Hip Hip Hooray, Hip Hip Hooray, Harlem Academy To Host 20th Anniversary Celebration

April 24, 2024

Harlem Academy will host a celebration of its 20th anniversary at its campus at 655 St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem on May 2, 2024, from 6-8 p.m. est.

Guests will have an opportunity to view displays of student work through self-guided tours, attend a panel discussion, celebrate the school’s successes over the past 20 years, and toast to future decades of growth and impact.

Harlem Academy was founded to fill a gap in New York City’s education landscape for promising students in underserved communities. The school opened its doors in 2004 with 12 first graders and has since expanded to serve 170 students in grades K-8.

“… the only independent school in Manhattan serving … low-income students …”


The idea grew out of an educational-needs review Head of School Vinny Dotoli conducted as a master’s degree student at Columbia University, which identified a dearth of options for academically promising children. Today, Harlem Academy is the only independent school in Manhattan serving promising, low-income students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

By combining selective admissions, full-need scholarships, a rigorous curriculum, and a joyful learning environment, Harlem Academy propels traditionally overlooked students to the top echelons of academic performance. Students gain 14 percentile points during their tenure at Harlem Academy, graduating in the 88th percentile, and go on to attend top secondary schools and colleges.

Harlem Academy’s expansion over the past two decades has enabled us to provide a transformational opportunity to increasing numbers of high-potential students in Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx,” says Dotoli. “It’s fitting that the theme of our 20th anniversary celebration is Today, Tomorrow, and the Future. We’re excited to envision the impact Harlem Academy will have not only for our current students but also for future generations of leaders.”


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Over the years, Harlem Academy has been recognized as an innovative model and regularly publishes best practices in leading education journals to extend its impact. It has also become a vital and meaningful part of the Harlem community, hosting back-to-school events, high school and college fairs, free mobile health screenings, and more for the community at large.

“… secure a pathway to opportunity for generations …”

As Harlem Academy celebrates 20 years of impact, its Campaign for Today, Tomorrow, and the Future is focused on raising funds for the school’s successful operations now, 40 additional scholarships as the enrollment grows over the next two years, and an endowment to secure a pathway to opportunity for generations of promising students to come.

Harlem Academy

Harlem Academy is an independent K-8 school with a mission to drive equity of opportunity for promising students, guiding them to thrive at the highest academic levels and one day make a mark on the world. The school’s graduates have moved on to attend some of the nation’s top secondary schools and universities – including Dartmouth, Georgetown, Howard, NYU, Northwestern, RPI, Princeton, Stanford, Tufts, and Yale. Learn more at www.harlemacademy.org.

Photo credit: Harlem Academy kids.


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