Harlem Children's Zone


Geographic Reach

97 blocks in Harlem, NY Geographic Reach of Harlem Children's Zone

HCZ in the News

Harlem Children’s Zone works to “rebuild the very fabric of community life” through a comprehensive set of programs that engage local residents and stakeholders in providing a safe learning environment and positive opportunities for children and families in New York’s Harlem community.

HCZ began as a one-block pilot program of wraparound services for schoolchildren in Harlem. Today it covers nearly 100 city blocks, serving thousands. A Time magazine video calls it a  "New Harlem Renaissance."

Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) provides a "conveyor belt" of services that extends from birth through college.

This includes workshops for parents of young children, early childhood education, public charter schools, collaborations with and support for traditional public schools, afterschool and summer enrichment programming for youth, and help for teens to gain access to and graduate from college.

The organization was one of EMCF's first partners (and grantees) as the Foundation developed its investment approach. Since 1997, its scope has enlarged from 24 blocks to 97 blocks in Central Harlem.

The U.S. Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods initiative seeks to replicate the HCZ model in other communities across the country.


EMCF has invested $33.7 million in HCZ since 1979.

In 2011, EMCF made a four-year, $15 investment towards HCZ's $80 million growth capital campaign to support its 2011-2014 growth and sustainability plan.


Why does our education system look so similar to the way it did 50 years ago? Millions of students were failing then, as they are now -- and it’s because we’re clinging to a business model that clearly doesn’t work. In a TED Talk broadcast on PBS, Geoffrey Canada dares the system to look at the data, think about the customers and make systematic shifts in order to help greater numbers of kids excel.