Liberty Partnerships Program - Project PRIZE

Project Prize logo 30 years

Partnering To Create A Brighter Future

On May 19 2019, the Liberty Partnerships Program – Project PRIZE celebrated its thirty year anniversary commemorated by a luncheon in the Student Union for students, parents, staff and community partners. Project PRIZE began serving middle and high school students at Queensborough in 1989 and since then has successfully provided college and career preparation services to thousands of students in Queens and the neighboring boroughs. Students have gone on to achieve success in various fields such as law, social work and medicine.

Funded by the New York State Education Department, funding levels have varied annually but despite these challenges, the program continues to implement effective afterschool, summer and Saturday programming, offering support in basic academic skills, S.T.E.M, the Arts, sports, cultural enrichment and college and career readiness.

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About Us

Project PRIZE is a Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) funded by the New York State Education Department. 2014 was an important 25th year in the program's history and development. Through a wide variety of activities sponsored collaboratively by Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York and schools in Queens, students in Project PRIZE receive at least six hours a week of additional guidance and instruction to help make their middle and high school years as productive as possible.

The program serves approximately 320 students per year in grades 5-12. Principals, guidance counselors, and parents refer young people to LPP who are at risk of dropping out of school due to poor academic performance, low attendance in school, family circumstances, negative peer pressure, and other factors.

Because it is the goal of Project PRIZE to help students realize their dreams, its name was taken from the documentary Eyes on the Prize, which describes the goals of the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Liberty Partnerships Program: Ensuring Excellence and Opportunity

LPP provides students enrolled in grades 5-12 with services designed to improve their ability to graduate from high school and enter post secondary education and the workforce.

Challenges

  • Disparity between resources available to students in high-need communities and high expectations for their performance.
  • Increased demand for high-quality academic interventions that will close the performance gap among students.
  • Increased demand for innovative social interventions that will reduce or eliminate the developmental impact of poverty on learners.
  • Insufficient funding to serve burgeoning at-risk population.
  • 50% of incoming LPP students exhibit "poor academic performance" with another 23% referred for experiencing "negative peer pressure". Other major issues include "behavioral problems" and "negative changes in family circumstances".

Keys to Success

  • Visionary statewide and local strategic plans.
  • 12 month comprehensive programs and services that promote educational and personal excellence among at-risk youth.
  • Effective K-16 articulation.
  • Professional development grants that facilitate innovations in academic and social intervention.
  • Collaborative venues for generating systemic and sustained resources for at-risk students and high need schools.
  • Parent/extended community involvement.

Regents Goals

  • All students will meet high standards for academic performance and personal behavior. Students will also be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by a dynamic world.
  • The public will be served by qualified, ethical professionals who remain current with the best practice in their field and reflect the diversity of New York State.
  • Education, information and cultural resources will be available to all people.

Benefits

  • LPP will maintain its status as an effective drop-out prevention program.
  • LPP students will have improved abilities to achieve higher learning standards.
  • LPP graduates will be prepared for the rigors of post secondary education and the workforce.
  • Academic intervention strategies of partner schools will be enhanced.

Successes

  • Last year over 11,600 at-risk middle and high schools received services through LPP.
  • Last year, LPP provided over 527,330 hours of support services for an average of 46 hours per student. Of that, 173,000 hours, or an average of 15 hours per student, were focused on academic immersion. In addition, students received an average of 10 hours of case management.
  • Activities include one-on-one tutoring, mentoring, case management, counseling, college, career and cultural exploration activities.
  • Last year, 95% of LPP participants either graduated from high school or were promoted to the next grade.
  • Of those who graduated, 86% had plans to enter college or the workforce.
  • Of the college-bound graduates, the majority had plans to attend institutions in New York State.
  • Of a population of over 11,600 students at risk of dropping out of school, only 42 actually dropped out (0.4%).

Continue to show support for Project PRIZE and LPP - programs that truly make a difference!

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