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Mel's Outreach Programs

For the last 14 years, co-founder, Melvin Kaplan, has served on the board of Aspire Public Schools and is current Director of its Advisory Board. In that time Aspire has expanded to include 34 schools and over 14,000 students K-12. Its students have been accepted to two four-year colleges after graduating high school. Its success rate has climbed to 98% college acceptance graduating 324 in June 2013.

Under Mel's direction the HSF Foundation is working with others to develop after school programs to serve the most vulnerable students. These programs are structured to provide a balance of academic support and enrichment; and a safe place with caring adults in collaboration with community organizations, for profits, educators, and volunteer groups.

Over the years, co-founder, Melvin Kaplan, has advocated a broader view of education-beyond just preparing kids for college. The Foundation co-sponsored a project to develop a movie to show what a single young person may accomplish in a non-academic social setting. The Little Red Wagon has been recently released in movie theaters. Other similar projects may follow.

Mel has seen to it that the Foundation continues to sponsor Character Education programs on many levels. It is currently attempting to create a non-profit educational cable network focused on the stories of authentic heroes and role models via Character.org, a national education organization.

Encorps has been another Foundation supported program whose mission is to fill the ranks of science and math teachers from the ranks of retirees. The program has been able to attract sufficient candidates to result in hundreds of successful transitions.

HSF has also been a major supporter of African schools by providing scholarships for outstanding students to study beyond grade 6.

The latest program of Harry Singer Foundation New Zealand is TeachFirst New Zealand. TeachFirst and The University of Auckland are developing an innovative program to tackle educational inequality, by attracting top university graduates to teach in hard-to-staff positions in low-decile secondary schools. The program is inspired by the successful Teach First program in Britain, but is specifically adapted to the New Zealand context.

Currently the Foundation is working with others to establish community centers, sponsoring pre-K parent-oriented teaching programs and after school athletic programs for children through their high school years. He is also looking forward to results From HSFs involvement in a new project; the Accelerator Learning Program.

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