July 25 – This Week at the Harbor

Written by theharbor. Posted in Community Events, Education, Events, News

Harbor Conservatory Students at Berklee Summer Program

Max Starcevic-Castro, a percussion student at the Harbor Conservatory, and Claudia Ramirez, who studies voice & theatre, are currently in Boston at the prestigious Berklee College of Music! Max and Claudia auditioned for, and won, full scholarships to the five-week Berklee City Music Summer Program. Last weekend, participants had the opportunity to tour the stage and experience a professional sound-check with Sarah McLachlan! The five week program is full of fun activities, rigorous training, and invaluable educational experiences like this one. Warm thanks to the Berklee City Music Network for making this opportunity possible.

Harbor Staff Member Writes & Produces Off-Broadway Play

Madame Infamy, now playing at the New York Musical Theatre festival, was produced and co-written by the Harbor’s own Associate Director of Performing Arts & Education, Joseph Vigliotti!  Opening to rave reviews, the Huffington Post called the musical ”a brilliant example of what might be called creative, feminist historiography.” Last week, Harbor students had an invaluable opportunity to hear selections from the musical and participate in a Talk Back Session with performers.

Harbor Performance in Bronx Dominican Parade

This Sunday, July 27, the Harbor will host a performance on a float sponsored by EmblemHealth, one of the Harbor’s corporate partners and the largest New York-based health insurer.

The 25th Annual Grand Dominican Parade of the Bronx  starts at noon and runs south along Grand Concourse Boulevard, from East Tremont Ave to East 167th Street, ending near Yankee Stadium. Parade organizers are expecting thousands to turn out in support of this cultural event.

Emily N. Carey Harbor Preschool to Host Open Houses Throughout the Summer

The Harbor is opening three new, state-of-the-art classrooms this September, and we are giving the community the chance to see the Harbor Educational Model in action! We encourage all parents of children ages 18 months – 4 years to stop by the Harbor any Wednesday this summer, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. or 5:00-6:00 p.m. We will also be offering private tours, by appointment. Please contact Crickett McFadden at cmcfadden@theharbor.org or 212.424.2244 ext. 421 for more information or to schedule a visit.

Recruitment for the Harbor Young Leadership Council is Open! 

The Boys and Girls Harbor Young Leadership Council (YLC) is a network that engages young professionals in the work of the Harbor, garnering their leadership and expertise to provide resources for Harbor programs and role models to Harbor students. Providing networking, volunteer, and social events, the YLC is a great way to connect to other young professionals, as well as the Harbor Board. Stay tuned for details about our upcoming 2nd Annual YLC Fall Cocktail Benefit!

If you are interested in joining the Harbor YLC, please reach out to Melissa Potter at mpotter@theharbor.org for more information.

Boys & Girls Harbor is on Instagram!

Follow us on Instagram @ bgharbor for live peeks into Harbor programming and events! Please use the links below to follow the Harbor across Social Media and help us reach our goal of 1000 Facebook likes by September!

A Fun and Educational Week at the Harbor!

Written by theharbor. Posted in Education, Events, News

Team Building, Trips, Science Experiments, and More!

So far this summer our Harbor K.I.D.S. and T.E.E.N.s have participated in team building, held Olympic games in Central Park, experimented in science, reinforced their math and reading skills, learned about and played international games, taken classes in visual and performing arts, sailed on the Pioneer Schooner, visited Medieval Times, and so much more!

The Harbor is committed to sending our campers back to school refreshed, with fun summer memories, and enhanced knowledge and intellectual skills to succeed in their new school year and beyond!

Best Buy Brings Geek Squad Camp to the Harbor

Our Harbor T.E.E.N. program, joined by students from East Harlem Tutorial and Graham Windham, is about to get geeked! On August 5 and 6, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is hosting a Geek Squad Summer Academy at Boys & Girls Harbor. An interactive learning program, the Geek Squad Summer Academy creates a fun, high-tech environment where Harbor students will tap into their inner creativity and innovation, as well as discover how technology can benefit them in school now and later in their professional lives.

During the Geek Squad Summer Academy, students will develop technology skills and foster friendships through activities such as building computers and collaborating on digital media projects. 

El Museo del Barrio & The Museum of the City of New York Present Summer Nights

UPTOWN BOUNCE: Summer Nights at 104th and 5th kicks off on Wednesday July 30, with sessions to follow on August 6 & 13. Visit www.elmuseo.org for more information about this first ever joint series between El Museo and the City Museum, featuring music, gallery talks, art-making workshops, DJs, summer drinks, local food vendors, and more.

Tribute to Harbor Founder, Tony Duke – Clamshell Foundation Fireworks

The Clamshell Foundation, an East Hampton nonprofit that provides grants to local groups and programs, will be holding a fireworks display this Saturday, July 19 at East Hampton’s Three Mile Harbor. We are so pleased to share that this year’s display will be a tribute to our beloved founder, Tony Duke!

The Three Mile Harbor firework display has a special significance to Boys & Girls Harbor – during the time the Harbor was located in East Hampton, the fireworks display was an annual event for campers and served as a fundraiser for the organization.

July 11 – This Week at Boys & Girls Harbor

Written by theharbor. Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Camp is Underway!

It’s been a busy week at the Heckscher Building. With our Harbor T.E.E.N. and K.I.D.S. summer programs in full swing, we have over 500 young people onsite every day. The next six weeks promise to be educational and action packed for campers. All Harbor students, from 18 months to 19 years of age, benefit from curricula designed to stimulate creativity and cognitive function, and to build intellectual character. All programming is infused with the performing arts. This summer, our campers will have an opportunity to enhance their math, reading, and writing skills, while participating in sports, working on team building and social skills, and taking classes in visual and performing arts. Our Harbor T.E.E.N.s will also be preparing for the SAT! A series of trips and special activities here at the Heckscher Building are planned. Today, our K.I.D.S. program is taking a step back in history with their visit to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament!

Emily N. Carey Harbor Preschool Open House

We will be opening three brand new, state-of-the-art, preschool classrooms this fall. On Wednesday, July 9, we hosted our first open house to give local families an opportunity to see what the Harbor has to offer! Please check our Facebook page for upcoming opportunities to see Harbor programming in action. If you are interested in learning more about our preschool, please call 212.427.2244 ext. 429.

Join the Harbor Team!

The Harbor is recruiting outstanding professionals who are inspired by our mission, exemplify a commitment to excellence, and are motivated by a fast-paced working environment. Harbor employees are part of dynamic team—committed to empowering young people through a rigorous academic education, enriched by the arts. Please visit our website for open positions & descriptions.

Statement on TRIO Upward Bound from Executive Director, Dr. Thomas Howard

Written by theharbor. Posted in Education, News

While Harbor T.E.E.N. obtained additional funding from the competitive 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and the Pinkerton Foundation this year, we must announce the end of a previously existing federal funding stream, TRIO Upward Bound. This grant has been a source of funding for educational instruction for college-bound high school students at the Harbor since 1979.

Despite this change in funding, we will maintain a robust Harbor T.E.E.N. program. With the ongoing support of existing and new grants, as well as private funders, we will continue to provide career and college-bound experiences that our students have come to love and expect from the Harbor. Our students remain our priority and we will work as a team to provide tutoring, Compass Learning, counseling, and assistance with financial aid and college applications, as well as SAT preparation and college tours. We will continue to enhance the social and emotional health and the academic success of students.

With our approach to streamlining and redefining our service paths, we will be able to serve a broader range of students, including those who may not have qualified for the Upward Bound path due to the requirements of the grant. Harbor T.E.E.N. will now be permitted to serve college-bound students from a variety of NYC high and middle school settings. We will also be able to include more experiences in the performing arts and increase learning opportunities for student achievement. The learning paths will include the existing OASAS and Pilot paths, as well as the new College Prep path in place of Upward Bound.

There will be some small staffing adjustments to comply with funding stream requirements. However, we will continue to deliver a best in class experience to our Harbor students and families. If you have questions related to the Harbor Educational Model or the Harbor T.E.E.N. program specifically, please feel free to contact us.


Dr. Thomas Howard
Executive Director

Summer at the Harbor!

Written by theharbor. Posted in Events, News, Performing Arts

Harlem and El Barrio Turn Out for Harbor Day 2014
We welcomed the first day of summer on June 21 with Harbor Day! Sponsored by longtime corporate partner Citi, this annual community-wide event featured kids’ games, free food, performances, music, and more. We hope to see YOU at Harbor Day next year!


Sign Up for Summer and Fall Lessons at the Harbor Conservatory
It’s not too late to sign up for summer lessons—and hold your spot for fall classes—at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts. To learn more about our music, dance, and theater workshops and ensembles for children and adults, check out our website.

Preschool Open House
The Harbor is holding an open house at our Emily N. Carey Harbor Preschool on Wednesday, July 9 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Free and low-cost spots are available! For more information or to reserve your spot at the open house, please call 212.427.2244 ext. 429 or email RSVP@theharbor.org.

Boys & Girls Harbor featured on ABC’s Here and Now
Dr. Thomas Howard, Executive Director, and Pam Terry, Chief Academic Officer, were on ABC 7’s Here and Now last Sunday! In an interview with host Sandra Bookman, they discussed the Harbor Educational Model, the increasing importance of early childhood education, and teaching for intelligence through the arts. Please take a moment to watch!

The importance of Summer Learning
Did you know that studies show children lose one to three months of learning over summer vacation? You can help your kids stay sharp by stopping by one of NYC’s 87 Public Libraries & picking up some titles from a summer reading list .

Have Chutzpah [ho͝otspa] & Other Lyor Cohen Life Lessons

Written by theharbor. Posted in Community Events, Education, Events, Life Lessons, Lyor Cohen, Outreach

Lyor & Harbor Students

Lyor Cohen, Mark Axelowitz, Steve Dannhauser, Dr. Thomas Howard & Harbor Students

“When life deals you a funky hand, channel your chutzpah” is one lesson Lyor Cohen, one of hip-hop and rap’s most prolific music executives, imparted to students, parents, and staff at the Harbor’s Life Lesson series on March 11th. Our series was initiated two years ago by Harbor’s Board Chairman, Stephen J. Dannhauser, to bring the community in contact with inspiring public servants, nonprofit, legal, medical, and financial professionals who overcame obstacles and humble beginnings to persevere.

Listening to Lyor, a Harbor board of director, member, supporter, and great friend to the Harbor reinforced the notion that no one goes through life without challenges. What makes individual stories different, is the journey taken to reach a person’s potential.

In Lyor’s case he was born in NYC to Israeli immigrant parents, but family circumstances dictated a move to Israel at the age of two to live with an adopted family, without speaking Hebrew.  Eventually he moved back to NYC and then LA to be with his mother, but and often judged by childhood peers for his accent and name. Instead of focusing on his barriers and issues, Lyor chose to channel his energy toward choir and athletics, deciding to work harder than everyone else, remaining confident his differences would not prevent him from reaching his goals. “I was not going to accept that my differences would prevent me from being successful.”

And since the 80’s, Lyor has led Warner Music Corp and Def Jam music, with the notable launching of Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Jay Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé, to name a few. He recently founded 300 Entertainment, a digital music company, using fewer resources to find and develop artists.  

Other lessons from Lyor:

  • No one is dealt a perfect hand. In the competition of life we all face challenges; and we must realize that everyone else has been dealt with some sort of hardship, it is how circumstances are handled that matters.
  • Take Risks. Lyor’s parents encouraged him to take risks, and his advice to Harbor students was that it was never too early to start a business or promote your talents. He also emphasized that the key to success was staying engaged until you clear the last hurdle.
  • Find Your Passion. Ninety-nine percent of people have to work, but Lyor found his calling and wakes daily up excited about helping artists get discovered, grow, and become popular. However, the music industry is not always glamorous—there is a lot of rejection, and you quickly learn to move on.
  • Give Back.  Lyor believes that after reaching success, it is important to give back as it is a thrill to help people, and is rewarding beyond imagination. His strong Harbor advocacy, the time he gives to our community and his continued support make him a shining example of how to put this virtue into practice.
  • Be Humble. When asked by a student on how to become successful like Beyoncé, Lyor underscored her off the scale talent, and defined the music star as a nice, considerate, and humble person, which made her even more of an industry stand-out, and he is grateful when in her presence.

Arts Infused Education Benefits are Immeasurable

Written by Thomas Howard. Posted in Uncategorized

As a long-time pianist, I enjoy playing as a creative outlet, the pleasure of mastery, and moving a crowd with music. As an educator there is no doubt that music, dance, and theatre needs to be an integral part of each student’s roadmap to success from an early age—regardless if it becomes a hobby or an experience appreciated years later.

In preschool, children’s auditory, attention, and memory skills are enhanced through music and dance, gaining overall improved health benefits from flexibility to coordination to increased developmental and social skills. If you have ever witnessed little people in a music and movement class, the enthusiasm has a domino effect straight to parents who are eagerly taught a new clap pattern by their child. 

In middle school, the positive academic benefits on reading and math are numerous, not to mention that kids who regularly participate in arts classes are involved in a more positive social atmosphere, are less screen-focused, have more confidence, and do better academically. A study conducted by UCLA found that teenagers who took music performed better on standardized tests[1].

Mayor DeBlasio’s recently announced initiative to include more arts in afterschool programs for middle schoolers is no doubt a clarion call for NYC schools to make strident efforts to emphasize arts programs that align with Common Core standards. I applaud this effort, and am proud of the Harbor Educational Model, grounded in academics with a focus on music, dance, and theatre which happens in our preschool and afterschool programs, as well as in our comprehensive Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts. 

I am excited at the possibility of the Harbor having an even greater impact on students’ futures as musicians, dancers, or budding actors. We have the capacity to form partnerships with more Harlem-area schools by drawing on our own trained staff, or as part of the Berklee City Music Network’s PULSE program, which has been a gateway for some of our students to participate in Berklee’s summer and full-time degree program. And, our other talented Harbor musicians have had the honor of sharing the stage with Yo-Yo Ma and Josh Groban.

My job is to help kids push beyond their comfort zone and in some instances cultivate a natural gift by offering a path which gives them a new perspective and approach to life. Learning to love or appreciate the many facets of the performing arts creates immeasurable opportunities.

Impact Investing

Written by Thomas Howard. Posted in Education, Events, News

As I reflect upon another successful Harbor Investment Conference, I begin to draw the parallels between the convergence of Wall Street’s brightest minds and the work we do here in Harlem. Making a timely investment can bring positive returns similar to the life-changing benefits children have reaped across the diverse academic, social, and performing arts programs offered at the Harbor.

Over the last several years, HIC has become a sought after knowledge forum where attendees engage peers, and get empowered by top financiers’ investment picks. This is not unlike our educational philosophy where children from an early age are given the tools to succeed scholastically and are exposed to the arts to gain a more sophisticated perspective of the world around them. Education is the business we know well, and our community continues to look to us to ensure its children are nurtured, challenged, and enriched in a way that allows them to soar as far as their imagination takes them.

The Harbor’s storied history would not be as successful without its partnerships. We collaborate with the world’s finance leaders, staff, educators, dedicated parents, and others. As distinct groups we come together for a common cause — to close the achievement gap. What brings us together is the notion that knowledge is power, awareness empowers, and bright young minds need a path availed with the resources to thrive.

There are many similarities between investing and education; the big difference is that the latter is a longer term investment that takes at least 18 years to mature. And I can pretty much guarantee at least a tenfold return for the investment made in each student who evolves through our programs, paying dividends for generations to come.

Many, many thanks all to the esteemed speakers, partners, and everyone who lent support to make HIC 2014 a continued success — and my heartfelt gratitude to the kids I get to witness on a daily basis who are just carving their path. Impact investing is truly rewarding work.



Conservatory Holding Auditions for ‘Annie’ & Free Coaching

Written by theharbor. Posted in Events

Come one, come all! The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is holding auditions for Salute 2014, which will be a special rendition of the classic film ‘Annie.’ Auditions will be held Monday, December 16, from 4 p.m.–7 p.m., and Tuesday, December 17, from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Interested students can also sign up for FREE 15-minute coaching sessions at the Harbor tomorrow, from 4 p.m.–7 p.m., and Saturday, from 12 p.m.–4 p.m.

Sign up for both an audition slot and free coaching sessions in the registration office on the 5th floor. You can sing a song from Annie; perform a selection of your choosing (bring sheet music if possible); recite a short monologue, poem, or story; or showcase your dance skills or any other special talent.

For more information, call 212.427.2244 ext. 557.

Harbor Participates in #GivingTuesday 2013!

Written by theharbor. Posted in Outreach

It’s easy to support Boys & Girls Harbor this holiday season! Below are 5 ways you can donate to the Harbor and raise awareness about the education and arts programming we offer to children and families.

  • The Harbor, along with nearly 7,000 organizations, is participating in #GivingTuesday, a worldwide philanthropic movement started a year ago by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. This exciting initiative helps the giving community kick off the year-end season of support on the Tuesday following Black Friday. This year that’s Tuesday, December 3. You can join the effort by making a gift here and by spreading the word through your social network.
  •  Join the campaign on Facebook — Consider posting the following message on your page:    
    I’m supporting Boys & Girls Harbor on #GivingTuesday. Won’t you? http://bit.ly/1bnQEWw
  • Tweet about our campaign — I support @BoysGirlsHarbor. Won’t you? #GivingTuesday http://bit.ly/1bnQEWw
  • Doing your holiday shopping online? You can support the amazing students who call the Harbor their second home by using Amazon Smile. Visit http://smile.amazon.com/ and select Boys & Girls Harbor from the menu of benefitting charities, and 0.5% of the cost of your items will be donated to the Harbor. (There are several similarly named organizations, so be sure to pick the one located in New York City and founded in 1937.)
  • Simply visit our secure online donation page by clicking here, and make an investment in a child’s future!

Your donation to Boys & Girls Harbor can empower young minds to see a future for themselves in a world they never imagined. What better gift can you give this holiday season?