Fairmount Promise Neighborhood

The goal of the Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood is to improve life outcomes of children and families from the Fairmount neighborhood by developing strengthened and realigned supports that will extend from pre-school to early adulthood.   Partners include the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, and the Urban League of Essex County, and Newark Public Schools.  The components of Promise right now include a community school at 13th Avenue/Martin Luther King School, a parent Engagement program and a summer Freedom School.  Community schooling is a major strategy for Newark Public Schools.   Our program in Fairmount emphasizes both STEM activities and the arts.   Our parent academy develops a cohort of parents to work as paraprofessionals in the school and more generally as advocates for children in the community.  They support the school by tutoring, supporting afterschool programming, and monitoring attendance.   Just their presence in the building makes the school feel more like an extension of the community. We see Freedom Schools can be a way to package social and emotional in a way that feels right to people from marginalized communities. They stress pride in one’s ethnic or racial community, the need for young people to be a part of improving their communities, the need for them to develop supportive relationships with their peers.  They offer safe space, where young have an opportunity to share anything that concerns them in an affirming environment.