Apollo CEO Jonelle Procope to be Featured Guest at Harlem Luncheon September 29, 2014

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Storefront Academy Harlem will host its Annual Harlem Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon, October 22nd, at Red Rooster Harlem. This year we are proud to have as our featured guest Jonelle Procope, the President and CEO of the legendary Apollo Theater. SAH students often visit the Apollo to learn about its importance in the Harlem community and its historical and cultural significance to the world. We are excited that Ms. Procope will be honoring us with her presence. 

                     Jonelle Procope

Jonelle Procope joined the Apollo Board of Trustees in 1999 and in 2003 became its President and Chief Executive Officer. She leads an executive team responsible for all operating and strategic functions of the theater. She has focused on the development of the Apollo Theater board and overseen the Apollo's transformation in to a vibrant not-for-profit institution. Ms. Procope has implemented a long range plan for the preservation, restoration, and expansion of the theater. Under her leadership, the Apollo has increased its base of support expanded its education and community programs and embarked on a strategic plan to transform the institution into a 21st century performing arts center through the creation of large-scale artistic initiatives, unique artistic collaborations, and the activation of the brand globally.

Prior to assuming her role as President and CEO of the Apollo, Ms. Procope held a variety of senior positions within the fields of entertainment law and media-related corporate affairs and management. She began her legal career as an associate attorney at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Ms. Procope has been profiled in The New York Times Public Lives column, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to New York City, named as one of Portfolio magazine's 73 Biggest Brains in Business, profiled in Ebony Magazine, and honored by The New York Daily News as one of 100 Women Who Shape Our City.

In addition to being a member of the Apollo Board, Ms. Procope also sits on the boards of New York Public Radio, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center and the 125th Street B.I.D. Landmarks50 Advisory Committee. Ms. Procope received her BA degree from Howard University, her JD from St. Johns University, and is a member of the New York State Bar.

If you would like to join us for our annual luncheon, you can purchase tickets here. For more information on the event, email

Pre-k Students Enjoy First Day at Storefront Academy September 9, 2014

Last week Storefront Academy welcomed back students for the 2014-2015 school year. The pre-k students were especially excited. Our head pre-kindergarten teacher, Ms. Schenelle, sends a weekly newsletter out to parents about the happenings in her classroom. Click here to see the newsletter about the first day of school for our youngest scholars. 

2014 Fall Newsletter September 2, 2014

Storefront Academy Harlem is proud to publish our fall newsletter. It features articles about our new Executive Director Elisa Istueta, information about Storefront Academy Charter School, happenings on campus over the summer and much more. Click on the photo below for the Fall 2014 Upfront at Storefront Academy Harlem Newsletter (PDF).

Back to School Help from Fiduciary Trust August 28, 2014


Jonathan Malawer, Illiana Aviles, Joanna Samperi,         Cynthia DeLeon, Leah Mormando, Joanna Samperi,

Diana Keenan, Maritza Nocella Matt Zikaras, Art         Hillary Clark, Ken O'Brien


Volunteers from our long time partners at Fiduciary Trust were recently on campus to help get the school ready for the new year. A group rolled up their sleeves to brighten up Storfront Academy with fresh paint, and a second wave came to reorganize and restack the shelves of our library. Our school looks fantastic, and the library is ready for our students to discover new adventures through  books. We're so grateful to Fiduciary Trust for their hard work and continued support of out students. 

Storefront Academy Harlem Announces New Executive Director August 11, 2014

Elisa Istueta has been named the new executive director of Storefront Academy Harlem, a tuition-free private school founded in 1966. 

Ms. Istueta brings an impressive skill set to Storefront Academy, having spent a decade as the Department Director of Children and Youth Services for BronxWorks, a longstanding social service agency serving 35,000 Bronx residents every years. Her extensive experience in program development and expansion planning included spearheading the organization's co-founding of the Jill Chaifetz Transfer High School for over-age, under-credited students. Ms. Istueta is a longtime Harlem resident and also a founding member of the Bronx Opportunity Network, helping increase persistence and college graduation rates for community college students. Prior to BronxWorks, Ms. Istueta worked as Deputy Director of Family Preservation Programs at The Valley, Inc.

"I'm very excited to be joining Storefront Academy Harlem as its Executive Director," Ms. Istueta said. "The school has a rich history of offering extraordinary educational opportunities to high-needs children, and I'm looking forward to strengthening its already impressive legacy."

At Storefront Academy Harlem, Ms. Istueta will work closely with senior leadership and the Board of Trustees to expand the school's impact and its reach in to underserved communities. Among her first priorities will be overseeing the launch of Storefront Academy Charter School in the South Bronx, approved by the Charter Schools Committee at SUNY to launch in fall 2015. 

"Elisa is a wonderful addition to Storefront Academy's close community of dedicated educators and supporters." said Ray Cameron, Chairman of the Storefront Academy Harlem Board of Trustees. "She is a dynamic leader with a clear vision for the future of Storefront Academy. Our Board of Trustees looks forward to working with Elisa to help us grow in our role as leaders in the field of urban education."

Ms. Istueta graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia Teachers College. 

10th Annual Summer Street Fair July 29, 2014


Balloons encourage "Dream Big" at the Summer Street Fair, sponsored by Orrick. 

On Thursday, July 24th, the weather was perfect for Storefront Academy Harlem's 10th Annual Summer Street Fair. One of the most anticipated event of the year, the street fair was sponsored, organized and run by our partners at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP. The fair included face painting, games, prizes, barbecue, an ice cream sundae bar, and even the Orrick Idol Karaoke contest! Storefront Academy Harlem also welcomed students from other summer programs in the community. Thanks to all our friends at Orrick for making this day fun for our students and everyone who came to the event.  To see more pictures, visit the Storefront Academy Facebook Photo Album

Purifoy Runs Marathon to Benefit Storefront Academy July 21, 2014

 "I feel that Nelson Mandela said it perfectly, that 'education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,'" stated Kirsty Purifoy.

Ms. Purifoy is a member of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, running the TCS NYC Marathon in November to benefit the school. She lives in Dallas, where she works as an occupational therapist, working with adults in acute care.

Kirsty Purifoy, runner

"My love of running started later in life," Ms. Purifoy confided. "I started getting serious about it the past few years, completing my first half marathon at 40, my second at 41, and I'm looking forward to my first full marathon at 42. It is something that I've always wanted to do!"

Ms. Purifoy has recently started a marathon training program in Dallas to help prepare her for the NY race. "It's been great to get professional thoughts on how to enhance my running ability."

Being the mother of an 8 year old daughter and a 5 year old son, Ms. Purifoy knows how priceless education is.

"By supporting this cause, my hope is that Storefront Academy will provide a model for more schools everywhere, even here in my home town of Dallas," Ms. Purifoy said. "I believe fostering a love of learning in students will extend throughout their lives, positively impacting families, communities and society, making our world a better place."

We are grateful to have Ms. Purifoy as part of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, and wish her tremendous luck!

Our runners have each pledged to raise $2,500 for the school. To help Kirsty Purifoy reach her fundraising goal for Storefront Academy, visit her donor page

Slifer Runs Marathon to Benefit Storefront Academy July 17, 2014

 John Slifer is one of several athletes in training to run the TCS NYC Marathon in the fall, benefiting Storefront Academy Harlem.

"I found out about Storefront Academy though the NYC Marathon website," Mr. Slifer said. "I was focused on raising money to benefit education, something that I strongly believe in, and Storefront Academy is a perfect fit."

John Slifer, runner

Mr. Slifer is a Senior Manager of Global Merchant Pricing at American Express, He's been running regularly for about 13 years, and the NYC race will be his third marathon. "It's been 6 years since my last one. The other marathons I competed in were of a much smaller scale, in terms of production and notoriety."

His training schedule has been a challenge this summer since he's been traveling so much, but he's been able to rise to the challenge and remain dedicated to the task. "I'm following a program that a few of my friends used when they ran the marathon. I run a few miles a day, Monday through Thursday, then I do a longer run on Saturday or Sunday, 10-15 miles."

Mr. Slifer believes in Storefront Academy and our mission. He recently took a tour of our campus and saw our amazing faculty and students in action. "It was a wonderful experience and I feel honored to be running to support this amazing school."

We are grateful to have Mr. Slifer as a member of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, and wish him tremendous luck!

Our runners have each pledged to raise $2,500 for our school. To help John Slifer reach his fundraising goal for Storefront Academy, visit his donor page here. 

Cavano Runs Marathon to Benefit Storefront Academy July 10, 2014

"Running is a great way to stay in shape and release any stress built up throughout the day," says Nicholas Cavano.

Mr. Cavano, a system administrator for BAE Systems, is one of several athletes running to benefit Storefront Academy in the TCS New York City Marathon this November. 

Nicholas Cavano, runner

"I've been running since I was little," Mr. Cavano said, "I played club and school soccer growing up, and during the off seasons I would train with the track team."

While this will be his first time running a marathon, it isn't his first race. "I've run several smaller races throughout the year, 5K and 10K runs, and I've started competing in triathlons as well."

Knowing that a marathon is a challenge for even the strongest athlete, Mr. Cavano is working hard to train for the event. He found marathon training guides and used them to compile his own schedule. "I have been training by slowly building up my daily mileage, along with biking every two days and weight lifting four nights a week. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, but once I start something, I always see it through."

Mr. Cavano believes in the Storefront Academy's mission and the power of education. "Regardless of what you decide to do in life, school helps prepare you by teaching you social skills, time management, and how to overcome problems." He also believes in giving back to the community. "It's important to help out and give to others when you can." 

We are grateful to have Mr. Cavano as part of our Storefront Academy Marathon Team, and wish him tremendous luck!

Our runners have each pledged to raise $2,500 for our school. To help Nicholas Cavano reach is fundraising goal for Storefront Academy, visit his donor page here

Summer Program Get Students Really Cookin' June 30, 2014

Storefront Academy student chefs with Samantha Haas

Eight Storefront Academy 6th, 7th and 8th grade students participated in a week-long Summer Cooking Program June 23-27. The program included instruction on nutrition and food preparation, taught by Dalton School 10th Grader Samantha Haas and Chef Alyson Krispi from The Natural Gourmet Institute. 

Each day the students had activities such as identifying which common food item belongs in what food category (protein, fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy) or learning about different cuts of meat. Then, led by Chef Aly, they made a delicious and nutritious 3 or 4 course meal. Students worked at different stations in our school kitchen, chopping, measuring and mixing, following recipes they can also make at home.

"We usually make the dessert first," Samantha said, "since everyone's the most excited about that! Then, while the dessert is baking, we work on the rest of the meal, ending with cooking the appetizer."

The students made everything from Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Sugar Snap Pea and Asparagus Saute, to Whole Grain Chicken Parmesan and Taco "Cupcakes." 

Thanks to Samantha Haas for organizing the program, and to Chef Aly for her culinary expertise. It was both an educational and delicious time for our lucky students.


Chef Alyson Krispi instructs students