Pre-K Students Read for the Record October 21, 2014

This morning, SAH students in Ms. Schenelle's pre-K class participated in the Read for the Record event. Our youngest scholars, along with volunteers from our longtime partners at Fiduciary Trust, joined people from across the country in reading the book, Bunny Cakes, by bestselling author and illustrator Rosemary Wells. Read for the Record is a campaign sponsored by Jumpstart, mobilizing millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in this national shared reading experience. 

Friends from Fiduciary Trust: Andrew Guidice, Torlisa Jeffrey, and Ted Klingos

Our volunteers and students read the book together, which is a comical story of sibling bonding and cake ingredient shopping lists. After the reading, the students created shopping lists of their own! 

The 2013 Read for the Record event broke the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day. The final numbers for this year aren't in yet, but Storefront Academy's pre-K students are glad to have been a part of this exciting celebration of reading. Special thanks to our friends at Fiduciary Trust for participating, and for generously providing gift copies of Bunny Cakes to each student in the class.

SAH Alum Jazz Reed Excels at NYU October 2, 2014

Storefront Academy alum Jasmine Reed ('10) has aspired to go to New York University since she was a student here. "NYU was on m list of college dream schools for forever," Jasmine, called Jazz, said. "My first introduction to NYU was through Storefront Academy when we visited the campus for career day. Ever since then, I've been in love."

Jazz Reed

Jazz came to Storefront Academy Harlem in the 6th grade. She said she felt that at Storefront Academy, she was part of a family. "I loved the atmosphere, the staff, and I always felt welcomed." She went on, "the connection I had with my classmates will forever be special to me."

While a student here, Jazz was part of the choir and the girls' basketball team, as well as being a bright student. Teachers and staff recognized her potential, and encouraged her to apply to boarding school. With the help of our high school placement team, Jazz was accepted into Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA.

"It turned out to be a big culture shock," she said. "I went from playing double dutch in the street to going to a place where nobody knew what double dutch was." Jazz explained that SAH instilled in her the importance of being open to different cultures and people. "Being a part of things like the choir and the Women's Mentoring Program, I was able to be exposed to certain events and gatherings and be around people I wouldn't normally get the chance to meet otherwise." She elaborated, "Singing at fancy parties, going to art galleries and interacting with people other than those within my community readied me for the reality I had to face when I went to high school. I had to learn to connect and be able to share and experience with all types of people, from all types of ethnicities and backgrounds."

At Lawrence Academy, she got over the shock, worked hard and became captain of the basketball team, captain of the dance team, a two-year proctor, secretary of the Diversity Club, treasurer in the student government, all while maintaining a high GPA. After scoring well on the SAT, she applied to NYU Stern School of Business with help from the Higher Education Opportunity Program. 

"I applied to 9 colleges, but NYU was the one I was waiting for," Jazz said. "Words cannot describe the feeling of getting that acceptance letter. I had to read it three times and then have other people read it, because I thought it wasn't real," she intimated. "I didn't think it was real until I moved into the dorm and slept in my room for the first night."

Jazz's academic excellence and dynamic leadership qualities earned her several scholarships and grants, paying for all but 3% of her college costs. Congratulations to Jazz on her many achievements, and we wish her success as she continues on her journey. 

Apollo CEO Jonelle Procope to be Featured Guest at Harlem Luncheon September 29, 2014

Click here to register


Storefront Academy Harlem will host its Annual Harlem Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon, October 22nd, at Red Rooster Harlem. This year we are proud to have as our featured guest Jonelle Procope, the President and CEO of the legendary Apollo Theater. SAH students often visit the Apollo to learn about its importance in the Harlem community and its historical and cultural significance to the world. We are excited that Ms. Procope will be honoring us with her presence. 

                     Jonelle Procope

Jonelle Procope joined the Apollo Board of Trustees in 1999 and in 2003 became its President and Chief Executive Officer. She leads an executive team responsible for all operating and strategic functions of the theater. She has focused on the development of the Apollo Theater board and overseen the Apollo's transformation in to a vibrant not-for-profit institution. Ms. Procope has implemented a long range plan for the preservation, restoration, and expansion of the theater. Under her leadership, the Apollo has increased its base of support expanded its education and community programs and embarked on a strategic plan to transform the institution into a 21st century performing arts center through the creation of large-scale artistic initiatives, unique artistic collaborations, and the activation of the brand globally.

Prior to assuming her role as President and CEO of the Apollo, Ms. Procope held a variety of senior positions within the fields of entertainment law and media-related corporate affairs and management. She began her legal career as an associate attorney at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Ms. Procope has been profiled in The New York Times Public Lives column, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to New York City, named as one of Portfolio magazine's 73 Biggest Brains in Business, profiled in Ebony Magazine, and honored by The New York Daily News as one of 100 Women Who Shape Our City.

In addition to being a member of the Apollo Board, Ms. Procope also sits on the boards of New York Public Radio, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center and the 125th Street B.I.D. Landmarks50 Advisory Committee. Ms. Procope received her BA degree from Howard University, her JD from St. Johns University, and is a member of the New York State Bar.

If you would like to join us for our annual luncheon, you can purchase tickets here. For more information on the event, email

Pre-k Students Enjoy First Day at Storefront Academy September 9, 2014

Last week Storefront Academy welcomed back students for the 2014-2015 school year. The pre-k students were especially excited. Our head pre-kindergarten teacher, Ms. Schenelle, sends a weekly newsletter out to parents about the happenings in her classroom. Click here to see the newsletter about the first day of school for our youngest scholars. 

2014 Fall Newsletter September 2, 2014

Storefront Academy Harlem is proud to publish our fall newsletter. It features articles about our new Executive Director Elisa Istueta, information about Storefront Academy Charter School, happenings on campus over the summer and much more. Click on the photo below for the Fall 2014 Upfront at Storefront Academy Harlem Newsletter (PDF).

Back to School Help from Fiduciary Trust August 28, 2014


Jonathan Malawer, Illiana Aviles, Joanna Samperi,         Cynthia DeLeon, Leah Mormando, Joanna Samperi,

Diana Keenan, Maritza Nocella Matt Zikaras, Art         Hillary Clark, Ken O'Brien


Volunteers from our long time partners at Fiduciary Trust were recently on campus to help get the school ready for the new year. A group rolled up their sleeves to brighten up Storfront Academy with fresh paint, and a second wave came to reorganize and restack the shelves of our library. Our school looks fantastic, and the library is ready for our students to discover new adventures through  books. We're so grateful to Fiduciary Trust for their hard work and continued support of out students. 

Storefront Academy Harlem Announces New Executive Director August 11, 2014

Elisa Istueta has been named the new executive director of Storefront Academy Harlem, a tuition-free private school founded in 1966. 

Ms. Istueta brings an impressive skill set to Storefront Academy, having spent a decade as the Department Director of Children and Youth Services for BronxWorks, a longstanding social service agency serving 35,000 Bronx residents every years. Her extensive experience in program development and expansion planning included spearheading the organization's co-founding of the Jill Chaifetz Transfer High School for over-age, under-credited students. Ms. Istueta is a longtime Harlem resident and also a founding member of the Bronx Opportunity Network, helping increase persistence and college graduation rates for community college students. Prior to BronxWorks, Ms. Istueta worked as Deputy Director of Family Preservation Programs at The Valley, Inc.

"I'm very excited to be joining Storefront Academy Harlem as its Executive Director," Ms. Istueta said. "The school has a rich history of offering extraordinary educational opportunities to high-needs children, and I'm looking forward to strengthening its already impressive legacy."

At Storefront Academy Harlem, Ms. Istueta will work closely with senior leadership and the Board of Trustees to expand the school's impact and its reach in to underserved communities. Among her first priorities will be overseeing the launch of Storefront Academy Charter School in the South Bronx, approved by the Charter Schools Committee at SUNY to launch in fall 2015. 

"Elisa is a wonderful addition to Storefront Academy's close community of dedicated educators and supporters." said Ray Cameron, Chairman of the Storefront Academy Harlem Board of Trustees. "She is a dynamic leader with a clear vision for the future of Storefront Academy. Our Board of Trustees looks forward to working with Elisa to help us grow in our role as leaders in the field of urban education."

Ms. Istueta graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia Teachers College. 

10th Annual Summer Street Fair July 29, 2014


Balloons encourage "Dream Big" at the Summer Street Fair, sponsored by Orrick. 

On Thursday, July 24th, the weather was perfect for Storefront Academy Harlem's 10th Annual Summer Street Fair. One of the most anticipated event of the year, the street fair was sponsored, organized and run by our partners at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP. The fair included face painting, games, prizes, barbecue, an ice cream sundae bar, and even the Orrick Idol Karaoke contest! Storefront Academy Harlem also welcomed students from other summer programs in the community. Thanks to all our friends at Orrick for making this day fun for our students and everyone who came to the event.  To see more pictures, visit the Storefront Academy Facebook Photo Album

Purifoy Runs Marathon to Benefit Storefront Academy July 21, 2014

 "I feel that Nelson Mandela said it perfectly, that 'education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,'" stated Kirsty Purifoy.

Ms. Purifoy is a member of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, running the TCS NYC Marathon in November to benefit the school. She lives in Dallas, where she works as an occupational therapist, working with adults in acute care.

Kirsty Purifoy, runner

"My love of running started later in life," Ms. Purifoy confided. "I started getting serious about it the past few years, completing my first half marathon at 40, my second at 41, and I'm looking forward to my first full marathon at 42. It is something that I've always wanted to do!"

Ms. Purifoy has recently started a marathon training program in Dallas to help prepare her for the NY race. "It's been great to get professional thoughts on how to enhance my running ability."

Being the mother of an 8 year old daughter and a 5 year old son, Ms. Purifoy knows how priceless education is.

"By supporting this cause, my hope is that Storefront Academy will provide a model for more schools everywhere, even here in my home town of Dallas," Ms. Purifoy said. "I believe fostering a love of learning in students will extend throughout their lives, positively impacting families, communities and society, making our world a better place."

We are grateful to have Ms. Purifoy as part of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, and wish her tremendous luck!

Our runners have each pledged to raise $2,500 for the school. To help Kirsty Purifoy reach her fundraising goal for Storefront Academy, visit her donor page

Slifer Runs Marathon to Benefit Storefront Academy July 17, 2014

 John Slifer is one of several athletes in training to run the TCS NYC Marathon in the fall, benefiting Storefront Academy Harlem.

"I found out about Storefront Academy though the NYC Marathon website," Mr. Slifer said. "I was focused on raising money to benefit education, something that I strongly believe in, and Storefront Academy is a perfect fit."

John Slifer, runner

Mr. Slifer is a Senior Manager of Global Merchant Pricing at American Express, He's been running regularly for about 13 years, and the NYC race will be his third marathon. "It's been 6 years since my last one. The other marathons I competed in were of a much smaller scale, in terms of production and notoriety."

His training schedule has been a challenge this summer since he's been traveling so much, but he's been able to rise to the challenge and remain dedicated to the task. "I'm following a program that a few of my friends used when they ran the marathon. I run a few miles a day, Monday through Thursday, then I do a longer run on Saturday or Sunday, 10-15 miles."

Mr. Slifer believes in Storefront Academy and our mission. He recently took a tour of our campus and saw our amazing faculty and students in action. "It was a wonderful experience and I feel honored to be running to support this amazing school."

We are grateful to have Mr. Slifer as a member of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, and wish him tremendous luck!

Our runners have each pledged to raise $2,500 for our school. To help John Slifer reach his fundraising goal for Storefront Academy, visit his donor page here.