On Sunday, June 16, 2019 Beginning with Children Charter School 2 hosted a celebration of the life and legacy of our Co-Founder, Carol Reich, who passed away on February 5, 2019. Carol was honored with remarks from family members and an array of longtime friends including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
When Carol and her husband, Joe, founded Beginning with Children in 1992, they ignited a movement that shaped the landscape of public education. When Carol saw the educational disparities faced by children in underserved communities, she took action. Thanks to her and Joe’s passion and determination, the Beginning with Children Network has served over 2,500 students through our two K-8 schools and our alumni program, the Legacy Network.
Everyone who spoke in remembrance talked about Carol’s commitment to providing safe, nurturing and holistic educational environments, her love and support of music, and her devotion to her family. With musical interludes from the Boston Symphony Orchestra Quartet, the Miami Music Project and Beginning with Children Charter School 2 students, it was a beautiful and fitting tribute to a woman who lived her life with passion and purpose.
Carol will be missed but we are proud to continue the work she started, ensuring that children, regardless of zip code, can attend safe, nurturing and effective schools.
Below is a selection of resources to learn more about Carol Reich and the history of Beginning with Children:
Carol Reich New York Times Obituary New York Times
Trying to Donate a School: Generosity vs. Regulations City Journal
Joe and Carol Reich: Investing in Children NPR
Leonard Lopate Show: Joe and Carol Reich on Education Reform
A Special Night
On March 6, 2019 Beginning with Children (BwC) presented Marshall and Janine King with the inaugural Legacy Award. Marshall, a BwC board member for over 10 years, has helped guide the organization through various periods of transition. His wife, Janine Ley-King, a longtime mentor with the Legacy Network Mentoring Program, routinely goes above and beyond to support her mentees.
Beginning with Children held its first annual (adult) Spelling Bee on May 16, 2019. Co-chaired by board members, Kofi Kankam and Eric Hoffman, the Bee featured a silent auction, opportunities for guests to sabotage spellers with more challenging words and the chance to make them wear festive costumes.
For the second year in a row, 100% of Legacy Network students graduated from high school on time.
Three years ago we established a scholarship in memory of several students from the Beginning with Children network whose beautiful lives were tragically cut short. The scholarship is designed to mitigate the “gap”, that many low-income students face, between their financial aid awards and what they actually need to afford college. We are thrilled to introduce you to four outstanding Legacy Network students who were selected to receive the Beginning with Children Memorial Scholarship.
Musfika Mishi is going north to attend Boston University after graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School. Her teachers are “nothing short of impressed” with Musfika’s acadmic achievements including taking college courses at Hunter College after school. Musfika also devoted time to her community as a volunteer tutor and, in keeping with her desire to pursue a career in the medical field, completed a summer internship at Mount Sinai Hospital. We’re looking forward to booking our appointments with Dr. Mishi in a few years.
Melvin Rodriguez will be attending Stonybrook University this fall after graduating from MESA Charter High School. As a first-generation college student, Melvin is a role model for his younger siblings and has set a high standard. Gradating with a 3.76 GPA, Melvin made sure to take the most challenging courses possible, including five AP courses. We hope Stonybrook is ready for an all-star like Melvin.
Briyana Baskerville will be missed by teachers and students alike when she heads to Mercy College. Teachers, counselors and advisers all remarked on Briyana’s cheerful, outgoing personality. Her strong grades and dedication to numerous extracurricular activities including the Step Team, choir, social justice group has helped her secure internships in and outside of school. We are excited to see what Briyana decides to study as an undergraduate.
Future nurse, Nayarit Rodriguez graduated from Williamsburg High School of Architecture & Design is heading to St. Francis in the fall. Described by her English teacher as having a “heart of gold and the work ethic of a champion,” Nayarit has already been accepted into the nursing program at St. Francis, not an easy feat directly from high school. We are curious to see what area of nursing will be lucky enough to have Nayarit in their ranks.