Harlem Children's Zone

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.

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.

2014 Highlights

  • Anne Williams-Isom succeeded founder Geoffrey Canada as CEO.
  • It received a grant from EMCF to support implementation of its 2014-2017 "Bridge to Self-Sustaining Community" plan to strengthen Harlem Children's Zone long-term sustainability. 

  • Harlem Children’s Zone more than doubled the number of youth served by its Healthy Harlem initiative and reached nearly 5,900 young people with this nutrition and fitness program.
  • The new Promise Academy Charter School and Westside Community Center opened, serving nearly 1,000 students and residents of the St. Nicholas Houses neighborhood.

Youth Served

Revenue (in millions)

Note: Beginning in 2010, HCZ's revenue includes totals from Promise Academy charter schools. Actual revenue totals include contributions to HCZ's capital and endowment campaigns.


High school students passing 75% of core classes (Math, Science, Social Studies, English), enabling them to progress with their age group toward graduation.
  • Legend:
  • Actual
  • Projected