About Us

Beginning with Children (BwC) is a small network of public K-12 charter schools and a high school and college success program (the Legacy Network). Our schools focus on our students’ academic growth while creating nurturing and robust educational environments infused with rich arts instruction and a deep commitment to experiential learning. The Legacy Network provides comprehensive academic and career development services to support students to and through college.

Founded in 1992, Beginning with Children was a catalyst for a movement that changed the landscape of public education and has proven that success is not limited by zip-code.

Our Structure

A Message from Our Chair and CEO

Nancy Lewson Kurz​, Beginning with Children CEO

As a lifelong New Yorker, I am well aware of the increasing disparity in our education system. Like our founders, Joe and Carol Reich, I refuse to allow a child’s zip code to determine the quality of their education.

At Beginning with Children (BwC), we believe that every family should be able to choose the school that is the best fit for their child. We know that schools can shape a community by providing a place that is both nurturing and challenging, that offers stimulating enrichment opportunities, and makes learning fun, for everyone.

That’s what I love about BwC schools. We provide a rigorous and enriching education while truly putting the children in our community at the heart of everything we do.

As you explore our website you will see that there are so many things that set BwC schools apart and contribute to the value they bring to our community. Our students excel in all facets of academics and truly develop a love of learning. That’s what happens when you commit to “Beginning with Children.”

Thank you for interest in learning more about us and our work. I look forward to welcoming you into the BwC family.

Our Founders Joe and Carol Reich

In 1990, Joe and Carol Reich saw too many families in New York City without access to strong, safe, and nurturing schools in their communities.

They decided to do something. 

Focusing on the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Reich’s navigated the bureaucratic labyrinth of the Department of Education, eventually establishing Beginning with Children Charter School in 1992.

Their work ignited a movement that reshaped the landscape of public education and gave children and families in underserved neighborhoods an exceptional alternative to their local school.

The principles we were building our school on, presented something potentially huge in education reform… parental choice, freedom to operate in a manner consistent with the needs of specific children, parent involvement, longer school days and a longer school year, and merit compensation for teachers could be a game changer for children…

…Families of means can afford to send their children to private schools or relocate to an affluent neighborhood where public schools have greater resources… We recoiled against this injustice.”

Choice and its accompanying accountability are now a reality for many thousands of children and families.”



Join us as we honor our Board Fellows