Reach Into Cultural Heights is a collaborative effort focusing on changing attitudes and learning behaviors among urban youth by engaging them using innovative communications technology.
RICH Goal: To guide students to become caring and to create healthy learning environments in school and beyond using the RICH “Reach for Success” Program 4 Guiding Principles: (1) I matter (2) I am responsible for my behavior (3) I am considerate of classmates and others, and (4) I use thinking strategies for school success.
What we achieve: RICH program graduates coach RICH students in mastery of the Reach for Success program principles. This is accomplished by engaging youth in classroom settings and by using technology to reinforce communication skills.It is a blended approach; and our commitment is to prepare students to display new attitudes about their abilities to set realistic academic goals and adhere to respectable social standards.
Outcomes Description: Reach for Success students will demonstrate improvement in social emotional development skills supported by their improved academic performance and behavior indicated by report card grades/ teacher and / parent comments.
Activities: Reach for Success students activities express new attitudes for school success as recorded in student weekly reflective writing portfolios, speaking and listening expressions, understanding the role of body language, respecting dress codes, and positively interacting with elders. Weekly activities incorporate the value of self-esteem, the importance of taking responsibility of one’s behavior, and becoming accountability of one’s behavior. RICHonline activities are designed to encourage students to become better writers, communicate self-respect and respect for others.
Reach Into Cultural Heights, Inc. (RICH), celebrating 20 years in 2011, began developing innovative program designs using communication technology targeted to the urban youth school population located on the campus of York College, the City University of New York. During the 90’s, we used student video productions showcased on the local Queens Cable network.
The RICH vision was to demonstrate using a visual medium to urban students, what it sounds like to be a successful student. We developed supplemental programs under the theme “Reach for Success” targeting students often labeled as marginal. The student without early intervention, who can easily become influenced by peer pressure and develop a negative behavior towards learning is the RICH organization’s target group.
Our first wave of students who attended the organization’s model program Reach for Success during the 1990’s are currently the program workshop leaders. The RICH network of new leaders instruct students in using the language of school success in a classroom setting and those new concepts presented are reinforced using technology as a communication tool.
York College, City University of New York computer lab provided an our innovative hub for more than a decade. Students in the Reach for Success program participated in web based projects that support the development of writing skills and thinking skills for the purpose of transforming their sense of hopelessness, “I cannot” attitude to one of “I will try harder”. To succeed in school students will be inspired with optimism for a better future. All Reach for Success programs created by the RICH organization help to support this learning concept.
Since 1991, more than 1,500 students have received the training to become caring and to create healthy learning environments in schools and beyond using the RICH Reach for Success 4 Guiding Program Principles: (1) I matter (2) I am responsible for my behavior (3) I am considerate of classmates and others (4) I use thinking strategies for school success.
With the support of York College, RICH introduced technology to students presenting multimedia projects to students who might not otherwise have access to participate in web-based projects. RICH blended approach uses classroom instruction and technology projects to reach to urban students..
These students gain hands-on technology experience using our bulletin boards, working on independent thematic projects, posting weekly comments around school success, completing online Reach for Success program lessons, and using web sites on the RICH website that support cultural and multicultural activities. These multi-level activities all aim at preparing urban student to take seriously their responsibility for their own behavior in school. Students are encouraged to learn about diverse cultures to competently participate in globally driven communication technology.
The organization is lead by visionary Board Chair, Bill McCreary renowned Emmy Award winning journalist and former Vice President of Fox Television Station WNYW channel 5 in NYC. A veteran in the broadcast industry he is a graduate of Baruch College and began his career during 1960’s for radio stations WWRL-AM and WLIB-AM as a general assignment reporter. Honing his superb talents as an outstanding journalist he quickly moved on to Fox 5 Television then Metromedia, as a general assignment reporter and in 1970 becoming the anchor and managing editor of “Black News.” In 1971, McCreary was named co-anchor of “The 10 O’clock News” and in 1987 was promoted to a Vice President at Fox 5 and given his own program “The McCreary Report” where he served as host and Executive Producer for 10 years. With a wealth of experience in using multimedia technology forums to reach the urban community, the RICH organization is well-position to advance its human capital-role model resources targeting urban youth who need positive images to influence them to make a positive change for academic success.