A School Arrives
“Good afternoon, everyone. I want to welcome you to the Teachers College Community School’s permanent home. Thank you!”
At those words from TCCS Founding Principal Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, an audience of more than 300 parents, teachers, neighborhood residents, city and state dignitaries and members of the Teachers College and Columbia University communities burst into loud applause.
TCCS, a public, university-assisted school for pre-K through eighth grade, run by the New York City Department of Education and formally affiliated with TC, admitted its first class – a group of kindergarten students – last year in a temporary facility. The school, designed with neighborhood residents, integrates delivery of services for children and families in order to optimize educational opportunities and achievement.
Now serving 125 students in pre-K, kindergarten and first grade, and with plans to add one additional grade per year, TCCS is operating in a refurbished building located at 168 Morningside Avenue at West 126th Street.
“This is a dream become reality,” said TC President Susan Fuhrman, “a university-supported public school that will offer unparalleled education for the children of our community.” She added, to cheers, “Can you imagine the improvement we would see in public education in America if every university worked in concert with local schools and communities?”
Fuhrman was joined on the TCCS auditorium stage by others who made the school possible, including the Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas, Chair of Community Board 9; Donald Notice, Chairman, and Kofi Boateng, Executive Director, both of the West Harlem Development Corporation; New York City Councilman Robert Jackson, who chairs the Council’s Education Committee; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (represented at the event by Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis); New York State Board of Regents Chancellor (and TC alumna) Merryl Tisch; New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott; Columbia University President Lee Bollinger; New York State Assemblyman Keith Wright; and Nancy Streim, TC’s Associate Vice President for School and Community Partnerships, without whom, Fuhrman said, the school “would never have happened.”
Morgan-Thomas said that “TCCS illustrates for us the value of collaboration” and praised TC for having “heard the needs of our community and been extremely responsive.”
Wright also drew thundering applause. “Langston Hughes wrote a long time ago, ‘What happens to a dream deferred – does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?’” Wright looked around the room and grinned. “No! A school gets built on 126th Street and Morningside Avenue!’”
To view a video about TCCS, go to http://bit.ly/TNk3z8