Our Story

Dan Rose, our founder, was reading an article in the NYT about the 25 worst public schools for literacy in NYC. He picked #25 on the list and showed up at the school. While waiting in the office to speak with the principal, a teacher walked in and asked the office administrator for the “key for the ball”. Mr. Rose asked about this ball, it must be very magical and special if they are locking it up. Turns out that the school only had 1 ball for the entire school, so had to keep it under lock and key. To show his dedication, Dan proceeded to the Modell’s Sporting Goods down the street and bought every ball in the store and had it delivered to the school. From that point, he worked with the Principal and the school to get kids reading and their scores up. Success was achieved within the year but then, Mr. Rose wondered what would happen to these kids once they left this elementary school. HEAF grew out of this question and we are now over 25 years strong.