At Storefront Academy, we pride ourselves on producing graduates who are academically prepared for future education and who are well-rounded individuals with a strong sense of self and an understanding of the world around them. Our focus on strategic nurturing demands that we provide individually tailored social and emotional supports for every student.
Close relationships with students and families are a source of pride for all of Storefront Academy’s faculty and administration and essential to our ability to serve the whole child and whole family. This tight-knit community is essential to Storefront Academy’s whole child approach, allowing staff to identify and respond quickly to student struggles at home and while in school. Our responsive nature and nurturing approach assures that every child can focus on learning in the classroom, and our Principal’s open door policy promises that student concerns and conflicts are always addressed.
Key components of our targeted approach to strategically nurturing every child include:
Counseling and Case Work
Each Storefront Academy school employs a full-time Licensed Social Worker (often working with social work interns and volunteers) who provides individual or group counseling sessions and workshops for students and teachers. She also works in collaboration with families in response to student needs and in the case of unexpected life events, coordinating family meetings and referring families to resources and organizations to help assure a solution. As a full-time staff person, the social worker provides both proactive and reactive support to children and families, and maintains long-term relationships with all members of the Storefront Academy community in order to best identify and respond to social and emotional needs.
Storefront Academy’s core values, concern for others, respect, honesty, perseverance, responsibility, and diligence, are highlighted at monthly assemblies, are the basis for conflict resolution unit plans across all grades, and are the cornerstone of Storefront Academy’s school-wide behavior management system. Our core values are designed to strengthen self-understanding and give every student the tools they need to manage and respond to conflicts and appreciate diversity.
Women’s and Men’s Mentoring Programs
Our Mentoring Programs for 7th and 8th grade students are designed to expand our students’ horizons and prepare them for admission into high-performing private, boarding, parochial, and specialty public high schools. All 7th and 8th grade students participate in regular group mentoring activities on weekends and during and after the school day, which can include panel discussions with industry professionals, preparation for high school placement applications and interviews, workshops on addressing common challenges for adolescents, fun-filled outings to local museums and shows, and an annual career day. In addition, our Women’s Mentoring Program pairs every 7th and 8th grade female student with an adult mentor for weekly mentoring sessions during lunchtime.
Storefront Academy Harlem has a number of alliances and partnerships with organizations that enable us to respond to all the health and social/emotional needs of our students and their families. These unions include: Harlem Hospital Center (for counseling and general health issues); the Salvation Army (which offers social workers to families in need); and Resurrection House (which provides emergency food to families in need). We also have a working relationship with the Helen B. Atkinson Health Clinic and Mt. Sinai Hospital. In addition, we partner with the Northside Center for Child Development, which provides education and mental health services to children and families and with the Center for Attention and Learning at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Storefront Academy partners with many corporations and individuals who give their time to support Storefront Academy students. Corporate partners include Caxton Associates; Fiduciary Trust; JP Morgan; Macro Risk Advisors; Morgan Stanley; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; and Travelers Insurance. Individual volunteers give their time by volunteering in classrooms, in our library, with our extended day program, as mentors, as tutors, and more. Click here to read more about volunteering with Storefront Academy.
All classes in grades Pre-K through 5th integrate conflict resolution lessons into weekly classroom instruction. Teaching assistants in lower grades lead lessons focused on communication, incorporating Storefront Academy’s core values.
Middle School Advisory
All middle school students (grades 6-8) meet weekly with a faculty advisor in small, gender-based groups using the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum focused on teaching conflict resolution and communications skills for adolescents and preparing them to make smart life choices.
Partnering with the NYC Commission on Human Rights, Storefront Academy 7th graders are trained to be school-wide peer mediators. The 10-week long program prepares students to assist their peers in resolving differences before they escalate, and is grounded in the principles that underlie the Human Rights Law – tolerance, human dignity, and respect.
Storefront Academy students learn the value of giving back to their community with regular lessons focused on volunteering and Storefront Academy core value, concern for others. Middle school students participate in a service learning project each year, and students in lower grades regularly take part in volunteer projects with local community organizations.