Home > About the Village
Who We Are
The Village at Ithaca has several standing committees, and a diverse group of volunteers in addition to its staff and board of directors.
What We Do

The Village at Ithaca advocates for excellence and equity in Ithaca's public schools, by developing strategic community relationships, programs, and services to ensure that students, particularly Black, Latino, and low-income students, consistently meet or exceed local and New York state standards of achievement.

The Village at Ithaca is both an organization and a network. It was founded in 2002 and became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2006.

The factors that contribute to the achievement gap are many and various, so our efforts to address the problem are necessarily diverse. There are three main things that the Village does:

  • We connect people with existing resources.  Ithaca is resource rich, but often services are not utilized by people who can benefit the most from them.  The Village is a kind of switchboard, connecting youth and families with existing services that can support them. This requires outreach within the communities we serve, as well as a familiarity with local services. Each year, for example, we recruit local youth to participate in the Let’s Get Ready SAT preparation course, which has been shown to improve scores an average of 100 points.

  • We collaborate to improve systems.  On a systemic level, we help the ICSD be accountable to its own goal of eliminating race and class as predictors of academic success. The Equity Report Card is one example of this collaboration. We are also helping the district be successful at hiring and retaining a staff that reflects the true diversity of the student body. In addition, we try to educate the community at large (a societal “system”) on why a truly equitable educational system is in the best interest of everyone.

  • We create new services and programs where needed.  Despite the abundance of existing programs, the Village occasionally identifies areas where an unmet need exists. Our Family Advocacy Project, for example, trains volunteer advocates to act as long term resources for families who are navigating the school system to get the best education for their children.