A huge thank you to the generous supporters of Link’s 25th Anniversary A Taste of Newark on Thursday, November 17th. This was a very special event, in that it was held in the Link school building for the first time ever! In a transformed gym, our guests enjoyed a wonderful meal and then were invited by Link Education Partners Executive Director Maria Pilar Paradiso to visit with some of our amazing teachers and instructional leaders in “classroom conversations.” These were in-depth looks into some of Link’s core elements which are the bedrock of our 50 plus years successfully educating youngsters from Newark and surrounding area. Each guest attended two “conversations” out of the five offered, including: teacher development, high school placement, literacy, music, and performing arts. And, based on feedback, our guests appreciated the glimpse into Link!
Back in the gym, David Ferry, Link Education Partners’ chairperson, spoke to the success of the school and its expansion from grades 7-8 to K-8 and the need for more space in which to deliver the awesome educational program that helps to level the playing field for those in underserved communities.
Alecia Barnett ’06 impressed our guests with her remarks about the impact Link had on her life, how Link opened doors for her and gave her enriching exposures that prepared her for life. She especially credited Link with helping her develop confidence and curiosity as well as instilling in her the school’s core values. One experience at Link that she claimed was life-changing, was her participation in The Island School Expedition, sponsored by Link Education Partners, where students go to The Bahamas to study marine ecology and sustainability. (Click to read more about Ms. Barnett’s educational journey and career.)
Mrs. Paradiso introduced the evening’s honoree, James “Jim” Peck, who has served an instructor in Link’s Elective program for grades 7 and 8 over the past decade, bringing new skills, exposures, and knowledge to our scholars in the areas of science, cooking/food, and theater production. Being a very creative individual, Mr. Peck developed a viable class while the school was operating virtually during the Covid pandemic wherein students learned interview techniques which they used to interview, via Zoom, a number of professionals who served as role models. (Click here to see some of the interviews our scholars recorded.)
In his address to our guests, Mr. Peck extended his thanks to Link for giving him the chance to teach our scholars some of the things he is most passionate about. He stated that he is certain that he gets as much as he gives from his experiences at Link. (Click here to read more about our honoree.)