Link will open at its regular time on Wednesday, May 16th. Tests indicated that the air quality in the building is safe. Teams Veritas and Jennings will go on their outdoor education trip as planned. The 8th grade NJSLA-Science assessment will be rescheduled to another date, and we’ll let you know when that is as soon as possible.

Link mourns its founder, Sr. Vivien Jennings, O.P.

Link Community Charter School and Link Education Partners are saddened by the passing of the founder of Link, Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P. on Saturday, May 5th. Sister Vivien was a remarkable woman with an amazing passion for education and social justice. Among her many accomplishments in life, she conceived of Link – an educational institution that would make a difference in the lives of Newark youth  – as an act of social justice following the Newark Riots of 1967. She wanted to help the city heal, and campaigned to provide a safe haven for young teens, to help them grow academically and personally in a city that was rife with gangs and drugs. In 1969, she received support from her congregation, the Sisters of St. Dominic Caldwell, NJ, and established Link Educational Center, also known as Project Link, which has evolved over the years to Link Community School, and now Link Community Charter School. While she never served as either a teacher or an administrator at Link, she remained very connected throughout the school’s 48 years and was proud of the school’s accomplishments.  Her heartfelt reflections on Link and its establishment are captured in our first film about the school, A Matter of Justice, which can be found on the school’s website,

In 2014, Link transitioned from an independent school under the umbrella of the Sisters of St. Dominic to a public charter school, to deepen the educational program by serving younger students and to close the ever widening achievement gap. While Sister Vivien and the other Dominican Sisters in Caldwell no longer have direct involvement with the school, they have continued a warm and supportive partnership in education.

Of Sister Vivien, Link’s Head of School Maria Pilar Paradiso commented,” The torch was lit in 1969 and it still burns brightly because of the vision and work of Sister Vivien and the other Dominican Sisters. The school has served over 2500 youth very successfully and launched them into competitive high schools in New Jersey and the northeastern U.S.  It is up to us to keep the flame burning strong to ensure social justice through educational equity, to benefit future Linkers, and to honor the legacy of Sister Vivien and the Caldwell Dominicans.”

To learn more about Sister Vivien Jennings, read her complete obituary from the Star Ledger:

Six Link students represented the school in an honor guard at Sister Vivien’s funeral on  Wednesday, May 9th, along with students from St. Dominic Academy in Jersey City, Mount Saint Dominic Academy in Caldwell, and Caldwell University in Caldwell—all schools that Sister Vivien  greatly impacted. This was a true honor for our students and our school.



Malakai Freeman ’04 gives back to the community

Malakai Freeman ’04 spoke to Upper House students today about the impact that Link, particularly the teachers and staff, had on his life.  He shared several examples of how Link staff personally supported him while at Link and beyond, and how the sense of “family” or “community” and caring at Link kept him from straying in the wrong direction. One Link staff member presented Malakai with a laptop upon graduation from high school but made him promise he would do the same for someone at some point in his life.  Keeping his promise, Malakai donated a laptop for Link’s staff today to present to a worthy 8th grader who they felt would appreciate it and also promise to “pay it forward” in the future. Noting that next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, Malachi encouraged students “to appreciate all of the things that your teachers do for you.”

This is not Malakai’s (known at Link as Edwin) first return to Link since his graduation. He has spoken with students in previous years and appeared in Link’s video A Matter of Justice, talking about his experience at the school.  After Link, Malakai graduated from Delbarton in Morristown and Providence College in Rhode Island. He is pursuing an M.B.A. (Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management) from Western Governor’s University. He is currently employed by a division of Nestle as an IS/IT Manager. He resides in Rhode Island

Link thanks Malakai for “giving back to the community” by staying connected to Link. inspiring our Linkers, and offering a gift to one of our students.

P.S. The laptop was presented to Cheryl C. ’18 during the Graduates Awards Ceremony and Breakfast on June 20th. What a surprised, pleased, and grateful….as well as deserving..young lady! We know she will “pay it forward” at some point in the future!

Student pep each other up for the PARCC

The Lower House held a pep rally and cheer competition to encourage positive performance on the state PARCC assessments. Check out the cheers from Teams Jennings and Gandhi. Go Panthers…knock it out of the PARCC!!!!

Link students perform at local music showcase

Link students, under the direction of Link’s music teaching artist, Lisette Santiago, performed at the annual Jazz House Kids Showcase at Science Park High School last week. Link was one of several schools served by Jazz House Kids, a non-profit organization with which the schools partner to provide great music instruction and experiences for youth through the artist-in-residence model. The Link Choir, now in its third year, sang “Moaning,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Mas Que Nada.”  The girls’ ensemble, a vocal and instrumental music group,  composed the music and wrote the lyrics for the piece they performed, titled  “She’s Phenomenal.” And, Link’s music teacher, Ms. Santiago performed a number with the teachers from the other schools served by Jazz House Kids and the renowned jazz bassist Christian McBride. Click here to see a videos of the student performances.

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS music education in action with the Link Charter School music club and choir

Posted by Jazz House Kids on Wednesday, April 18, 2018