Tiffany Walker ’03 addresses Lower House on respect and mental health

Tiffany Walker ’03 (fourth from the left) with Candace Hightower, Link’s alumni coordinator (third from the left) and a group of our Lower House scholars.

Tiffany Walker, Link ‘03, spoke about respect and mental health with our Lower House scholars during Morning Circle recently. She encouraged students to “fill each other’s buckets”…to be supportive of each other at all times rather than tearing each other down. Tiffany also called on scholars to reflect on bullying and how it impacts one’s self esteem and mental health.

Link was so excited and grateful for Tiffany’s presence. Her energy was contagious the minute she walked into Morning Circle. She even led the Lower House in Link’s enthusiastic Call and Response… which she remembered from her days at the school.

After Link,Tiffany attended Morristown Beard School for high school. She then earned a B.S.W. from Widener University and  an M.S.W. from Columbia University. After working in the non-profit field for a while, she founded Pathways Toward Peace, a non-profit with the mission to provide mental health training to faith and community-based organizations.

Link thanks Tiffany for giving back to the community by staying connected to Link, uplifting our Linkers, and educating the larger community about mental health.

Enrollment applications for 2019-2010 now available!

Give your child a “link” to a bright future with an education at Link Community Charter School! Complete an enrollment application now for your child entering grades 5 through 8 in the fall of 2019. Apply directly to Link as Link’s enrollment is independent of One Newark.  Click here for the application and information about the enrollment process. Please note that applicants from Newark, Orange, East Orange and Irvington have priority placement through the lottery.

Link Scholars Collaborate on the Redesign of Historic Park

On Friday, September 28, five 8th grade Link scholars and Mrs. Kutch, 7th grade science teacher, participated in Schools That Can’s 3rd Annual Design Day Challenge at the Newark Museum.  Each year, Schools That Can (STC) brings together 50 students from Newark schools (traditional public, public charter, and private), along with local educators, businesses, and organizations to tackle a real world design challenge facing the City of Newark, NJ.  Link has participated in the STC Design Day Challenge since its inception in 2016 with past challenges included design of an interactive art and science barge along the Passaic River and an application for an interactive kiosk in the Newark Downtown District for residents and tourists.  This year’s challenge – redesign Newark’s historic Washington Park as a center for culture and community while paying homage to historical figures in the city’s history.

The students conducted field research before collaborating to create innovative designs that Newark Community and Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) could consider in redeveloping the park that sits at the northern gateway of Newark’s downtown, across from the Newark Museum, Newark Library, and various corporate headquarters.  Designs featured permeable canvas floors to create art, sound proof nature preserves, tech-free zones, WiFi password scavenger hunts and more!  Link scholars and chaperone were included in six of the eight teams – Hollister Construction (Grey), NJIT – College of Architecture and Design (Red), BuildPro (Black), Newark CEDC (Blue), Shufro Rose & Co (Teal) and Schools That Can (Light Green).  Shout out to two of the winning teams which included Linkers: Best Design Choice – Hollister Construction (Grey) and Best Overall – BuildPro (Black).  We cannot wait to see the design elements that will be adopted at Washington Park in coming years!

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Coding Camp delivers experience and more to young “techies”

Five Link scholars received laptops at the culmination of Coding Camp this summer. The camp, led by Ben Campbell and Fritz Huggins, and held at the school, was a five-week program designed to teach students the basics of coding, specifically Python. Students mastered coding language and syntax, and put their new knowledge to work building calculators, sentence statements, number strings, and text animation. And they had fun along the way!

Weeks one and two of camp consisted of building knowledge of the fundamentals of programming. With a firm grasp on basic coding language, week three moved on to applying those fundamentals. Using a game framework that the instructor coded, students began solving several problems. The game involved a wombat on a 16X12 grid that can walk, turn, pick up, and place leaves. With each new challenge, Ben emphasized the importance of breaking down problems into small steps. As the week progressed, the students became more comfortable with each idea and how to apply their foundational knowledge to each challenge.

As Ben explained, “For example, I coded the wombat’s ability to turn left, but I tasked them with coding the wombat to turn right. Through some thinking and debating we eventually came to the conclusion that we could make the wombat turn right by making 3 left turns. After that I introduced them to separating code using functions. It is a good programming practice to separate the code into steps in functions. The first function we wrote was to make the wombat walk “x” number of times. I gave them the ability to make the wombat walk but they would need to write that code 10 times if they wanted it to walk 10 squares. Using this function, we could have it walk 10 times by just specifying the number of times we wanted it to walk in 1 line.”

The excitement and confidence in the classroom  was palpable as students focused on problems without ‘giving up’ in minutes and at times, students worked through their breaks on problems. Students have talked about learning how to “build on challenges” and feeling more confident as the problems increased in difficulty. Amber, a rising 7th grader, said she is having “a lot of fun,” and that “when I don’t understand I know I’ll get it if I keep trying because I have faith.”

The students were excited and grateful to receive their own Macbooks at the end of the program. All stated they would continue to explore the what they could do with the coding learned in camp.  Christa, a rising 8th grade scholar, stated that she would like to continue to learn more about coding because she said, “This could be so important to my future job and career.”

Thanks to Ben and Fritz for sharing their knowledge and time with our scholars, Newark Kids Code for introducing the young men to Link, and to Electronic Access Foundation for the donation of the laptops for the students to continue exploring computer programming and to use during their educational journey.


Join us for the 21st A Taste of Newark on November 7th!

Link Education Partners will host the 21st A Taste of Newark benefit for Link Community Charter School on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 5:30 pm at NJPAC in Newark.  The evening features tastings of delicious food from over 20 area restaurants and caterers, thrilling student performances, a silent auction, an inspiring alumni speaker, and an honoree presentation. Click here to learn about the honoree and alumni speaker, as well as how you can enjoy and support this amazing event!