The East Side neighborhood is known for its high-crime rate, as well as being the site of multiple shootings. And many of the students that go to EastSide Charter live nearby, either in the neighborhood itself or other parts of Wilmington.
The charter kicked off with an event called "Suit up. Show up." African-American men were asked to model what success looks like by dressing up professionally and greeting students on their first day of school. Three Wilmington police officers also attended. "We had lawyers come out today," said Aaron Bass, CEO of Vision Academies, a small charter school network. "We had college students come out today. We had men from all over Delaware come out to say to the children 'I want you to be successful.' "
The event was organized by the local chapter of The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice.
Founded in Philadelphia, the group is dedicated to advancing the recruitment, development, and retention of black male educators throughout the region. Even at East Side Charter School, which has a more diverse staff than many Delaware schools, only 35.8 percent, or 36, of its educators are African-American. Only 16 of the staff are male, according to the Delaware Department of Education. "I think no matter what the economic spectrum is for our children, for children like ours, all across the entire nation, it's rare to see men of color in education," Bass said. "No matter what state or city you're in, it's a rarity."
Source: Delware Online •
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