Fourteenth Avenue School will soon enjoy a new playground made from student-recycled products

A new playground will soon come to Fourteenth Avenue School in Newark, and it will be made entirely of recycled products, some of which were sourced from the students’ own efforts.

ICYMI: NJIT top ranked in the nation for student economic upward mobility

According to a recent ranking, New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of the top colleges in the nation in terms of its ability to increase the economic standing of its graduates.

Mannequin Challenge introduces the world to Newark native’s East Orange Performing Arts Preschool

One Step Ahead Learning Center is far more than a traditional preschool. Its Mannequin Challenge video got nearly 10 million views. On any given day, you can find the four- and five-year-old students dressed in little aprons and taking cooking classes, working on science experiments, learning new lines to an original play, or singing along to The Supremes.

Newark middle school students “Cook, Learn, Grow” with culinary curriculum

Chef Ameer Natson is hiding a reading, math and problem-solving curriculum in plain sight with his culinary curriculum at George Washington Carver middle school.

Rutgers-Newark to undertake search for public scholar to occupy newly endowed academic chair commemorating Dr. Clement Price

The search is on for a scholar to fill the newly-approved Clement A. Price Chair in Public History and the Humanities at Rutgers-Newark. It commemorates the late Dr. Clement A. Price, the lauded and beloved Rutgers-Newark history scholar and official Newark historian who passed away in November of 2014.

New campaign invites Newark class of 2016 graduates to historic City Hall photo shoot this month [registration]

participate cardIt started as casual musing on Facebook just over a month ago.

“You know what i’d like to see/help organize?,” wrote Shanell Dunns, who is the deputy director of the New Jersey Black Alliance for Educational Options, or BAEO. “A citywide photoshoot, in one of our parks, of all rising college freshman adorned in their college t-shirts/hat.”

The comments that flowed in were swift and affirmative in favor of such a display, with many people offering to help organize the event. The following day, Dunns confirmed to her followers that the shoot was “about to go down.” About a week later, it had a name and a hashtag.

“Knowledge lives in Newark.” #BondingBrickScholars.

Now the event has a complete framework around it: the photo shoot will take place on Sunday, July 17th on the steps of Newark City Hall (rain date: August 16th) and is calling on 2016 high school graduates from Newark who are entering their freshman year in college or enlistment in the armed forces, as well as 2016 graduates of traditional and non-traditional colleges and universities. Participants should wear their regalia.

The shoot is well in line with BAEO’s mission: it hopes to both highlight and embody academic excellence in Newark by showing off the city’s scholars in the flesh, and to use that image to continue promoting academic achievement. In the process, the organizers also want to push back against the idea that Newarkers don’t achieve success, and to highlight the diversity of post-graduate choices by inviting Newarkers who will pursue a spectrum of post-graduate options.

Class of 2016 graduates who would like to participate should register online. Check-in is at 9 a.m. on the morning of the photoshoot, and the shoot itself will take place at 10 a.m.

For more information, visit

Rising college freshman can sign up for free academic prep and a stipend this August

newarku cardNewark residents entering their freshman year at a four-year college or university can sign up for a series of pre-college preparation sessions and get a $250 stipend upon completion of the program.

The Newark College Freshman Institute, now in its fifth year, will offer professional and personal development workshops, special guest speakers, and face time with leaders from across the worlds of education, business, and the civic sector during all-day sessions from August 8 through August 11.

In previous years, the workshops have included instruction on résumé writing, financial literacy, social media etiquette, networking, and career planning. The program is an initiative of the Newark City of Learning Collaborative, whose goal is to have 25 percent of Newark residents holding a post-secondary degree by the year 2025. Programming for the four-day series is meant to provide new college students the tools to be thoughtful about their curriculum choices as they embark on their college careers.

The deadline to register online for the program is June 15. Rising college freshman can find the form here.

One teacher and three students from Newark recognized by national education organization

education cardSchools That Can, an urban schools network that connects charter, district, independent, and faith-based schools in 15 cities including Newark to share best practices and innovations with each other, recently announced 10 finalists for its third annual Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards. Four Newark education figures – including three students and one school leader – are among them.

Dominique Lee, CEO of BRICK and co-creator of the South Ward Alliance, was recognized for her three-hundred-sixty degree approach to education, which involves not only work in the classroom but “high quality case management of health and social services,” according to a statement about the finalists.

Eighth grader Thabitha Kobia, a native of Ghana who attends Discovery Charter School, is noted for her anti-bullying work, while high school seniors Mujahir Lesure and Mustafa Jones-Norton of Newark Collegiate Academy, who were nominated as a pair, were recognized for organizing a peaceful student protest in response to teacher firings.

Kerry Kennedy, president of RFKennedy Human Rights and daughter of the late attorney general Robert F.Kennedy, will present one award per category (in addition to school leaders and students, a teacher will also be awarded) on June 11 at the Schools That Can National Forum at New York University’s Kimmel Center.

The theme for this year’s two-day forum, the organization’s eleventh annual, is “Re-Imagining the Education Pathway,” and it will include sessions on bridging the education-to-employment gap and student readiness for higher education.

The Schools That Can organization in Newark currently includes 24 schools, including seven district schools, 13 charter schools, and three independent and/or faith-based schools.