WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/359840

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Page 127 of 219

It Takes a Village Wellesley residents Sarah Maynard, Steve Mugford, Connie Walkingshaw, Tom Ellis, and Mark Taber all recognize the transfor- mative power of an excellent education. Grateful for the profound impact education has had on their own lives, they not only support the schools their families are associated with, but also they support high-performing inner city charter schools in Boston, specifically the Neighborhood House Charter School (NHCS) in Dorchester or Excel Academy Charter Schools in East Boston, Chelsea, and Orient Heights. These advocates for quality education for all children stand behind these charter schools as they deliver a solid return on their investment of time and resources. NHCS and Excel Academy both launch Boston youth on paths to earning high school and college degrees, higher incomes, and produc- tive roles in society. Both combine high expectations, rigorous academ- ics, personal attention, and data-driven operational systems to change the destinies of students. Both are tuition-free and select their students through blind public lotteries. And both schools have waiting lists. Support for the Whole Child The documentary film Waiting for Superman follows several students as they wait anxiously to learn if they win the lottery for a coveted spot in a prominent charter school, including Harlem Children's Zone, known for its comprehensive approach to improving students' lives with an integrated set of supports. NHCS Executive Director Kate Scott explains her school's similar approach: "Many of our students come to us with considerable academic and behavioral challenges. We 126 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 Quality education shifts kids' perspectives from disempowered concern about what the world will do to them to empowered confidence about the impact they can have on the world. C O U R T E S Y O F N E I G H B O R H O O D H O U S E C H A R T E R S C H O O L ; P H O T O B Y R O M A N A V Y S A T O V A C O U R T E S Y O F E X C E L A C A D E M Y C H A R T E R S C H O O L S ; P H O T O B Y N I C H O L A S M A N N

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