Syracuse University Hosting “Say Yes Day” to Support Efforts to Transform Syracuse Public Schools

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, January 22, 2011, Syracuse University is hosting “Say Yes Day” to raise financial support for the Say Yes to Education Syracuse program, which is supported by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The project is aimed at transforming the Syracuse City School District and creating opportunities for graduates of the city’s public high schools to attend college.

As part of the “Say Yes Day” activities, those watching the nationally televised basketball game between Syracuse and Villanova at the Carrier Dome can donate $10 by participating in the “Say Yes Text to Donate” campaign by texting “COLLEGE” to 27722. Fundraisers will be held in homes, community centers, schools, businesses and restaurants throughout the city and participating restaurants and organizations will donate a percentage of their sales to Say Yes. The Central New York Community Foundation and Say Yes to Education, Inc., will provide up to $2 million in matching funds to support the largest school improvement program of its kind in the nation.

An unprecedented effort is under way in Syracuse, N.Y., to transform the city’s public school system to improve student achievement and offer financial assistance to those going to college. An unusual public-private partnership has been formed by Say Yes to Education, Syracuse University, the school district and school board, the teachers’ union, the mayor and the county executive, business and community leaders — and AIR, which has made a $7.5 million commitment to the success of the effort.

About Say Yes to Education Syracuse
Say Yes is a landmark collaboration that brings the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse University, Say Yes to Education, Inc., the Syracuse Teachers’ Association, the Syracuse Association of Administrators and Supervisors, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the American Institutes for Research and a diverse group of Syracuse area corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations together to organize people, time, money and resources to support city students.

Syracuse is the first community in the United States committed to ensuring that all public school students can afford and succeed in college. Other cities have Say Yes chapters, including Philadelphia; Hartford, Conn.; Cambridge, Mass.; and New York City, but Syracuse is the first city to implement the Say Yes program district wide. Students who attend 10th, 11th and 12th grade and graduate from a Syracuse City School District high school are eligible for free college tuition at more than 100 Say Yes compact colleges in New York state.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Dana Tofig

Managing Director, Corporate Communications