Ninth graders at an embattled Flushing High School have been given a $300,000 leg up.
The Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF), an after-school program at the struggling school, received the hefty grant from AT&T and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott on Wednesday, September 19.
With the donated funds, 100 incoming ninth graders will receive one-on-one counseling and college and career readiness this year, officials said. The funding also means a new program coordinator can jump on board.
“It is critical that our students receive support to help prepare them for college and a career,” Walcott said. “I want to thank AT&T and the [SASF] for investing in our students and creating programs that help them succeed. This partnership is an example of how we must continue to work together to close the opportunity gap for our students.”
SASF seeks to increase four-year high school completion and graduation rates, while narrowing the achievement gap, by providing students with access to high quality educational and enrichment services including sports and arts before and after school hours, officials said.
AT&T announced its $250 million financial commitment to nationwide schools for the next five years in March. SASF joins the YMCA of Greater New York to become the second New York City non-profit to be awarded the company’s grant this year.
“This grant provides major academic assistance during the after school hours for the students of Flushing High School,” said SASF President Jim O’Neill.
Flushing High School was slated to close and reopen as a new school after it was one of eight high schools in Queens identified as struggling by the state. It received a “D” on its most recent progress report, with an “F” in student performance, according to the city’s Department of Education, and was part of a federal improvement program because of low test scores and graduation rates.