Schools 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.