History & Impact
BRICK (Building Resilient Intelligent Creative Kids) Education Network, a charter management organization based in Newark, New Jersey, invests in children and their caregivers together to relentlessly knock down all barriers to students’ academic success.
In 2010, Teach for America alumnus Dominique Lee, deeply motivated to create more academic opportunity for the largely Black and brown student population in the South Ward of Newark, decided it was time for teachers to take charge in creating change for youth. He recruited five other Teach for America alumni for this labor of love. Together, in partnership with the Newark Public Schools, the group successfully turned around two underperforming traditional public schools. BRICK then chartered a new public school, Achieve Clinton Hill Charter School, to further serve kids in the South Ward.
Though students’ subject mastery and scores soared, too often their learning was interrupted by out of school factors, such as under addressed physical or emotional health challenges, unstable housing or hunger. BRICK leaders knew that to create lasting change for students, they needed to stabilize families.
The team then launched the BRICK Family Allies division to partner with parents and caregivers to support their children as scholars – beginning at birth. The BRICK Family Ally in the South Ward, the South Ward Promise Neighborhood, connect families with community resources and create original programming that caregivers need for their children to thrive in both school and life.
Today, BRICK continues to combine an innovative schooling model that aligns an excellent education with the necessary supports outside of the classroom for students to succeed.