History

Documentation of Our History — A Matter of Justice

View our short film, A Matter of Justice, to learn more about the history of Link and its impact on the youth of Newark.

Our History: A Timeline

1969: Project Link was founded in 1969 by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, New Jersey, in response to the Newark riots and the resulting devastation of the Central Ward community. Under the leadership of Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P., the Sisters established  a non-denominational independent middle school to help rebuild the community by providing an exceptional educational opportunity in a nurturing and caring environment for young people left in poverty. It was founded on the belief that small class settings combined with opportunities for creative expression would transform potential dropouts into community leaders. They started Project Link in  an old three story frame house with 50 7th graders, and added an 8th grade the following year.

1971: Project Link moved to a larger location, the former parish school of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church on Irvine Turner Boulevard, to allow for expansion and to provide a better learning space for students.

1992: Project Link changed its name to Link Community School to reflect that it had become a permanent educational option for the youth of Newark.

2012: Link Community School relocated to 23 Pennsylvania Avenue, the former home of the St. Columba Parochial School. The much larger facility offered the school more space for its program and the opportunity to expand to more grade levels in the future.

2013: The Link Board of Trustees announced its plan for school expansion. They removed tuition as a barrier to equal access to a quality education, and announced the decisions to expand to include grades 5 and 6 and to apply to the NJDOE for conversion to a charter school.

2014: The NJDOE granted a charter to the new Link Community Charter School, and the school enrolled its first class of fifth grade students.

2015: Link reaches a milestone in its history! The school opened in the fall with 288 students in grades grade 5 through 8. At full capacity now, the school is a true middle school.

Link’s success has been measured by the changed lives of over 3,000 students, many of whom have attributed their personal success to the life-changing experience they had at Link. Link places its graduates in some of the finest independent schools in the mid-Atlantic region as well as leading parochial and magnet high schools in the Newark area. 100% of the past 16 graduating classes (1999-2015) were accepted into quality high schools of their choice.