We live in NYC and school choice through the charter system has given us the opportunity to provide an incredible education for our kids as we met the challenges of our growing family. We live in Harlem NYC which is an incredible, diverse, vibrant community. It also is lacking in terms of good local zone public school options.
When we moved into the neighborhood a few years ago with a preschool student, we chose a private Catholic school for her. We chose this school not because we are Catholic, in fact we are Jewish! We chose it because we sought a good, safe education for our daughter and private school afforded that.
Flash forward a few years and that pre-schooler was now entering fourth grade. We had another daughter entering first grade. We then found ourselves both pregnant AND blessed with the gift of adoption at the same time! In a one year period we went from two kids to four kids and suddenly that affordable private school no longer felt so affordable.
We were worried about how we would make sure we could provide the right environment for our (now) brood. It turns out Harlem is also home to a high percentage of public charter school options and I began to look into our choices.
“Education is the great equalizer, it is the method that will pull children out of poverty, end cycles of family trauma, and bring generational wealth to communities.”
We were so lucky to discover we had a lot of choices all with varied education models, styles, and diversity. We settled on a great up and coming school in our community with a fresh approach, dual language in Hebrew, and energetic school leadership. My kids have thrived in this new environment and I am very grateful that expanding our family did not have to mean a lesser education for our children.
Our school deeply cares about our kids education, is as diverse as the neighborhood itself, and is striving for academic excellence. It is a place we feel our kids differences are celebrated and it honors who they are. Rather than having to fit a square peg into a round hole just to ensure a decent education at a high cost, we were able to choose a school that fit our family just right.
School choice is not a privilege just for the rich. All parents desire better for their children, that is universal. Education is the great equalizer, it is the method that will pull children out of poverty, end cycles of family trauma, and bring generational wealth to communities. Children are the best investment any society can make.