million donation by philanthropists Marilyn and Jim Simons will provide the cornerstone of a $45 million campaign to expand and support the New York City-based East Harlem Tutorial Program, which operates charter schools and after-school tutoring programs in the East Harlem neighborhood.
The couple will match public and private donations dollar-for-dollar up to $15 million as the program raises money to build a new K-12 community center that will house a charter school, after-school learning labs, a music and performance space, and wellness facilities such as a gym and playground. In addition, the money will go toward the organization’s College Scholars program, which provides students with a laptop and book stipend during college, as well as tutoring support and career advising.
“EHTP’s new educational center will be a tremendous asset to East Harlem,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, a New York City council member, in a press release. “They have been serving this community for decades now, and with this investment, we can be sure they will continue to do so for decades more.”
In a neighborhood with college graduation rates that hover around 10 percent, 95 percent of the high school seniors in EHTP’s after-school program in 2013 graduated on time and enrolled in two- or four-year colleges.
The organization hopes to break ground on the new facility in July. Although Marilyn Simons is the president of the Simons Foundation, the donation is an individual one made by the couple.
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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.