Neighborhood Learning Alliance
Neighborhood Learning Alliance, formerly Wireless Neighborhoods was formed as a non-profit corporation in December 2003. The organization is rooted deeply within the lower income neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh. The establishment of NLA as an independent entity was the culmination of years of cooperation and the tireless efforts of several of Pittsburgh's preeminent community organizations including Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Community House Church, and Hill House Association.
Created to improve community and faith organizations' capacities to respond to issues that affect the lives of the children and families in the neighborhoods they serve, Neighborhood Learning targets a majority of its efforts and resources on supporting community organization's capacity to support educational needs of their children and families. Since its inception, NLA and its partners have helped bring educational and technology resources to Pittsburgh's lower income communities and to transform afterschool educational programming from safe places with homework help and a snack into truly innovative, professional and youth-friendly instructional environments that are setting the standards for community afterschool practices.
Neighborhood Learning Alliance offers comprehensive programs aimed at providing academic resources through a variety of avenues. The following programs are highlights among many available resources offered by NLA:
Middle and High School Afterschool Programs
NLA and its community partners provide a comprehensive set of afterschool and summer programming that is fun, exciting, safe, supportive, and free to participants. The programs are designed to improve the academic success of students in Pittsburgh's lower income and African American communities. The program provides academic support, tutoring, credit recovery, homework help and SAT and Keystone test preparation, and finally activities and recreation.
Elementary Afterschool Program - Little Learning Warriors
NLA’s elementary afterschool program challenges children to explore ideas of community, grow academically, and improve their leadership skills. It also empowers them to advocate for themselves by developing a strong understanding of the resources available in their schools and communities. With a 'Learn through Play' model the elementary afterschool program provide quality curriculum in a fun, interactive package.
Pittsburgh Public Schools’ graduation rate is only 68 percent, which means almost a third of students are dropping out. Everybody Graduates! is a campaign to end this dropout epidemic. By educating community members and engaging them in creative solutions, NLA aims to confront the challenges facing the most vulnerable students.
Reaching Back Male Mentoring
The Reaching Back male mentoring program is rooted in African cultural traditions and rites of passage and demands high levels of academic, physical, and personal success from each participant. The Sankofa Leadership Institute aims to develop African-American male leaders in the Pittsburgh region.
The core belief behind the Warrior Movement is that, given the right resources and coaching, Pittsburgh teens can be highly effective educators, mentors, leaders, and community advocates. While offered ongoing training and support, Warriors also exercise a great deal of freedom in designing afterschool programs and advocacy projects in their communities.
NLA provides trainings on a variety of topics, hiring experts in the field to provide trainings on the topics that they know best and are relevant to a broad range of youth serving providers.