A Note about ESPI from Mary Moule, Mom to Ainsley (12th) and Jamie (10th)
Andy McCord, parent of a recent Hunter alum and a past Mosaic co-chair, asked me to share information about this free enrichment and test preparation program available to NYC students from underrepresented neighborhoods and backgrounds. As you can see from his message and the attached newsletter, it’s a really amazing program that has already had positive results in broadening opportunities for students.
I was so inspired today that I printed out 15 copies of the flyer and spent my afternoon running (literally, since it was such a nice day) around to two libraries and nine K-5 and K-8 schools near me in Washington Heights and the Highbridge section of the South Bronx. It was fascinating to see the physical plant and structural organization of different schools in mostly low-income areas. Once, I had to leave the flyer at the security desk, with the promise that it would be passed on. Most often, I was directed to the front office and left it with a secretary. I was able to talk about the program in more detail with two parent coordinators and two guidance counselors. Most of them offered to either post the flyer or copy and distribute to 5th graders (either all 5th graders or those whom they would identify as likely candidates). One school asked me to come back with additional copies (which I will print and deliver). It made me feel great about the ESPI program and about the mission of our public elementary schools and what they can do.
But this isn’t about me. It’s about helping other NYC students get access to the best high schools in the City. If you can drop off a flyer in your local community center or school or distribute to your networks, you can help spread the word. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Here is Andy’s email:
We are now beginning to recruit students and families for our 5th grade program, which begins on February 1, 2020. We would love to have word sent out about this through your networks.
I would be happy to visit schools, clinics, community centers, etc. to meet families.
Your advice and, if you feel that you can honestly give it, your recommendation to students and families will help us to bring in another great class for ESPI as we go into our 5th year.
Our classes are held at the Silberman School of Social Work at 2180 Third Avenue (119th Street).
Students and families can fill out the application form at this link:
Highly qualified students will be called for interviews over the next several weeks. We expect all applications to be processed and admissions offers to be made by January 15. More than anything else what we are looking for in the interview is the willingness of students to commit to full attendance every Saturday from February 1 through April 18 and to regularly complete homework (about two hours per week.) It will be a good amount of challenging work, but it will be interesting!
Students who complete the spring program may continue with ESPI through 8th grade. We will prepare students for admission to Hunter College High School in 6th grade, to the specialized high schools (in 8th grade) as well as connect them to other exciting and high quality programs such as Writopia Lab, Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, the Center for Talented Youth and more.
To learn more about City Smart Scholars, please encourage families to take a look at the attached flyer for the 5th grade program as well as our summer newsletter to donors. You can also watch this video:
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I hope to see your child’s application soon!
Thank you in advance for your help in building ESPI into a program that is up to the standards of our students!
All the best,
ESPI: City Smart Scholars