Astoria nonprofit hopes to raise $10,000 for tutoring program in the face of reduced funding

Photo via Pxhere

An Astoria-based nonprofit hopes to raise $10,000 by June 27 to support their tutoring program in the face of reduced government funding.

On May 23, the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA) launched the “Learning for Life” fundraiser in support of their popular Elementary After School Tutoring program.

According to their website, CIANA, located at 31-09 Newtown Ave., Suite 411,  is utilized by recent immigrant children and their families with a “focus on newcomers from Middle East, North Africa, Latin America and South Asia.”

CIANA Program and Administration Manager Kylen Button stated that funding for their tutoring program and others like it have been slashed at federal, state and local levels. As a result, the organization has turned to private donors to help fund the program, which they say is “a vital part of the children’s success in the New York City school system, and a part of their assimilation into American society while staying rooted in their cultural heritage.”

CIANA started in 2012 when its founder and CEO, Emira Habiby Browne, was approached by a parent whose child was failing kindergarten.

“Emira was in total shock. How could a child be failing kindergarten? One of our interns at the time volunteered to tutor her a few times per week and over the course of time, saw drastic improvements,” Button said.

Local parents heard about the child’s newfound success and started reaching out to CIANA asking if their children could also be tutored. The program caters to children in grades 1 to 5, who receive one-on-one homework help twice a week, according to a promotional video on the organization’s website.

Currently, the program is at capacity, and serves 20 children from every New York City borough, and there is a waitlist of children whose parents want them to receive tutoring. The nonprofit plans to use the money they raise to hire a program coordinator, offer more days for tutoring and accept more children into the program.

In addition to the Elementary After School Tutoring program, CIANA runs a variety of programs to benefit “new Americans,” including adult ESL classes, classes and workshops to help immigrants to gain citizenship and an after-school program for middle schoolers to participate in recreational activities.

To learn more about CIANA or to donate to their fundraiser, visit the organization’s website.

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