Monday, October 22, 2007

Prestige Academy in Wilmington, Del

Another charter school that sounds like it's going to be highly successful is starting in Wilmington, Delaware next September (also founded by someone currently in the Building Excellent Schools program).  Here's a report from a good friend (also in the hedge fund business), who's given over $100,000 to support alternative education in Camden and Chester:

I had lunch today with Jack Perry, the founder of  Wilmington, Delaware's charter school to be opened next September.  The Prestige Academy  

Jack grew up in what he describes as "the  projects" in Brooklyn "notorious for its violence".  He got a good education and went into social work, but found that social work means nothing if the kids he's working with can't read.  He realized he needed to get to these kids a lot earlier.  He changed his career and went into alternative education to influence urban kids a lot earlier in life.  Jack got one of 13 slots out of nearly 700 applicants for Building Excellent Schools in Boston where he was trained to start a charter school and now that is his mission in life.

He is in the early stages of starting one in Wilmington, Delaware, where there is great need for alternatives for  parents.  His vision is to open next September for 100 fifth graders and take it to 6th, 7th and 8th grade the next thee years.  It will be all boys, with a long school day and every other Saturday in school.  Very rigorous on math and reading.  He is very familiar with KIPP's  model.

Over lunch today Jack showed me energy, intelligence and integrity -- all  three.  They need some money to start up.  I live near Wilmington and support alternative education in Chester and  Camden, the two worst public school districts in my region.  I've  always looked for something in Wilmington, and I think I found it  today with an exceptional man in charge.  They need some bigger donors to get this off the ground.

You can learn a lot more about this  new school on their website.       Jack's e-mail is

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