About Carmel Hill in Monroe, LA...

History of the Carmel Hill Fund...

The Carmel Hill Fund’s focus on education developed naturally and early on in its history. Shortly after its founding in 1986, The Fund accomplished its first major success: the revitalization of a block in Harlem. Bill Ruane, the benefactor of Carmel Hill, selected a destitute block on 118th Street ravaged by drug abuse and property neglect. Teaming up with the Children’s Aid Society, Carmel Hill worked to get the drug sellers and addicts off the block, bring the buildings up to code, and obtain vital social services rendered to tenants.


Bill’s goal from the beginning had been to elevate children from the most desperate living conditions into stable situations so as to break the cycle of poverty in a cost-effective and replicable way. After Carmel Hill petitioned the proper authorities to restore the buildings and worked with Children’s Aid Society to begin providing services to the block’s residents, Bill took a closer look at the children who lived on 118th Street. He discovered that on just that one block, 80 elementary grade students were attending 26 different schools. Bill realized that a strong sense of community could be threatened with the block’s children scattered in so many directions, so he did a search for one school that they all could attend. Soon enough, he hit upon St. Paul School, a small Catholic elementary school a few blocks away that was on the verge of closing due to insufficient funds. Bill supported the school to keep it from closing and established a scholarship program that allowed the 118th Street children to attend St. Paul for only a nominal fee.


The 270 students enrolled in St. Paul were very much in need of an intervention to improve their reading ability, so in 2001 Bill purchased Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader program at the suggestion of St. Paul’s then-principal Agnes Sayaman. The results were quick in coming and overwhelming in their magnitude. Between 2001 and 2003, St. Paul’s overall school score on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) went up by 70%. St. Paul went from scoring near the bottom quartile as compared to schools nationally in 2001, to scoring 8% above the national median in 2003.


Because of Accelerated Reader’s tremendous success at St. Paul, Bill decided to bring this program to other schools in need. In addition to pursuing other initiatives to enhance youth education, The Carmel Hill Fund Education Program is the branch of The Carmel Hill Fund responsible for working with schools to integrate Accelerated Reader into their curriculums.


For more information about our founding location in New York, you can go to www.carmelhill.org.


Founder: William (Bill) Ruane

The Carmel Hill Fund Education Program is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the love of reading in children by providing educators with the means to improve their students' reading ability.


Carmel Hill believes that reading is not only an educational skill, but also a tool that children can use to enhance their lives beyond their circumstances. We believe that reading is critical in enabling children to express ideas, share experiences, and formulate a point of view.


The partnership between the Carmel Hill Fund and the Monroe City School District began in 2003 at Cypress Point School. Beginning in August 2004, the project expanded to include all of the nineteen Monroe City Schools. In 2008, the project expanded to include three parochial schools in Monroe that are under the umbrella of the Monroe City Schools Title I Program.


Margie Godwin

Project Director


Allison Painich

Project Facilitator / Intern Coordinator