Haven Kids Rock

The Imprint reports on Haven Kids Rock, our after-school program based out of Haven Academy, as they perform their new show – Shelter Me, The Musical. 

Read more at The Imprint

The curtain rose Wednesday night in Midtown on ‘Shelter Me,’ a very special music written and starring teens from the south Bronx, telling real-life stories of children in New York City’s shelter system, Fox 5 News reports.

Read more at Fox 5 NY, or watch the video report below:

NY1 Noticias reports on Haven Kids Rock’s latest show – Shelter Me, The Musical. Reporter Jean Paul Davila spoke to two of the show’s young performers, as well as Nef Jones and Jimi Bones – the program’s founders and leaders.

Watch and learn more on NY1 Noticias

Haven Academy

The Imprint recently reported on the opening of the NYC Department of Education’s new office for students in foster care, and the importance of improving educational outcomes for young people in care – highlighting The Foundling’s education programs, including Haven Academy.

“For children who were removed from their home and are now in an educational setting, dealing with that trauma, and trying to focus in school is extremely difficult,” said Melanie Hartzog, president of The New York Foundling. The Foundling-supported charter school in the Bronx, Mott Haven Academy, is unique in its approach. It is believed to be the first and only school in the country created specifically for children in foster care, with specially trained staff and goals centered on students’ emotional needs as well as their academics.

Read more at The Imprint

Jessica Nauiokas New Leaders

“Now is the right time to think through what we have learned and what we have not yet done,” reflects Jessica Nauiokas in a new piece on New Leaders’ website.  “It’s a real opportunity for us to go into the next school year with an even stronger handle on how we can deepen our practice. This time of year is refreshing in schools. It’s a time of growth.” In this interview, the New Leaders team sat down with Jessica to learn more about what inspires her and her team to keep evolving.

Read more at New Leaders



In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, News 12’s Zhane Caldwell spoke with one Brooklyn college student who is prepping to cross the graduation stage in days about her upbringing and how the College Choice program (part of our Fostering College Success Initiative) provided what was needed to succeed.

Watch and read more on News 12

Haven Academy

In a new op-ed published by The 74, Melanie Hartzog (The Foundling’s President & CEO) and Jessica Nauiokas (Haven Academy Co-Founder & Head of School) write about the unique model employed by Mott Haven Academy Charter School – our Pre-K-8th grade school in the Bronx. With a rare focus on serving children and families impacted by the child welfare system, the school features robust staffing, social services, structure — & the flexibility to cater to students’ needs.

Read more on The 74

The Imprint reports on Haven Academy, our pre-K – 8th grade charter school in Mott Haven.

“Mott Haven Academy Charter School is believed to be the first school in the country created specifically for children in foster care, and likely one of the few in existence. Its foundational goals can be found inside and outside the classroom, where the children’s emotional needs are as important as their academics,” author Madison Hunt writes.

Read more at The Imprint

Haven Academy

Young people in the foster care system have historically been failed by public schools – in New York, studies show that 1 in 5 kids that have foster care involvement in high school do not graduate, and 80% are not proficient in reading or math. At The Foundling, our education programs continually provide targeted support to help students beat these odds.

When we opened Mott Haven Academy Charter School – a school dedicated exclusively to this work – in 2008, we took on a mission no one had ever attempted before. Located in Mott Haven, one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the nation, the school was explicitly designed for families in the child welfare system and the surrounding South Bronx community – aiming to remove the barriers to academic success that these children often experience.

As the first school in the nation specifically targeting the child welfare population, we were tasked with building a first-of-its-kind model from the ground up. And over the past 14 years, we have achieved remarkable growth and success. Haven Academy has grown from two classrooms into a full-scale Pre-K – 8th grade charter school, educating 500 students per year. We have instituted a trauma-informed approach that supports children and families both in the classroom and at home, created a social-emotional curriculum that teaches life skills, and have seen our students academically outperform other public schools on the district, city, and state levels.

It’s now time to share what we’ve learned. Last year, we conducted an in-depth research project – including interviews with staff and experts, reviews of Haven documents and materials, analysis of Haven data and data from other schools and government sources – to codify what makes Haven Academy work and how other schools and organizations can apply this model to their own communities.

Through this research, we’ve determined a number of data points, defined key characteristics, and documented how to replicate the model in additional communities.

Read our report summary:


Want to learn more? Download the full report here. Please contact development@havenacademy.org with any questions.

Welcome Camp Felix

Camp Felix, our overnight summer camp, is a magical place. For the children in our programs, the streets of New York City are often all they know – there often isn’t the opportunity to experience nature, much less spend a week in the woods at camp. Many are growing up in difficult circumstances – and lack the chance to just relax and be a kid.

Camp Felix, which we’ve operated in partnership with the Felix Organization since 2006, provides children and adolescents in the child welfare system with a rewarding overnight camp experience. Running in August for one-week sessions, our participants have the chance to attend a summer camp with their peers, make memories, learn new skills, explore new surroundings, and build self-confidence. Our current location – located in Sandyston, NJ – features swimming, boating, fishing, a ropes course, and more!

Like all of The Foundling’s programs and services, Camp Felix seeks to build community and forge support systems for those we serve. Campers and counselors form strong bonds that are reinforced through camp reunions and repeat visits – providing the children we serve with the confidence to reach for their dreams.

Meet our Camp Felix Campers

Meet Kenneth, a former Camp Felix counselor

Your support is essential to this work. Your gift this holiday season will allow us to continue bringing camp experiences and other essential programs to New York children and families.

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