NEWS

Volunteers help with Link’s summer reading program

Link welcomed volunteers from Planet Honda NJ as well as alumni from the classes of 2016 and 2018 to distribute 800+ donated books to our rising 6th, 7th and 8th graders.this week.There were smiles all around as students picked out books to call their own and to read over the summer. A special thank you to Bridge of Books, Planet Honda NJ, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Hub International and individual donors for making our 2019 Summer Reading Book Giveaway possible.

Link’s musical talent on display at Jazz House Kids’ Newark Showcase

Link’s Choir, Percussion Elective Class, and female music ensemble, Her Voice, performed at the annual Jazz House Kids Annual Student Showcase in Newark recently. Students were directed by Ms. Lisette Santiago, teaching artist, who comes to Link through JHK.  By all accounts, the students were amazing!

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Link’s head of school honored with RFK Urban Ed School Leader Award

Link is proud to announce that Maria Pilar Paradiso, Link’s head of school, was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Award for School Leaders at the Schools That Can 14th Annual Forum 2019 Luncheon in Newark. The award, presented by Schools That Can (STC) in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is awarded to a school leader who has displayed “moral courage” and who has worked toward the betterment of their school environment and communities. Cara Kennedy Cuomo, granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, presented the award to Mrs. Paradiso.

Mrs. Paradiso was nominated for the award by Link staff for her commitment to “equity, justice, and instilling these values in others” and for her moral courage in leading Link’s conversion from an independent school to a public charter school.   She spearheaded the expansion of the school to reach more students at an earlier age and, after the conversion, her vision and leadership resulted in very positive results for the under-served youth of Newark. With Mrs. Paradiso at the helm, Link has become a leader in urban education, and Link’s best practices have been shared with both public and independent schools. She arrived at Link in 2002 and was appointed head of school in 2010.

Schools That Can (STC) is the country’s largest cross-sector network of urban schools serving low-income communities. It reaches more than 200 schools across 15 cities, serving more than 80,000 students. STC works with students, teachers, and school leaders to re-imagine education through real-world learning that closes the opportunity and skills gap. By connecting leaders to powerful practices and models, developing teachers and engaging students, STC has, and continues to make, an important difference in the lives of American urban youth. Link has been a proud member of STC since its founding in the early 2000s. In 2010, Link co-hosted the STC Annual Forum, then also in Newark, with St. Benedict’s Prep.

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Link students perform at STC Forum

Students from Link’s Spoken Word Troupe, under the direction of Ms. Erica Bradshaw, teaching artist, performed original pieces for the participants of the Schools That Can 2019 Forum at the Robert Treat Hotel.  The pieces focused on self-awareness and self -confidence. Students spent several months in after school sessions perfecting their performance. Kudos, scholars!

Link has been a member of Schools That Can since the late 90’s. It is a national network of urban schools that shares best practices to foster equity in education. The Forum brings educators from all over the country together.

Linkers display art in Essex County Youth Art Month Exhibit

The art of six Link scholars was on exhibit during March at the Art Educators of NJ (AENJ), Essex County Youth Art Month Exhibit at the Newark Hall of Records.  Link students’ art was displayed, along with that of students from 16 other schools in the county – public, charter, and private schools. Students, accompanied by Mrs. Gwen Howard, art teacher and member of AENJ member, were honored at a reception for the student artists last week.Art Educators of New Jersey is a non-profit association created in 1939 by art educators interested in advocating for the visual arts education in the state. Their purpose is to promote and maintain the highest degree of quality Visual Arts instruction in New Jersey’s schools. The Youth Art Month Program emphasizes the value of art education for all children, encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. Youth Art Month also provides a forum for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences that are not possible in other curriculum subjects.

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