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Mission Statement

The Fiver Children's Foundation is a comprehensive youth development organization that makes a 10-year commitment to children from underserved communities throughout New York City and central New York. Through character-building summer and year-round out-of-school time programs, Fiver empowers children to make ethical and healthy decisions, to become engaged citizens, and to succeed in school, careers, and life.



Fiver takes its name from Richard Adam’s celebrated work of fiction Watership Down. The novel focuses on the survival, leadership, and courage of a group of rabbits, led by the visionary rabbit Fiver, who set out to find a better way of life. Inspired by this story, Founder and Chairman of the Board Tom Tucker established the Foundation in 1998 to benefit children from economically disadvantaged circumstances. What began as a summer camp has evolved into a comprehensive, year-round youth development organization.

Our Approach

Program participants, known as "Fivers," progress through ten years of developmentally appropriate program stages. We ask partner organizations to refer to Fiver children who are in need of intervention and long-term support. For additional information about our approach, download our Theory of Change.

Referral Criteria

  • Qualified for free or reduced lunch (less than $40,000/year for family of four).
  • Age 8 or 9 upon referral.
  • Affiliated with partnering school and community-based organization in an at-risk neighborhood.

10-year commitment

To each participant, Fiver pledges 10 years of comprehensive, developmentally appropriate programs and support. Children begin the program at age 8 and graduate at age 18, upon high school graduation.

Character cultivation

Fiver’s character cultivation program, Whole Self, is the cornerstone of the Fiver experience. We use a wide variety of activities as vehicles for building character.

Holistic support

Fiver aims to serve all of the children within a family and also provides a network of support for parents. Our programs are experiential, evidence-based, and free of charge to participants.

Long-term program objectives

  • Fivers possess 21st century skills to succeed in school and careers.
  • Fivers are engaged citizens.
  • Fivers make ethical and healthy life choices.



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