Making it happen

Stride relies on private donations for all funding.  The private donations make it possible for Stride to build a fund that will support the day-to-day operations of the program, as well as provide the promised college scholarship to each of the students enrolled.  Stride is operating under Chloe Kaplan, Founder and President and Sabina Breece, Chairperson.  Chloe Kaplan and Sabina Breece dedicate 20 hours per week to growing and building the Stride community.  This includes organizing the annual fundraisers, pursuing grant and funding opportunities, and marketing.  Once the first class of students is accepted into the program in the Fall of 2008, Chloe Kaplan and Sabina Breece, will be directly involved in the students’ progress on a bi-weekly basis.  Washington Irving faculty will be asked to notify Stride leadership of any academic issues that may arise with any of the students.  Stride’s mentors will also be actively involved in each of the student’s growth throughout their high school career and encouraged to maintain a mentor relationship with the student after graduation.

School failure has many causes. However, the single, most common disadvantage of kids who fail is the lack of traditional support in their immediate communities – family, neighborhood, and school.  Historically, poverty in America was overcome by motivated young people. These young people found their incentives in the interlocking networks of adults around them, who cared for them, gave them the encouragement and the help they needed.  We still see this in some of the more cohesive immigrant groups, but it is sadly absent from too many sectors of our society, notably in the inner city schools that have become drop-out factories, and the neighborhoods around them that have become concrete jungles of social, economic, and spiritual neglect.  The Stride idea is to demonstrate that this culture of despair can be reversed, by showing how communities and students can work together to achieve high school success.  Starting extremely small – five students, in one New York City high school, growing to about 40 students over five years and only then branching out toward other high schools, the Stride goal is nonetheless extremely bold and large.  If we want to, we can change the meaning of high school for inner-city kid.

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