American Sunrise

How We Help

26% of children who are read to three to four times a week by a family member, recognized all letters of the alphabet by age five.

The Need

American Sunrise serves “At Risk” students in the inner city of San Antonio, Texas.  Our service area is the most economically distressed census tract in San Antonio.  We are in the heart of the West Side – where the median household income is $23,900, significantly lower than the city’s median income of $45,300.

Consider these stark numbers:

  • 92 percent of students are economically disadvantaged
  • 70 percent of students are academically at risk
  • 27 percent of residents live below the poverty line
  • 41 percent of adults 25 and older did not graduate from high school

Even in stable homes, educational opportunities are limited.

Many of our student’s parents work 2-3 jobs, have limited education and very limited English proficiency.  Our student’s parents are hardworking however, limited income means that many families in the inner city we serve, can’t afford school uniforms, school supplies, computers, and internet services.  These hardships place our students even further behind their regional and global peers.


Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and his wife, former Councilwoman Mary Alice Cisneros founded American Sunrise in 2001 in an effort to address these needs and help families lift themselves into more prosperous lives.

American Sunrise is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit which was formed to serve as a catalyst in the revitalization of neighborhoods by providing educational and economic opportunities that improve the lives of hard working families.

The After-School Learning and Literacy Center provides:

  • Literacy instruction
  • After-school tutoring in all core subjects – Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Computer Literacy.
  • Homework assistance
  • Certified teachers, retired teachers and student teachers focus on key elements of literacy including speaking, listening, reading and writing through direct instruction.
  • Caring and committed volunteers – all background checked
  • Mentoring through building positive relationships
  • Educational summer camp in collaboration with Texas A&M University of San Antonio
  • Healthy meals in collaboration with the San Antonio Food Bank

Our goal is to equip our students with the tools needed to succeed in school, graduate and pursue higher education.  The end result is a stronger San Antonio.

Making a difference in children's lives at the Learning Center

Children who are read to frequently are more likely to count to 20, write their own name read or pretend to read by age five without aid.