Democracy Prep Public Schools ‘ superintendent and several principals have hold on April 28, 2023, a virtual conversation with African community leaders to talk about the holistic approach or education the Democracy Prep Schools offer to children.
“We strongly believe we have the best options to serve all children and we understand they are people in our community, who can help us to get better,” said Emmanuel George the Democracy Prep Public Schools superintendent who also believes that partnership with community leaders is the best thing to do to succeed. “ We cannot do it alone,” he added.
Democracy Prep Public schools is a growing network of high – performing public charter schools educating 6,500 PK – 12th grade scholars at 21 schools in four regions. Students are enrolled through a random lottery. There are elementary and high schools.
For Shanique Clement, principal at DPCHS, “ Democracy Prep Public schools is a place where we develop children in holistic way, children get opportunity to express themselves and their unique identity and culture.”
Cassius Gil who is the Bronx principal, unveils that Democracy Prep Public schools in the Bronx has more than 40 % African and Muslim students.
According to Mr. George, “ Democracy Prep Public schools have specific programs for children such as arts, athletics, civics, global citizens, college access and success as well as Korean culture & language programs.”
Global citizens program for example “ provides scholars with local, national, and international opportunities to see the world and themselves on it.”
This program allows indeed children to travel around the world to countries such as Senegal, South
Africa, South Korea, Ecuador, Italy, London, etc.
Mariama Bojan, and Yaa Bempong are senior scholars who were among those students who traveled to Senegal and South Korea. They gave poignant testimonies regarding their trips to these countries. They enjoyed those trips as they discovered and learned about other cultures, shared their own culture, and built relationships with each other. In fact, they experienced “ a sense of belonging to a broader community and common humanity.” Abraham Dokie who graduated from Democracy Prep Public schools also gave a meaningful testimony when he went to Italy. Dokie returned after graduating university and works as a Dean at Democracy Prep.
Akinde A. Kodjo – Sanogo is the mother of two former scholars of Democracy Prep Public schools. She testified how her daughter enjoyed learning Korean language. She said that her daughter has chosen to teach Korean language when she will obtain her master’s degree. “ I like this school and their curriculum, and I encourage African parents to enroll their children at Democracy Prep Public schools,” she said.
Kodjo – Sanogo, who is also the lead organizer for African Community Together, said her two younger children will be attending Democracy Prep in the new school year.
How the international trips are funding? According to Mr. George “Democracy Prep Public schools funded the majority of the trips and parents contributed a little bit depending on the trip.”
Democracy Prep Public schools ‘ civics program is designed to make “our scholar feel an obligation to be true and authentic citizens of a community.” Scholar Mariama Bojang put it in that way: “ We engage each other to get to vote, we have debates.”
Beyond the programs, Democracy Prep Public schools are about values and principles. “ We educate the whole child, we value their identity and respect their culture,” Mr. George said.
“ They have been a lot of changes at Democracy Prep Public schools. What was sound 7 years ago is not sound today as we have learned from families,” said Tanya Nunez, Assistant Superintendent at Democracy Prep Public schools. One of those changes is that Democracy Prep Public schools offer spaces to students who are Muslims to pray.
Mona Davids the founder and publisher of LittleAfrica News has encouraged community leaders to share the news with their community members as online enrollment is open now at democracyprep.org.
“ Democracy Prep Public schools is inclusive and a great place for students,” said Maurleah Hardie a scholar who originally from Jamaica.
Numbers speak for themselves: 100% of scholars with Democracy Prep diplomas are accepted to four – year college. 89% of all Democracy Prep Public schools’ alumni enrolled in college for the fall term immediately after graduation, compared to 66% nationally in 2019. And + 70% of Democracy Prep Public schools alums agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with their decision to attend college and are finding personal benefit.
Democracy Prep Public schools was founded in 2005 and its mission is: “ Our mission is to educate responsible citizen – scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship.”
By Bazona Barnabe Bado