Chinatown-Lower East Side Literacy Zone

University Settlement's Literacy Zone is comprised of an exceptionally strong network of partners situated in Manhattan's Chinatown and Lower East Side neighborhoods, all of whom are committed to working closely together to address the literacy needs of the community and establish multiple pathways out of poverty through increased literacy. Our Literacy Zone uniquely adapts the Settlement model, which is built around the integration of a full menu of diverse services to address the complex needs of the participants. In the process, University Settlement will draw upon its long year history as a vital neighborhood institution with extensive programs and established partnerships to provide a continuum of literacy services from early childhood through adulthood.

In the Chinatown-Lower East Side Literacy Zone, learning is constantly placed within a real-life context to ensure that students have the skills needed to compete in the workplace, assist their children's educational development, foster their families' health, secure their finances, and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Because of the immigrant nature of our neighborhood, an emphasis has been placed on serving students for whom English is not the primary language.

What is a literacy zone?

Literacy Zones are a reform initiative developed by the New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department to close the achievement gap in urban and rural communities of concentrated poverty and high concentrations of families and individuals with limited literacy or English language proficiency. Literacy Zones are intended to provide a systematic focus on meeting the literacy needs of communities, from birth through adulthood. The New York State Education Department has identified 18 Literacy Zones across the State.

Family Welcome Center

The primary Family Welcome Center can be found at 175 Eldridge Street, which is centrally located and well-known throughout the Zone. Mini Welcome Centers will be established at partner sites, creating multiple points of entry into the Literacy Zone, providing residents with multiple, familiar and comfortable portals into the system.


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