Turnaround for Children is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2002 to help poverty-stricken children and schools succeed. Turnaround for Children partners with some of the most impoverished schools in New York and Washington, DC, and works to transform them into “calm, effective learning environment[s].” In a time when one in four children in the United States is being raised in poverty, the need for effective and innovative programs is greater than ever before.
The organization is currently partnered with 20 and is exploring expansion options in Baltimore and Newark. Its partnerships are determined through a mutual selection process, and selected schools agree to hire and pay a full-time social worker to work with students and staff. Turnaround partners with local mental health providers and deploys a team to work intensively with the schools for between 3 and 5 years.
This team consists of a Social Work Consultant, and Instructional Coach, and a Program Director. Together, they help the school build a student support system to help children in need; train teachers in classroom management and instructional strategies to combat poverty-specific challenges like disruption and engagement; and strengthen the school’s leadership and achievement expectations.
“Some people believe we must fix poverty in order to fix public schools,” Turnaround writes. “We do not. We believe poverty presents profound but predictable and recurring challenges to students, teachers, and schools. This enables us to design a targeted, precise intervention to address them.”
Now Turnaround is preparing for its “Turnaround Impact Awards Dinner,” which will honor Goldman Sachs Gives for its generous giving spirit. The Goldman Sachs has a vast array of projects that it gives money to, features on its website, and encourages community members to get involved with. Past award recipients include Goldie Hawn, Joel Klein, John Legend and Merryl Tisch, among others.
This year’s gala will be held on Tuesday, April 30th. John Legend will give a special guest performance, along with some of the children involved with Turnaround. Speakers will include Joel Klein, Katherine Bradley, and Pamela Cantor. Chairs for the event include notable New Yorkers such as Cristina & Chris Cuomo, Lauren & Andres Santo Domingo, and Stephanie & David Wolkoff.
As of Monday, March 18th, Turnaround had already raised $835,650 of its $1.2 million or more goal. Tickets to the event are still available for purchase, ranging in price from $1,000-$2,500 per person. Full 10-person tables can also be purchased for $10,000-$50,000 each. Those interested in supporting Turnaround for Children can also make individual donations online.