WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – GLOW NC, the nonprofit organization that supports GLOW Academy, announced Tuesday plans to open an early childhood/pre-kindergarten school in 2023; as a reflection of its broader mission, the Foundation will be known as Beacon Education.
“Our board has spent a few years looking at data and community needs to determine how to have the greatest impact in our community,” said Beacon Education CEO Todd Godbey. “With GLOW teachers and community leaders, it has become clear that we need to start earlier to address the inequities in education that cause the gaps in opportunity and achievement.”
Beacon Education’s goal is to provide earlier and more equitable access to high-quality education, as data shows GLOW students are starting Grade 6 behind their grade level.
Using data from the US Department of Education, a report by ProPublica Investigative Journalism found that black students in New Hanover County were three levels behind white students.
Additionally, data from Smart Start New Hanover County shows a critical shortage of high-quality early childhood programs.
“We’ve lost about 10% of child care slots in our county’s child care programs,” said New Hanover County Smart Start Executive Director Jane Morrow. “Programs are facing a shortage of skilled staff, which has a huge impact on families who rely on quality care to return to work and on children who rely on quality care for supportive relationships, the development of basic skills and a safe and stimulating environment. ”
Beacon Education’s long-term plans include opening four or five coeducational, mixed-income preschools, a coeducational elementary school, and later an all-boys middle and high school.
Wilmington’s Girls Leadership Academy, GLOW Academy, opened in 2016 with a sixth-grade class; now these students are preparing to graduate from high school in 2023. GLOW Wilmington is one of 21 single-sex schools across the country that uses a proven educational model to educate girls from underserved communities.
According to the press release, the new preschools will accommodate children aged six weeks through pre-kindergarten.
The coeducational mixed-income program will provide sliding-scale scholarships to families in need and provide a proven, high-quality educational program to attract families with financial means. Each center will accommodate approximately 150 students. Geographic locations will be targeted for access and appeal, with the first location to be announced later this summer. A community health care clinic will also be on site and a community farmers’ market will be offered frequently on weekends. The first of Beacon Education’s early years centers will open in July 2023.
Beacon Education’s Cradle-to-Career Education Equity Program will eventually include:
- A coeducational K-5 elementary school with trauma-informed systems and staff, and an on-site community healthcare clinic
- A middle school and high school for boys, with programming similar to GLOW Academy’s focus on college and career readiness, with a strong college-linked curriculum, college outreach, and student support. old students ; and a workforce development program with internships and business/business partnerships.
- Improvements to GLOW Academy will include a community health care clinic, staffed weekly by a physician assistant and a full-time mental health professional. GLOW already employs a full-time nurse.
Click here for more information on GLOW Academy enrollment and summer leadership camp or call (910) 338-5258.
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