Festivities included a concert by 25 1st-2nd Grade Chamber Choristers, 6th grade student Bladimir Rodriguez, speeches from KIPP:MA Exec Director Caleb Dolan, 8th grade parent Cassandra Rhea, Principal Nikki Barnes, then the Cutting of the Ribbon by KAB and KABE Principals
KIPP Massachusetts celebrated the opening of its newest campus on 37 Babson Street in Mattapan with a Ribbon Cutting at their new home for both KIPP Academy Boston Elementary and Middle School students. The new school building, designed by Arrowstreet architects and built by Consigli Construction, opened to students on August 10th with orientations for Kindergartners and 5th graders and the following week for upper classmen. In Boston, KIPP:MA currently serves 216 students in grades K-2, and 287 students in 5th-8th grade and will grow to serve 648 students in grades K-8 at full enrollment in 2017. Over 100 supporters of the schools, including Board members, donors, parents, staff and 6 government officials, Senator Forry, Councilor Andrea Campbell, State Representative Russell Holmes, Walter Apperwhite from Representative Tim McCarthy’s office and State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez attended the event.
Executive Director, Caleb Dolan addressed the significant investment that KIPP has made in the Boston community, stating that KIPP’s commitment to use the school as a community center as well as an educational institution will benefit residents of that neighborhood, sharing that our teachers, leaders, kids and families have worked hard to earn this beautiful building. He explained that the work that happens inside the building is even more impressive than the building itself stating that the real reason we’re here is the incredible work that our students, teachers, and staff are doing every day in class. The new KIPP Academy Boston campus is the most recent step in a journey that began in 2004 when founder Josh Zoia opened KIPP Academy Lynn school.
Mr. Dolan referred to KIPP Boston’s growing Family and Community Learning program. Today, over 290 adults take education classes in Lynn (with a waiting list); everything from ESL classes, citizenship, computer literacy, financial planning, parenting workshops, wellness and zumba, learning about the achievement gap and monthly family events and the Boston program will double in size this year. Through deliberate outreach KIPP has begun to build relationships with families of the students and is working to empower and educate parents to enable them to support their children’s journey to and through college.
6th grader, Bladimir Rodriguez started at KIPP Academy Boston last year and shared how KIPP has helped him grow and achieve more while addressing his hope that the charter cap is lifted allowing KIPP to open a High School in Boston. 8th grade parent, Cassandra Rhea also shared her personal story on how KIPP has helped her children and her hope for a KIPP Academy Boston High School.
Principal Nikki Barnes began her speech with an introduction and compelling song that elicited a standing ovation. She shared her compassion for serving kids who need us most, starting in Kindergarten, because they matter and their lives matter. She shared that these kids deserve great schools and we owe it to them to provide it for them. A seven minute video of her speech is posted on our website @ http://kippma.org/donate/