FA Newsletter February 2024

What's New at Foundation Academies

Sheria McRae

Hello!
As we embark on this new year, our spirits are high, and our dedication to excellence shines brighter than ever! Our community of scholars, teachers, families, and friends have come together with enthusiasm and joy, setting the tone for a year filled with achievements and celebrations.

As we review the festivities of Black History Month, we eagerly anticipate the upcoming Women’s History Month, where we honor the remarkable contributions of those who have paved the way for progress, both in the past and present. However, remember that history is not confined to a single month on the calendar, nor is it solely contained within the pages of textbooks.

True history is forged daily through courage, perseverance, and innovation. It is about confronting challenges head-on and discovering innovative solutions. It is about taking bold steps today to create a brighter tomorrow.

At Foundation Academies, we embody the spirit of making history each day. Through our unwavering commitment to leading purpose-filled lives fueled by hard work and collaboration, we are writing the story of success together.

 

 

 

Sheria McRae
CEO Foundation Academies

Celebrating Black Excellence & Influence

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FA is celebrating Black History Month in a big way – from our youngest scholars to our alumni!

FA alumni have been sharing their stories and advice in our “Alumni Making History” social media series. From teaching the next generation, to tackling technical careers, or seeking elected office, our alumni are making history every day by leading lives of purpose and showing others the way.

The FA Collegiate Black Student Union has organized several events including an Open Mic music and poetry performance, a Black Trivia contest and a Soulful Expression arts celebration on Feb. 29.

FA Elementary students kicked off the month with a full Black History Month calendar, thanks to Aisha Williams, an ES paraprofessinal recently celebrated as a Community Champion for creating meaningful and fun ways to engage our scholars and families.

Every day, scholars have something to celebrate, such as “Blast from the Past” with scholars dressing as influential African Americans from history; “Fro’s and Bows” celebrating natural hairstyles and braids; HBCU day featuring college, sorority and fraternity gear and colors; and “Melanin Monday” with scholars wearing various shades of brown.

Elementary and Middle School scholars are wrapping up BHM with a special performance at the Trenton War Memorial, sharing skits, music, dance, and artwork. Our theme “A Door Made for Me” pays homage to those who have opened doors allowing us to choose our path in society regardless of color or race. Special thanks to FA Collegiate scholar Shamya Smith for the FAbulous event poster!
For tickets, contact the K-8 school office.

We love to gather as a community to celebrate our diverse culture and history. Yet we know history isn’t about a special month – and it isn’t only found in textbooks

Each of us makes history when we lead purpose-filled lives and set an example for others. At Foundation Academies, we are making history together every day.

Trenton Steps Up for 100 Man Welcome

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Policymakers, community leaders, firefighters, educators and other male role models from throughout Trenton arrived on campus before dawn Feb. 9 to greet our scholars from kindergarten through Grade 12 during our annual 100 Man Welcome.

Special thanks to AmeriHealth for joining us and supporting our gathering!

"The 100 Man Welcome is one of my favorite Foundation Academy traditions," said Mrs. McRae. "I love how it brings our scholars and our community together to celebrate learning."

Click here for photos and news coverage by 6ABC in Philadelphia.

FA Collegiate Black Student Union Honoring Achievement and Each Other

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FA Collegiate Black Student Union members celebrated Black excellence and honored each other at their 2024 Induction Ceremony. Guests dressed in All Black as Founders, General Members, and Honorary Members received their Line Names and were inducted into the first Foundation Academy Collegiate Black Student Union( BSU) Chapter.
Click here for an event photo gallery

BSU members share “a commitment to fostering a community where black excellence is celebrated,” said Jedidah Worrell, a BSU Executive Team member and senior who will be attending Princeton University.

“Together, let’s build a future where everyone’s voice is heard.”

BSU advisors, Student Success Team members Casey Scott and Earl Wallace hosted the ceremony, recognizing BSU officers for their individual talents, and applauding the group for its collaboration and commitment. “This group is not afraid to work,” Mr. Wallace noted.

The goal, Ms Scott said, “is for every scholar to feel loved, supported, seen and heard.”

BSU is active in our learning community, kicking off in September with “You Are Seen," celebrating black culture, fostering inclusivity, and creating a sense of belonging.

FAC Principal Isabel Goss applauded the event, organized by BSU Executive Team scholars, as “just sheer DOPENESS all the way around!!”

Dean of Culture Francisca DeLeon described the kick-off as “nothing short of spectacular… (it) made a significant impact on the Foundation Academy Collegiate community.”

BSU followed up by partnering with Transformation Church to host a Thanksgiving food pantry at FAC gym serving the Trenton Community. Currently, BSU runs an after-school Corner Store selling snacks to help finance upcoming projects and programs.

In honor of Black History Month, the FA Collegiate Black Student Union has organized several events including an Open Mic with music and poetry performances, a Black Trivia contest, and a Soulful Expression celebration on Feb. 29.

“Black History has been long hidden from modern history. From life before slavery to figures of today's importance, there are many figures, events, and creations of black people that we do not know about,” noted Aundrea Grizzle, a senior and BSU Executive Team member. “These events will remind our FAC community of all the accomplishments of black people and shout out their voices.”

FA Cheers our Community Champions

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FA is a learning community rooted in shared beliefs and values that L.A.S.T. – Love, Accountability, Support, and Trust.

We celebrate those values every Community Day, as we acknowledge our Community Champions who exemplify our values and engage in actions that support our scholars and our schools.

Last month, our full staff cheered Community Champions Aisha Williams and Jeffrey Castagne. Read more about how they spread joy in our community.

FA Welcomes Chief of Advancement

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FA welcomes Shonique Banks as our first Chief Advancement Officer, leading marketing and development in support of our scholars.

"Shonique brings a full range of advancement expertise to our Executive Team as we lead FA into the future," said CEO Sheria McRae. "We appreciate her leadership and her unwavering dedication, and commitment to equity. I know she will make a meaningful impact in our learning community."

Prior to joining FA, Ms. Banks served as the Senior Director of Development and Workforce Strategies for the Philadelphia Energy Authority.

"I am thrilled to join this team and help bridge the opportunity gap for children in Trenton," Ms. Banks said.  "Foundation Academy Charter School is a place where I can fully live my "why" -- to drive positive change by advocating for underrepresented and historically excluded communities." Read more 

Trenton to Texas : FA Attends SXSW EDU

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Foundation Academy leaders are heading to the international SXSW Edu conference in Austin, Texas to collaborate and network with other innovative thinkers and creative problem-solvers.

CEO Sheria McRae will be featured in a roundtable session focused on Mentoring Women of Color for Leadership, discussing her professional path and how FA intentionally nurtures leadership within our learning community.

Founded on the belief that “education has the power to inspire, elevate, and change the future,” SXSW Edu brings together educators, entrepreneurs and creators from around the world to share information, tackle complex issues, and build new strategies to advance learning.

Executive Team members will use this national platform to give Foundation Academies a louder voice in advocating for educational policies and reforms aligning with our mission and values.

Chief Advancement Officer Shonique Banks says the gathering will allow FA leaders to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations and introduce our unique learning community. “This collaboration will amplify our efforts to promote equity and access in education, provide linkage to resources and funding, and ultimately advance our work at FA.”

Being present at SXSW Edu will raise awareness about issues affecting FA scholars, open doors to additional resources supporting our school's initiatives, and potentially influence local, state, and national decision-makers.

Watch for our daily updates from SXSW Edu on FA social media!

FA Making an Impact

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Trenton Makes the World Takes is more than a slogan on a bridge.

Those words honor our city's history as a worldclass industrial center, and the determination we bring to everything we do.

The iconic bridge is also a symbol of progress; a path from where we are to where we are going -- an appropriate image for our Friends of Foundation Academies annual report. View report

"Together, we are creating a new legacy for Trenton," Mrs. McRae said. "Thanks to you, at Foundation Academy, we are making an impact."

To learn more about supporting our scholars, visit the Friends of Foundation Academies webpage

Support Our Scholars

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With your support, our scholars are unstoppable.

Give to the FA Annual Fund today to empower our scholars

to achieve their goals

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Michelle Ruess