Friends, staff and families of Link gathered at NJPAC for a really exciting evening on November 19th – the 17th annual A Taste of Newark, a benefit for Link Community Charter School, hosted by Link Education Partners. Guests sampled delicious food from restaurants in and around Newark, bid on a terrific array of auction items which were donated by the school’s supporters and were treated to some great student performances.
This years’ event was a celebration of the school’s growth and the opportunity to honor Novartis, for their steadfast support for over twenty years. Link expanded from a two-year school (7th and 8th grades) by adding 5th grade this year. Next year, the school will include 6th grade too. This will double the size of the school, which means preparing additional classroom space, purchasing more furniture and supplies and, most importantly, hiring a cohort of 6th grade teachers.
Mr. Joe Vissagio, executive director of Novartis Patient Assistance and Philanthropy accepted a gift from Link for Novartis in gratitude for the partnership in education – particularly in science education- that the global pharmaceutical company has maintained with Link for over two decades. Novartis funded the state-of-the-art science lab in our current facility, provided funding for unique educational experiences including the The Island School, Bahamas expedition and field trips to Liberty Science Center, The Franklin Institute, and the Bodies Exhibit. Novartis also provides mentoring opportunities for Link students. In his acceptance, Mr. Vissagio stated that Novartis was proud of the long standing relationship between Link and Novartis, working together to educate students and to inspire them to consider a career in science.
Link Education Partners, the evening’s host, is the organization that raises funds for Link Community Charter School. This is the largest fundraiser of the year, and the proceeds go toward helping the school close the gap between public funding and the actual cost of educating a child. Charter schools receive significantly less than district schools, so donor dollars are really important, particularly for providing supplemental programming for students that enhance their basic education, as well as for the facility in which the school resides. At Link private funding is especially critical as the school is committed to providing a summer academy, electives, outdoor adventure education, and countless special programs that broaden students’ horizons. To learn more about the event, click here.