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Date: 2018-03-28

KIPP New Jersey Honors Alumni and Parents and Raises $650,000 at Annual “Be the Change” Celebration and Fundraiser

Newark, NJ (March 29, 2018) - On Wednesday, March 28th, KIPP New Jersey celebrated over fifteen years of creating positive change within the community by hosting its 11th annual "Be the Change" fundraising event, where hundreds of KIPP team members, supporters and families were in attendance. Established in 2007, "Be the Change" is KIPP New Jersey's leading fundraising initiative that celebrates families, supporters and community members who have made positive changes in Newark and Camden's schools and neighborhoods. This year, "Be the Change" honored KIPP New Jersey alumni and parents while raising critical funding for its 5,193 scholars and 1,129 alumni and its growth to serve more students. Donations will help to cover costs for summer enrichment programs, extended learning and technology programs, and college book stipends and emergency funding for KIPP alumni college students.

"We're excited to celebrate and recognize our kids' accomplishments, highlight our schools' amazing supporters, and honor KIPP New Jersey alumni and parent volunteers," said Ryan Hill, KIPP New Jersey Founder and CEO. "Since day one when we opened the doors to our first school here in Newark's South Ward, our students and families have been our source of inspiration. We have this saying in KIPP: Promises to children are sacred. We're grateful for the support that allows us to provide more students a world-class public education and fulfill our promise."

"KIPP New Jersey has been able to impact many lives in the last sixteen years and help unlock the potential of Newark and Camden's brilliant children because we have a village supporting all teachers and scholars," said Stacie Alvarez, first grade teacher at KIPP THRIVE Academy and Be the Change keynote speaker.

Student performances by Leah Gaines, Apollo Stars of Tomorrow winner, KIPP Seek Academy Voices and the NJPAC Jazz for Teens Ensemble kicked off the "Be the Change" program. Among the "Be the Change" honorees were alumni who have returned to work in KIPP New Jersey schools after graduating from college. Currently nineteen former KIPP students are working in KIPP New Jersey schools or administrative offices impacting the next generation of leaders in Newark. Additional honorees included parents who spend countless hours volunteering in support of KIPP New Jersey scholars and schools.

This year, KIPP New Jersey raised $650,000 at the event, all of which will be used to directly support KIPP New Jersey schools in Newark and Camden.

# # # About KIPP New Jersey

KIPP New Jersey schools are part of the nationally recognized "Knowledge Is Power Program" non-profit network of college-preparatory, free, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. In 2002, KIPP New Jersey first opened its doors in Newark's South Ward as a single class of 80 fifth graders and has since grown to serve over 5,100 students in grades K-12 in Newark and Camden. More than 92% of KIPP New Jersey students currently qualify for free or reduced meals. In the next few years, KIPP New Jersey will have fifteen schools in Newark and ten in Camden. By offering highly effective educators with strong bonds to families, more time in school learning, services that support a variety of student needs, and a culture focused on achievement, our students are on the path to and through college proving that demographics don't define destiny. Visit KIPPNJ.org to learn more.

Media Contact: Jessica Shearer 201-290-5892 jshearer@kippnj.org Download