Carl Zimmerman is the founder of AMP which is inspired by the Adult and Child Together (ACT)/Mentor/Peer Program, Inc. He was excited to begin this organization and was inspired by Julia Goldstein, the founder of Partners for Educational Excellence Program. Zimmerman is a retired commercial artist and has devoted his time to help others.
Zimmerman has many skills and talents and uses them to help others. He has personally reached out to kindergarten children as Colorful Carl the Clown and Grandpa the Clown for many years. He has amused the children throughout the Borough of Queens with one important lesson: Learn to read. Read to learn. While working, if he finds children who need additional help, he finds them a “grandma” or “grandpa” volunteer through the ACT program.
Carl Zimmerman brought the ACT program to Queens in 1991. Since then, he has personally registered over 900 elders to serve over 42 schools in Queens. Now, Zimmerman has begun AMP@115. This is a mentoring organization that pairs elder mentors as grandparent figures to children as well as youth to youth. The initial children selected for AMP@115 are inattentive, possible at-risk first or second grade students that are paired with grandmas or grandpas. However, there is a second phase of the program where youth mentor youth. When the child reaches third grade, they get a youth mentor who is an honor student that acts as a big brother or big sister that cares.
In addition to starting AMP@115, Zimmerman has also found an appropriation from the New York City Municipal Credit Union to start a College Education Fund for AMP Student Mentors. This will enable them to receive an ongoing stipend toward a City University of New York (CUNY) higher education.
Zimmerman is also a member of the Planning Board of the Queens International Year of Volunteers (IYV) 2001 which is the United Nations worldwide project that honors volunteers. He has assumed the responsibility of chairing the Graphic Design Art Contest for High School Students of Queens to create a cover design for the Annual Journal. This results in bringing attention to the high school student as well as the community as a whole with regards to the importance of volunteerism.
Zimmerman will continue to work with AMP and dreams to have the Graduate Students of CUNY form an AMP Peer Organization to create a permanent Queens Liberty Fair Park, which would be like a World’s Fair or Epcot Center. He wants to ultimately create a tourist attraction whereby the greater community of Queens may be proud of their students.