Harlem Gems® is the final step in our early childhood pipeline. A top-notch, year-round, full-day pre-kindergarten program, Gems works with 240 children across four sites to ensure that each and every one enters kindergarten school-ready. With five staff in each classroom, classes have a 4:1 child-to-adult ratio, allowing for more one-on-one work and ensuring that students receive the individualized attention they need. Gems staff also encourage strong family involvement, engaging parents and caregivers in classroom activities and creating consistency between home and school.
Early literacy skills are a primary focus of the Gems curriculum. Students are immersed in language—and not just English. They also learn basic vocabulary in French and Spanish, and get to know and explore the world around them through exposure to a range of disciplines—from math, science, and technology to social studies and the arts. They participate in fun fitness activities, playing sports such as golf and tennis, and even learn the basics of health and nutrition, including how to differentiate “go,” “slow,” and “whoa” foods to foster healthy eating habits.
From recreation to reading, our goal is to turn our Gems into lifelong learners. And we reinforce the ultimate goal—college graduation—early and often. Each Gems classroom is named after a prestigious college or university, at once setting a high bar for the future and fostering a culture of academic excellence.