The Wizard’s Wardrobe is built upon the three factors that research shows are critical to achieving positive youth outcomes:

  • Access to and sustained participation in the program — The Wizard’s Wardrobe seeks to reach as many students as possible and maintain regular attendance in the program.

  • Quality programming and staffing — The Wizard’s Wardrobe uses a framework of materials, activities, and regularly trained tutors in creative learning strategies. Our program of literacy development is combined with STEM enrichment activities to achieve positive academic outcomes. Tutors must have 2 full days of training; monthly optional training evenings are always well-attended.

  • Strong partnerships among the program and other places where students are learning, such as their schools, their homes, and other community institutions — The Wizard’s Wardrobe staff maintains regular communication with students’ schools/teachers, monthly reports of student activities and progress are logged and shared with classroom teachers, and special Imagination Celebrations with a student performance and dinners engage parents and family members.


The purpose of The Wizard’s Wardrobe is to be an effective resource in the community for students, parents, and teachers to collectively work to stem the tide of a school-age literacy crisis in the South End of Albany. This crisis has broad and lasting implications.


Elementary school students who struggle to read now may face many future obstacles, both in and out of the classroom. Research shows that students who lack proficient reading skills by fourth grade are at a higher risk of struggling academically and even dropping out of school. Low literacy rates are also linked to other lasting consequences affecting our communities, such as poverty and crime.