United States: Harlem Children Zone
Harlem Children Zone (HCZ) is a non-profit organisation that bases its work on the idea of redesigning schools as community centres. The programme, begun in the early 1990s in an attempt to address the many problems facing disadvantaged families within a single New York City block in Harlem, offers schooling, after-school programmes, health and social services and community-building programmes. It also runs an array of programmes that target parents and children, from birth to young adulthood. The Baby College, for example, provides training to expectant parents and parents of children up to 3 years old. It emphasises the importance of reading to children and of using verbal discipline over corporal punishment. The Three Years Old Journey helps parents to build language and parenting skills to support their child’s development. Academic Case Management is an approach to youth development, used for middle school, high school and college-aged students, that encourages collaboration between parents and school staff to support student performance.
The programme, offered free of charge and funded by donations and a government grant, has been replicated in 20 other US cities. In 2009, the organisation served more than 10,000 children and 10,000 adults in Harlem alone.