GO Project helps students reach their full potential


By Albert Amateau

For more than 35 years, the GO Project, founded by parents of the Grace Church School, has been helping struggling students in public elementary schools on the Lower East Side reach their full potential.

Run by Christine Delizza, development director, and Wendy Reynoso, education director, the project at the Grace Church School, 86 Fourth Ave., includes GO Summer, a full-day classroom program for five weeks in the summer and GO Saturday, a school year tutoring program.

“We spend a lot of time on basic skills, reading, writing and math,” Delizza said. The summer project serves about 130 students from 30 schools in the old Community School Districts 1 and 2. Guidance counselors in those schools refer students in grades 1-4 who have difficulties meeting academic standards to the GO Project.

The summer program, with a professional teaching staff, has a 1:5 teacher/student ratio. “We focus on kids who are falling behind their grade levels and we provide small class size — no more than 16 students —to make sure they get the attention they need,” Delizza said.

A highlight of the 2003 GO Summer program was a neighborhood history program conducted by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “It included history and arts components and a tour of Washington Sq.,” said Delizza. “I hope we can do it again next year.”

GO Saturday is a one-on-one program that serves about 60 youngsters from October to the end of April. It depends on a group of dedicated volunteer tutors from the education and corporate communities. The Saturday program is for students who complete the summer program. “But if there’s a child that absolutely needs help we’ll admit him or her,” Delizza said. Both the GO Summer and the GO Saturday programs have full access to Grace Church School facilities including classroom computers.

An important part of the project is GO Families, providing counseling, workshops and referrals as well as a forum where parents air their concerns about their children’s education.

Founded in 1968 by Grace Church School parents who wanted to help public school families in the neighborhood, the GO Project has a board of directors headed by Winthrop Chamberlin, a Grace Church vestry member and board member of the Grace Church School. The project’s co-chairperson is Sally Zunino, a Village resident and an alumni parent of the Grace Church School. The project board also includes education leaders and GO Project parents.

“Our annual budget is roughly $215,000, funded entirely by donations from private foundations, corporations and individuals,” said Delizza. The average cost to bring one student through the GO Summer and GO Saturday programs for a year is $1,180. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support of our many generous supporters.” Delizza said.

For more information, phone 212-533-9844

read our other fine publicatoins:Reader Services

Join our forums | Email our editor | Report Distribution Problems

Read our previous issues

Read our other fine publications: