With a longer legacy than any other NJ public charter school, Link opened its doors today for its 50th First Day of School and launched a yearlong celebration of its anniversary. Students and guests arrived to a building decked out with balloons, banners, and crepe paper in honor of the day. Upper House scholars participated in a special Morning Circle that highlighted the history and the legacy of Link, which was established in 1969. Students formed a human timeline as they learned about the founding of Link during a time of civil unrest in Newark, important events throughout Link’s life, and the impact of Link on the educational landscape, particularly the founding of NorthStar Academy (and the Uncommon Schools network) in Newark, the Denver School of Science and Technology network of schools in Denver, and Pride Academy Charter School in East Orange – all founded by former Link leaders and teachers who were inspired by their experiences at Link. (Lower House will experience the same assembly tomorrow.) Special guests included Link board members and a representative from the Newark Charter School Fund, who all joined in the morning’s festivities.
Thomas Johnson, Link Class of 2010 donated a podium to Link that he created in Graphic Design class during his senior year at Rutgers University-Newark. His class was tasked with creating art within the theme of “Stood at the Border: Im/migrant Voices & Stories Retold,” wherein students were to develop “individual statements addressing issues of im/migration and belonging. Inspired by American novelist Toni Morrison’s statement, “I stood at the border, stood at the edge and claimed it my central,” the art students conducted research and then demonstrated their findings in art in their own unique media platform. Thomas chose to depict African American history and narrative on vinyl that was wrapped around a podium. The art features line portraits of famous African Americans and organizations. Thomas’s art, and that of his peers, was exhibited at the Project for Empty Spaces gallery in Newark last spring, and then he delivered the piece to Link where has been used for Black Lives Matters week and other school events. Link appreciates both Thomas’ talent and his gift to Link, and wishes his well as he graduates from Rutgers U.
Vote and help Link to win a grant for $25k for student enrichment programming from the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program! In fact, you get 10 votes each day until August 23rd, so cast them ALL for Link! This grant could help fund the exposures Link provides to its scholars to help narrow the achievement and opportunity gaps such as outdoor adventure education, arts programming, elective classes, field trips, and summer learning.
Link Community Charter School/Link Education Partners was selected as a State Farm Neighborhood Assist® Top 200 Finalist (out of 2000 applicants) for a grant! The top 40 vote-receiving causes will receive a $25k grant! A grant such as this would really benefit all of our Linkers! So vote NOW – and everyday until August 23 at https://www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2024193
And please spread the word to help increase the number of votes for Link!
What exciting news we have from Link alumni – the Class of 2015 – who graduated from high school this past June! We have already reached 60% of the class and ALL have enrolled in college for the fall of 2019! Link has made a tremendous effort in locating our alumni and in making connections and we will continue to report on connections made.
We congratulate the Class of 2015, which was first class to graduate from Link after the conversion to a public charter school and wish them well on the next leg of life’s journey. Here is the list of colleges and universities the Class of 2019 will attend in the fall:
4-Year Private Institutions
College of Saint Elizabeth
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Loyola University (Baltimore)
University of Rochester
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Bowie State University
Delaware State University
Jackson State University
North Carolina A&T State University
4-Year Public Institutions
Georgia State University
Montclair State University
The Pennsylvania State University
William Paterson University
2-Year Public Institutions
Chattahoochee Technical College
Essex County College
Union County College
Link students adopted and painted four catch basins (aka sewer or storm drains) in the area around the school as part of a citywide program to protect Newark’s waterways and make it more beautiful initiated by the City of Newark Office of Sustainability, Newark Riverfront Revival, Newark Department of Public Works, and the EPA’s Urban Waterways Federal Partnership. The students who participated were enrolled in the Environmental Activism Through Art Elective, under the guidance of Ms. Howard, Link’s fine arts teacher. They studied the art of Berlin-based Raubdruckerin to understand environmental art, and then created their own street mural designs intended to raise awareness about the importance of catch basins and the need for clean waterways. They painted the murals over a three-week period and engaged our neighbors – Newark School of the Arts and Integrity House – in the project. The project will continue with ensuring that the catch basins remain clear of litter and debris. As part of the elective, students were invited to participate in the Science and Leadership Academy at the Newark Watershed in West Milford, NJ learning how water from the reservoirs is cleaned and makes its way into Newark’s faucets.
Link Community Charter School is pleased to announce that the graduates in the Class of 2019 have been awarded over $6.5 million in academic scholarships and financial aid for competitive private high schools. This amount is the largest granted in the school’s history.
The graduates received acceptance into, and scholarships to attend, prestigious boarding schools in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S., including St. Mark’s School, George School, Purnell School, St. Paul’s School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, The Darrow School, and more. In addition, students were accepted into and received scholarship and financial aid from private day schools in NJ, including Montclair-Kimberly Academy, Newark Academy, Kent Place School, Morristown Beard School, The Hudson School, Seton Hall Prep, St. Vincent Academy, St. Benedict’s Prep, Marist, Immaculate Conception, and others.
Link’s Head of School Maria Pilar Paradiso states, “We are very proud of the achievements of the Class of 2019. Our scholars’ commitment to their education and their perseverance paid off with a record amount in academic scholarships and financial aid to attend great high schools where they will be able to continue their educational journey on the foundation they received at Link. Independent boarding and day schools, as well as scholarship programs, are generously providing a wonderful opportunity for our scholars, clearly recognizing the quality of a Link student. We are grateful to the schools for ensuring the continuance of an excellent education for our graduates and for supporting our work to bridge the opportunity gap and work towards educational equity.”