ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Changing the Culture of Poverty
Children of the City (COC) is a not-for-profit charitable organization that has been in existence for 25 years. We are reaching underprivileged children in the inner city communities of South Brooklyn (Sunset Park and surrounding neighborhoods) – communities that are predominantly Hispanic and are living at or below the poverty level. Since our inception in 1981, we have reached countless thousands of children. To date we are reaching an average of 2,000 children per year and 1,100 children and youth on a monthly basis. The community we work in has long been known for its struggle to break free from the cycles of poverty.
One very alarming statistic of our community that depicts the seriousness of this challenge is the recent high school drop out rate of 48% which is becoming increasingly worse and exacerbated by the recent change in the public school curriculum. This curriculum works well with children from economically secure families with well-educated parents who have the academic and financial strength to see that their children are coached through schoolwork and testing. The children that COC serves do not have this advantage. Most of their parents speak very little English, and to add to the challenge, many of these children are raised in single parent homes, and are often traumatized by abuse, molestation, neglect and abandonment. They suffer from poor self-esteem and lack support systems to help them combat these challenges. COC is one of the only support systems in place to help them overcome the tremendous barriers that keep them isolated and destined to continue the cycles of poverty and abuse.
One program we have established to address this need is our after school and summer tutoring/mentoring program. Our aim is to strengthen the academic skills of the child while addressing the social issues that distract and discourage them from successfully completing their education. Our tutors are college students from similar backgrounds who have forged ahead and know firsthand the difficulties these children are up against.
Children of the City’s mission is to reach at-risk inner city children and youth with hope, guidance and resources to positively affect their lives and communities, breaking the cycle of poverty and its effects.