A child living in poverty faces multiple environmental, social, and physical barriers to academic success — Zone 126 exists to break down those barriers. The organization works to ensure that children in Astoria and Long Island City’s concentrated pockets of poverty receive the cradle-to-career support they need to ultimately thrive in the workforce. Zone 126 brings a variety of programs to the community including City Growers’ farming education program, City Year New York’s academic intervention services, Child Center of New York’s school-based mental health clinics, City Harvest’s mobile market, and the Office of Adult and Continuing Education’s (OACE) classes for adults. Zone 126 evaluates their impact on the academic achievement and socio-emotional gains of participating children and families and then uses this data to drive improvement.
During 2013, the first year that plans were implemented and evaluated, Zone 126 served 252 children and their families. In 2014, Zone 126 is projected to expand nearly fourfold to serve 1,000 children and their families in 10 schools.