BRICK/South Ward Children's Alliance

Kate Shoemaker

Chief Operating Officer

“optimistic, focused, open”

Kate Shoemaker joined the South Ward Children’s Alliance as COO in October, 2015 after 16 years at the Harlem Children’s Zone. In her new role, Shoemaker is leading a strategic planning process to help SWCA develop a cradle to college and career continuum in the South Ward through partnerships, policy and program development. At HCZ, Kate helped develop and implement the FY2000 business plan that helped HCZ scaled up from a $5 MM budget serving several thousand children in 24 blocks, to the full scale organization of today that serves over 12,000 children in 97 blocks with a budget over $120 MM. At HCZ, she advised the Obama Administration and community leaders on how to translate HCZ’s model into the Promise Neighborhoods program, developed partnerships on asthma, planned and launched programs, managed funder relationships, and built the 92,000 square foot Promise Academy Charter School and Geoffrey Canada Community Center on Harlem’s historic 125th street. Kate graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Government and Economics from Bowdoin College, and earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Georgetown.

Overview of the South Ward Children’s Alliance: The South Ward Children’s Alliance is a division of BRICK Academy (Building Responsible Intelligent Creative KIDS). As BRICK schools made strong advancements academically with young people, they recognized that many challenges outside the schoolhouse doors were impacting children and families. Together with other traditional and charter public schools in the South Ward, they created the South Ward Children’s Alliance to help meet those needs. While SWCA is in our infancy, our vision is to build a cradle through college and career continuum for children in the South Ward that focuses on their academic, social-emotional and health needs so that all young people growing up here can become successful adults.

What makes SWCA unique and necessary?: “Children living in the South Ward need and deserve what all children need to succeed, namely: 1) high quality programs at every developmental stage and in every domain (academic, social-emotional and physical and behavioral health); 2) strong families; and 3) a safe and healthy community in order to succeed as adults. Over time, SWCA will create partnerships, build programs and influence policy to meet those needs by building a cradle to college and career pipeline in order to change the trajectory of our children’s lives.”

Services provided by SWCA: SWCA currently includes the Family HUB and will expand this fall to include the Family College as well. Our Family HUB offers social services for families who have a child who lives in or attends school in the South Ward. This January we launched three free tax preparation sites in the South Ward and we also provide financial literacy and housing workshops.


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