EAST ORANGE, NJ – School and community leaders are celebrating the expansion of the Pride Academy Charter School building with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, August 30 at 10am. This event marks the official opening of a new wing and ‘Great Room’ at the school.  This space will provide students and families with greater opportunities to gather and celebrate as a community.  

East Orange Mayor Lester E Taylor III and city council members will join school staff and students at the event. "We are so grateful to Shining Schools and our whole East Orange community for their support.  This new wing provides our school with the space needed to better serve our scholars and our families,” said Mrs. Fiona Thomas, Pride Academy Charter  School Principal and Co-Founder. “The sense of community and family is very important to our school, but that can only happen when we have a space like this where we can gather and celebrate together."

Shining Schools, Inc. is the non-profit foundation that owns the building and provides further support by fundraising for the school. 

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"As a co-founder, I know the struggles that charter schools have with facilities and the funding of facilities.  That is why Shining Schools was so committed to supporting Pride Academy's dream of expanding their facilities,” said. Mrs. Amanda Quinn, President of Shining Schools, Inc.  

The additional wing provides the school and its students with six larger classrooms, three offices, and a larger multi-purpose room. The large room will serve as a gym and key gathering area, including the school's daily ritual of morning assembly when the whole community gathers to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and contributions. 

The ribbon cutting will take place at the new Shepherd Avenue entrance of Pride Academy at 117 Elmwood Ave, East Orange, NJ. Speakers include the mayor, Principal Fiona Thomas, and students. There will also be a performance by the Pride Academy African Dance Ensemble.

Nearing its 10th anniversary, Pride Academy Charter School continues to serve middle school students of all abilities through a curriculum rooted in the values of peace, respect, integrity, determination, and empathy. As an academically high-performing Tier 1 school, Pride has established a community dedicated to academic achievement, mastery of fundamental skills, positive leadership, and active service. The school draws its students primarily from Newark, Orange and East Orange, but admission is open to students from all surrounding school districts in New Jersey.