Founded in 2008, Young Friends of Learning Leaders (YFOLL) is a dedicated group of young professionals helping to bring new creativity and future leadership to New York City’s premier school volunteer not-for-profit.
The YFOLLs range in age from 24-44 and live and/or work in New York City and are committed to providing much-needed support to the City’s public school students by volunteering their time to work one-on-one with a student, through the annual “Go Back to School” fundraiser held in September or by helping to promote Learning Leaders’ mission, programs and events to friends and colleagues. Since the inaugural "Go Back to School" event in September 2008, the YFOLLs have raised close to $80,000 for Learning Leaders' programs. Every $1,500 donated results in 400 hours of service to a public school.
The YFOLL Committee accepts new members year round. If you are interested in joining please contact Julia Gilliam, Director of Special Events at email@example.com or 646-519-8364.
Past YFOLL Events:
The Young Friends of Learning Leaders gathered for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres & a silent auction at 121 Fulton Street. The event raised both money and middle school books to support Learning Leaders programs in public schools. Big thanks to Rebecca Alexander, Jena Arzac, Katherine Benedict, Samantha Lynch, Elizabeth McGarr, William Sinclair, Paul Stamas, Laurent Van Hassel, Margarita Weintraub, and event chairs Stephanie Van Hassel and Stephanie Xethalis. Special thanks to 121 Fulton Street, Paige Management Properties & Baked by Melissa.
Young Friends of Learning Leaders and PS 241 Meet-and-Greet May 2012
On May 16th, forty-nine excited third graders from PS 241 in Brooklyn filed into the Learning Leaders offices in lower Manhattan. After exchanging letters with their Young Friends of Learning Leaders Book Buddies for the past several months, they were ready to meet their Buddies in person.
The students and their buddies got to know each other while munching on pizza and completing crossword puzzles, making fortune-tellers, and doing other Ramona the Pest themed activities. The students left the event excited to read a new book, Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary.
Young Friends of Learning Leaders and PS 241 Meet-and-Greet 2011
2nd and 3rd graders from PS 201 and the YFOLL Book Buddies gathered at Learning Leaders to “meet-and-greet” for the first time since reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary and sharing 3 letters each about the book with one another this semester. The event was chock full of creative activities for all – trivia questions about the book to unlock your name tag, a word search for phrases from the book, and even cookie decorating!
The highlight of the event was a special visit by the illustrator of The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Learning Leaders Authors Read Aloud volunteer, Tracy Dockray(right). Tracy shared her technique for drawing the mouse in the story and showed the model for the motorcycle. After trying their hand at drawing their own mice, each student left the event with two brand new books! Check out the photos from the event, here!
[April 13th, 2011] - Thank you Young Friends Leah, Elizabeth, Dylan, Juliet, Stephanie and Nelson for reading 'Swimmy' and encouraging the creative talents of our kids at PS 75 with Swimmy murals and bookmarks during Great School Volunteer Week!
Wine, Art & Conversation
[March 10th, 2011] - The Young Friends of Learning Leaders thank Paula Cooper, Ona Nowina-Sapinski, Steve Harris and Debbie Martini of the Paula Cooper Gallery for hosting Wine, Art & Conversation on March 10th. The weather outside was frightful, but inside was purely delightful as the Young Friends enjoyed the sculpture exhibition and introduced new friends to the group and the organization. After a warm welcome by Elizabeth Evans and remarks by Claire Campbell, all guests were invited to learn more about the Learning Leaders at an information session that was held on Wednesday, April 6, at Learning Leaders' offices.
Click here for photos of the event!
Young Friends of Learning Leaders/PS 182 Book Buddies Meet and Greet at Learning Leaders - [June 9, 2010] Young Friends of Learning Leaders and 2nd graders from PS 182 gathered for the first time on June 9th to meet each other and discuss Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter. During the school semester, the buddies read the book and exchanged letters “pen pal” style. The program culminated with the Meet and Greet in which buddies were seated at tables named as homage to places or locations in the story like “Patsy’s Pizza Parlor” and “Eva’s Front Stoop.” After enjoying pizza and decorating cookies, each younger buddy was awarded a Certificate of Merit for completion of the program. Please click here for photos.
Go Back to School! - [September 30, 2009]The Young Friends of Learning Leaders (YFOLL), hosted its Second Annual "Go back to School" benefit on September 30th at BLVD.
The Event Chairs were Maggie Ryan and Stephanie Xethalis, with Celebrity Co-Chairs, designer Tracy Reese and actor Tom Cavanagh. Sponsors included Inocente Platinum and Tribeca Treats. Guests were treated to music by DJ Spazo, signature cocktails named after famous children’s books including “James and the Giant Peach,” a Bellini made with Sofia Blanc de Blanc donated by Francis Ford Coppola Winery , “The Goblet of Fire” and “Goodnight, Moon” -- a Tequila Sunrise, of course, hors d'Oeuvres and a silent auction full of wonderful prizes. There was also a “school photo” picture booth, a crafts area to make book marks and a book drive to support the PS 191 library. P.S. 191 was the first-ever Learning Leaders school: the program began there in 1956 as the NYC School Volunteer Program (SVP) when 20 women, led by founder Clara Blitzer, went into the school to help free up teachers by doing non-instructional tasks.
Event proceeds support the updating and refreshing of the third floor library at P.S. 191 as well as a volunteer drive to recruit, train and place as many as 25 new volunteers to help keep it open. The event raised nearly $25,000 for Learning Leaders programs and the book drive helped add an additional 100 books to the library.
Thank you to all of the evening's supporters! Please click here for photos of the evening.
Book Buddies Meet and Greet - [June 12, 2009]Learning Leaders hosted the Young Friends of Learning Leaders & PS 182 Book Buddies Meet and Greet on June 12th. Members of the Young Friends Committee and their buddies each received a copy of Owen and Mzee, The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Paula Kahumbu, read corresponding sections of the book and shared three letters “pen pal style” about the book throughout the school semester. The event marked the first time the buddies met in person. After introductions and formalities were out of the way, the buddies got down to business – decorating cookies and eating pizza! See more photos!
Great School Volunteer Week – [April, 2009] Learning Leaders launched Great School Volunteer Week on April 20th with the Read Out! event at Lincoln Center for over 700 NYC 4th graders which included Al Roker, Charles Osgood, Sonia Manzano, children’s book author Jennifer Swender and Head of NYC Middle Schools Verone Kennedy. GSVW was a week long event to help celebrate volunteerism in public schools. Throughout the week there were 300 events in 300 schools.
The Young Friends were busy that week: Elizabeth McGarr coordinated a corporate Sports Illustrated team that engaged 9th graders in the art of reporting and editing at the Secondary School for Journalism in Brooklyn, while Leah Wittman, Shawn Williams, Maggie Ryan, Katherine Smith, Sandy Sullivan and Dylan Hoffman conducted read alouds and a card making activity around the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with 3rd graders at PS 64 in Manhattan. See more photos from that day.