Back to School — But More Than Business as Usual

I am amazing. I am powerful. I am ENOUGH.

These words aren’t from a teen self-help book, or an X-Men movie. They are, however, part of the narrative that will inform the coming-of-age story of our own 9th grade super heroes. As we closed out the first official week at East Harlem Scholars Academy High, the school philosophy of “Love. Liberate. Heal.” imbued every space. For the school, it is much more than a slogan — it is the words from which every interaction is formed.

“Thinking about people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., thinking about the civil rights movement, I don’t believe that any large task can get done without self-love, community love …. love to me is the root of everything,” said Tammy Myers, founding principal of East Harlem Scholars Academy High School. “In order to grow, it is the seeds, the roots, the sunshine.” Delve into the meaning of  liberate and heal with her, and you’ll quickly understand why scholars have taken to these words.

“When I first heard Love, Liberate, Heal, it made me feel safe to be in my community,” said Shaylynn, a founding scholar. “Those three words gave me hope that we can make things better.”

Our inaugural class will experience a project-based curriculum that connects the classroom to the community in socially relevant, culturally conscious ways. “We are launching our high school with a leadership team of bold, bright, and brave women,” said Dr. Robert S. Harvey, superintendent and managing director of East Harlem Scholars Academies. “We are saying ‘yes’ to visionary thinking in the classroom as we create a community-based, college-bound, transformative network of schools committed to the practice of freedom.”

At any Scholars Academy, academics are key, and the high school is no exception. Students will earn full Regents diplomas and enjoy an array of Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Through instruction derived from the school themes of social justice and community change, they will also develop an activist mindset and real-world experience. All of this sets the course for our scholars becoming the next generation of problem-solvers and thought leaders.

As they create the space where they can exercise their inherent brilliance, our founders will know that “there are tools within their reach that they are capable of using every day, so they can thrive and define success for themselves,” said Principal Myers. But perhaps most importantly, “I want our scholars to be able to experience joy every day.”

Joceltn Gonzalez
Star Scholar

Shaylynn, 14, may have just started a new school, but she is no stranger to the East Harlem Scholars family. A student who joined East Harlem Scholars Elementary in first grade, the 9th grader shares her feelings and hopes about the new year:

EHTP: You’ve been with us a while! How was the move up to high school? 

Shaylynn:  It was amazing and so exciting. I like having each class with scholars who came from other middle schools and meeting unique people. I also like having houses and being more hands-on in building hobbies and clubs.

EHTP:  What is your favorite thing about school?

Shaylynn: My favorite thing is receiving an education and getting to know new teachers and students. Going to school is one thing I know can make me successful. I want to pass each class with an average of 80 percent or higher and make it to honor roll each semester.

EHTP:  What does Love, Liberate, Heal mean to you? 

Shaylynn:  When I first heard Love, Liberate, Heal, it made me feel safe to be in my community. Those three words gave me hope that we can make things better, on our terms, with our behavior, and through our mindset. We strive to help one another, not only inside our school but outside in our community.

EHTP:  Tell us one fun fact about you.

Shaylynn:  I like to play a lot of sports — basketball, soccer, volleyball and softball — and do  activities with friends, but when I am in a quiet place alone, I like to read and draw.

EHTP:  Any advice?

Shaylynn:  Don’t listen to what other people have to say. Love yourself and love who you are. At the end of the day it’s your mind and your body; hold yourself to your highest standards and don’t let anyone create obstacles for you; God has built you to overcome and power through.

Joceltn Gonzalez
East Harlem Heroes Day Our EHTP ‘Family’ Keeps Growing!
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The rich legacy of El Barrio can be felt at East Harlem Scholars Academies through a tradition that was started eight years ago. East Harlem Heroes Day was created to pay homage to the individuals who have made an impact in the community and serve as role models for the students who will become the next generation of change-makers. 

This year’s honorees included Francheska ‘Hey Fran Hey’ Medina, wellness advocate; Adrienne Alverio, EHTP alum and founder of Red Carpet Curls; Justice Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court; James Baldwin, renowned novelist, playwright and activist; Evlina López Antonetty, civil rights activist; Nicholasa Mohr, children’s book author; Javier Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road NY and Eric Velasquez, children’s book author. 

These Heroes joined an impressive roster of their peers and predecessors -- among the 43  include renowned writers, artists and activists the likes of Maya Angelou, Julia de Burgos, Celia Cruz, Langston Hughes, Tito Puente, Hiram Maristany and more. As scholars celebrated Heroes in the classrooms named in their honor, the Heroes had the chance to ignite the curiosity and imagination of our youth, and inspire them to strive for the best. 

Maristany, a master photographer whose Smithsonian collection documents scenes of East Harlem life, described efforts to capture some of his most well-known images and urged scholars in his classroom to take advantage of their education: “Use this time well. Dream big. Work hard. And try your best to do your best.”


There’s nothing like building love through a network of individuals who are committed to our scholar’s educational and personal growth. As our Heroes joined scholars at Community Circle, and walked the halls of our elementary, middle and newly-opened high school, they had a chance to share their personal journeys with scholars.  


Medina, a Harlem-based voice of conscious day-to-day living, advised the 9th graders on how to be successful and navigate the world: “No one has gone through what you’ve gone through or can share your story the way in which you can. Your story is your energy signature and it’s your responsibility to share it authentically.” 

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Trevor Baldwin, nephew of James Baldwin, answered thoughtful questions from high schoolers who read his uncle’s “The Fire Next Time”: “I’m always proud to represent my Uncle Jimmy and being with you today, let’s me know his legacy continues. I’m so inspired by your school’s motto, ‘Love, Liberate, Heal,’ and cannot wait to see how you will carry the torch to transform our communities.”


We’d like to welcome our 2019 Heroes to the EHTP fold, and to a community that is much richer than the sum of its parts. As Hero Orlando Ortiz put it, EHTP means one thing: “Mi familia.

Joceltn Gonzalez
Why My Family Celebrates #EHTP60

Both my children attend East Harlem Scholars Academy, an East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) school. Everyone here is focused on my kids having the tools and support they need to achieve their goals. The teachers care about academics, but they also care that my children are excited about learning. And they are always thinking about new ideas that help support my family.

I love that my kids enjoy coming to school. My 7th grade son wants to have perfect attendance. He feels that his teachers encourage him to have a voice and to stand up for what he believes in. Scholars Academy is helping my son understand what it means to be a leader. This generation will be heard!

Scholars Academy inspires our children and gives them what they need to succeed. The classrooms are named after heroes from the community and students believe they can be anything they want to be.

As EHTP celebrates its 60th anniversary, I hope you will consider making a contribution to support our children.

Thank you,
Arlene Goden

Christopeher Sanborn
RSVP for our Second Annual Learning Session, “Beyond Diversity: The Path Towards Racial Equity at East Harlem Scholars Academies”

Our anti-racism work is inspired by our commitment to create a world where our students can thrive. Join the conversation about issues and challenges in achieving racial equity in the classroom at “Beyond Diversity: The Path Towards Racial Equity at East Harlem Scholars Academies” on Thursday, April 26 at 9:00 a.m., East Harlem Scholars Academy, 2050 Second Avenue at 105th Street. RSVP now at

During the learning session our school leaders and teachers will discuss strategies to support a school-wide culture that reflects racial equity. The program will include:

> Insights from our elementary and middle school teams about our progress and challenges.

> Overview of our restorative practices work and how the model connects to our mission.

> Opportunities to connect with colleagues committed to ensuring racial equity in classrooms.

Refreshments will be provided.

>Sign up today at

East Harlem Scholars Academies are public charter schools operated by East Harlem Tutorial Program, a community-based organization founded in 1958.

For more information contact Julio Negron at [email protected].

Christopeher Sanborn
New Learning Session for Leadership Teams: “Beyond Diversity: The Path Towards Racial Equity at East Harlem Scholars Academies”

Join us for a special event “Beyond Diversity: The Path Towards Racial Equity at East Harlem Scholars Academies” on Thursday, June 7 at 5:00 p.m. to hear about how and why we are so invested in social justice and racial equity and lessons we continue to learn along the way. This event is focused on broader organizational strategies and implementation and is therefore most applicable for executives, school- and systems-level leaders.

During the session we will:
• Discuss strategies to support an organizational culture that embodies racial equity.
• Hear insights from our senior leaders about our progress and challenges.
• Learn about why we began our restorative practices work and how the model connects to our mission.
• Connect with other leaders committed to ensuring racial equity in schools and other non-profits.

We hope you will join the conversation. RSVP to reserve your spot at

Christopeher Sanborn
Become an Effective Teacher: Apply to the East Harlem Teaching Residency

Apply today to join the 2018-19 Teaching Residency cohort at

“The Teaching Residency truly prepared me to be a successful and impactful lifelong teacher. Dozens of lesson plans, 22 third-grade students, two outstanding coaches, and one graduate degree later, I can truly say I am becoming the teacher I always wanted to be.” – Ashley, Teaching Resident, Cohort 2.

Whether you are a recent college graduate, or considering a career change, the East Harlem Teaching Residency will prepare you to be a highly effective teacher. Program highlights include:

  1. 14-month subsidized master’s degree in childhood education in partnership with Hunter College;

  2. Classroom training with a mentor teacher in East Harlem Scholars Academies;

  3. Experience leading an EHTP after-school classroom for district public school students.

    Additional benefits include approximately $6,000 from the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award; subsidized health insurance; paid vacation; financial aid guidance; laptop and mobile phone; and job placement support.

    If you are mission-driven and passionate about transforming educational outcomes for students, we invite you to apply to the East Harlem Teaching Residency. In partnership with Hunter College School of Education and AmeriCorps, this highly selective program develops, supports, and certifies aspiring educators to become confident, high-impact elementary teachers in public and charter schools in New York. The East Harlem Teaching Residency is a program of East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP), a community-based organization serving East Harlem since 1958. The 2018-19 Teaching Residency cohort begins June 1, 2018.

    Apply today at

    For more information, visit or contact [email protected].

Christopeher Sanborn