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CIVIC IMPACT The list of students waiting for a space at a charter school has grown since Civic Builders’ last annual report, from 44,000 to 48,000 in New York City alone. Those 48,000 students waiting for a chance at a high-quality education represent a population larger than the entire public school district of Detroit or Portland or Washington, D.C. One of the most challenging barriers to the growth of great charter schools is identifying and securing facilities. As the number of students waiting has increased, so too have Civic Builders’ services available to high-performing charter partners. Across 2016, Civic Builders’ team worked to remove real estate as that barrier to an excellent education through: • Turnkey Development Projects • Partnership with Walton Family Foundation on a Charter Facilities Initiative • Technical Assistance to Newly Chartered Schools Thank you for your support and passion for our work. In this report, you will learn about 10 points of Civic Builders’ impact throughout 2016. We look forward to the continued and increased success of the charter school sector in New York City and nationwide!

With gratitude, Brahm Cramer, Chairman of Board, Civic Builders David Umansky, CEO and Co-Founder, Civic Builders


Civic Builders’ mission is to ensure that real estate will never be a barrier to an excellent education. We have spent 14 years working towards fulfilling that mission.

11,000 Seats

97% Graduation Rate

Across 14 years, Civic Builders has developed over 11,000 charter school seats in 22 highperforming schools.

Civic Builders’ partner schools consistently outperform their peer district schools . In 2016, 97% of scholars graduated from high schools – 27 percentage points higher than the NYC average.

$600M Invested 2016 10 Points of Impact Civic Builders accesses a variety of government and private subsidy to support charter school developments and lower the cost of occupancy for school partners.

Read on to learn about: • Civic Scholars • Partnership with Walton Family Foundation • $40M New Markets Tax Credit Award • And much more!


Meet Mawena

Space is a powerful thing. It influences your experiences and your perspective. It can impact your thoughts, ideas, and imagination. During Civic Builders’ 2016 Benefit, we were graced with the insights of a kind and thoughtful 8th grader from DREAM Charter School, Mawena. Mawena is a remarkable young woman who showed Civic Builders and our community what the significance of a new, inspiring school space was to her. In this new school building, Mawena launched her own small business. She taught friends to play guitar, discussed stories and dreams, and excelled academically. From this space, she earned acceptance to a prominent NYC high school. We are thankful to our generous supporters from the 2016 Benefit, which was held at Mawena’s DREAM Charter School. Together we raised $800,000 from over 250 supporters – all to build more schools like DREAM to inspire more students like Mawena. Click here to watch Mawena’s message about the power of her school space at DREAM.


Building Equity for Charters

One of the most significant barriers to the growth of high-quality charter schools is identifying and securing facilities. In 2016, the Walton Family Foundation partnered with Civic Builders to launch the Building Equity Initiative (“BEI”), which will provide low-interest loans to national and regional not-for-profit lenders to help finance facilities for new and growing high-quality charter schools.

The Building Equity Initiative is an expansion of the Walton Family Foundation’s work to help public charter schools access capital to secure facilities. Through the initiative, the Foundation will develop innovative and affordable ways for highquality public charter schools to grow and meet their communities’ needs. Across the next 10 years, the initiative will help public charter schools serve at least 250,000 more students across the nation. Civic Builders is thrilled to partner in this innovative and pioneering initiative for the charter school sector nationwide.


Scholars in East Harlem

Civic Builders is committed to the revitalization of neighborhoods through the positive impact of our school partners. The community of East Harlem is an area of particular focus for Civic Builders. That’s why you’ll find two Civic Builders schools in the span of two city blocks, opened in the last two years! East Harlem Scholars Academy (EHSA) first opened the doors to its academic home in the 2016 school year in a newly constructed 50,000 square foot school building. Although now operating in a beautiful new building, EHSA has been serving the East Harlem community for over 25 years through its tutoring program. Now, EHSA’s 450 scholars learn, enjoy rooftop play, build competition-winning robotics, and more in this state-of-theart facility.


Citi & Civic

Citi has been an amazing supporter of Civic Builders through their e for education initiative. In the fall of 2016, leaders from Citi donated their time and energy to motivate and coach scholars from Civic Builders’ partner schools. Citi employees conducted mock interviews with eighth grade scholars practicing for high school entrance interviews. They also opened the trading floor to tours with students and NY Yankee All Star, Mark Texeira. The students learned about a day in the life on the Citi trading floor and what skills scholars could develop to follow a similar career path. Scholars also participated in a Q&A session with top leaders from the Citi team. Outside of generously giving their time, Citi also supported Civic Builders and our school partners through donations totaling over $2.5M across the last 4 years. This Citi e for education program has been an integral supporter of Civic Builders since 2013 and their contributions have a major impact on the development of 5 new Civic Builders schools.


DREAM Design

Throughout 2016, the remarkable East Harlem Center for Living and Learning has been recognized with various accolades for its innovative and groundbreaking design. This mixed-use development is home to Civic Builders’ DREAM Charter school, as well as 89 units of affordable housing, a community space, a health center, and a renovated city park. Students have better learning opportunities when they learn in a space that is intentionally designed to support high-achievement. DREAM is full of bright classrooms, big windows, common areas for collaboration, and pull out rooms for individualized learning. There is a full science lab, an outdoor teaching garden, music room, art room and full gymnasium. All of these academic and community building spaces encourage the high-performance of DREAM scholars. Civic Builders continues to strive to provide each child this experience in NYC and beyond. Awards and Certifications: Urban Land Institute NY Best Mixed Use Development of 2016 ENR NY Best Projects 2016: Best K-12 Education LEED Gold Certification


College Bound Scholars

Civic Builders’ schools create remarkable opportunities for their scholars, routinely out performing their peer district schools. In 2016, 97% of students graduated from Civic Builders’ partner schools in 4 years, while 70% graduated from NYC district schools. To celebrate and encourage scholars’ successes, Civic Builders founded the “Day in the Life Scholarship” in 2014 in memory of Alan Epstein. Funds support high school seniors at Civic Builders’ partner school entering their first year of college. Our 2016 winners joined the Civic Builders community for a celebration at our 2016 Benefit. Aaron Caraballo-Ugaro: Aaron graduated from North Star College Prep Charter School in Newark and just finished up his freshman year at Rowan University. Aaron is double majoring in Business Management and Sociology. Laura Caicedo: Laura is currently attending LaGuardia College and studying to become a nurse. She enjoys volunteering in the local community and participating in events sponsored by LaGuardia’s Nursing Club. Vincent Champion: Vincent just completed hi s first year at DePauw University in New Jersey. Vincent is a graduate of Harlem Village Academies High School and is currently majoring in Economics and Pre-Law.


Healthy Harlem

Harlem Children’s Zone and Civic Builders opened a community Health Center at the Promise Academy school site in Central Harlem. This Health Center now provides expert medical, dental, and mental health services at no charge to Harlem Children’s Zone’s students. The longterm goal for the Health Center is to provide services to students and the surrounding Harlem community. 3 Medical Exam Rooms

2 Dental Exam Rooms

3 Social Worker Offices

New Markets Tax Credits $40M award in 2016, totaling $78M across 4 years 10 investments

4,000 student seats annually

Health centers, science labs, art rooms and community facilities


New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) are a critical subsidy that can be accessed to support charter school developments. Civic Builders has been working with the U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund to access this subsidy on behalf of our charter partners for the last 4 years. Civic Builders is committed to investing these benefits in underresourced neighborhoods for projects that will provide a highquality education to scholars, and bring substantial benefits to the surrounding community.


Technical Assistance

Since Civic Builders’ founding in 2002, our team has been committed to meeting charter schools' facility needs. Over the years, we've listened to our school partners about the services that are most critical to support school growth. Technical assistance for schools just beginning their facilities process continues to be in high demand. Civic Builders revamped our technical assistance efforts in 2016 to help schools make good facilities choices. Our team developed partnerships with newly chartered and growing schools, and consulted with the School Empowerment Network to develop our suite of support services including:

• Facilities 101 Informational Advisory • Seminar Series • High-level Site Analysis


Mixed-Use Development

Community partnerships have played an integral role in the success of charter schools in New York City. In 2016, Civic Builders developed a new partnership with Phipps Houses, the oldest and largest not-for-profit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing in New York City. Together, Phipps Houses and Civic Builders began development of a new mixeduse facility which will encompass over 200,000 square feet in the South Bronx. The development at 600 E156th Street will provide over 175 low-income rental units and a 30,000 square foot charter school. These multi-functional facilities play an important role in community-based academic models. The Phipps Houses development considers the entire health of a community and brings families a chance to learn, live, and grow in a beautiful, new space.

PHOTOGRAPHY Paul Rivera Albert Vecerka/Esto Anna Marie Kellen

10 Points of Impact: Civic Builders' 2016 Annual Report  
10 Points of Impact: Civic Builders' 2016 Annual Report