OP-ED: TAKING STOCK OF CAMDEN’S NEW ‘RENAISSANCE SCHOOLS,’ ONE YEAR LATER//Written by Janellen Duffy and Michele Mason//NJ Spotlight

A little over a year ago, “renaissance schools” were about to open in Camden, and by the sound of things you would’ve thought the sky was going to fall. According to the critics, “renaissance schools” were going to “destroy” public education and fail to serve the same high-need students as district schools.

So now that these new public schools -- a hybrid of district and charter schools --have served Camden students for a year, let’s take a look and see whom these schools served and how they did.

Camden schools get part of $50 million teaching grant//Written by Phaedra Trethan//Courier Post

CAMDEN - The Walton Family Foundation, an Arkansas-based charity founded by the family that owns Walmart, has given $50 million to Teach For America (TFA) to hire new teachers — including 75 in the city of Camden.

The grant, announced Wednesday, supports teacher recruitment efforts, training and professional development as part of a three-year program.

Schools in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi will receive funding for 800 teachers; Memphis, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and Indianapolis will also receive funding for hundreds of new teachers.

Obama touts Camden police in weekly address//PhillyVoice

President Obama on Saturday morning touted the Camden County Police Department during his weekly address, which focused on the need for criminal justice reform in America.

The President said "we can disrupt the pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. I believe we can address the disparities in the application of criminal justice, from arrest rates to sentencing to incarceration....

Camden Promise Zone Newsletter (Fall 2015)

On behalf of Mayor Dana L. Redd, the City of Camden, Center for Family Services, and all partners involved, we are proud to introduce Camden Promise Zone's quarterly newsletter. Each season, we will be highlighting some of the most notable Promise Zone news and events that have taken place throughout the city. Camden Promise Zone is a project that requires community engagement; therefore it is important for residents to be knowledgeable about the ongoing activities of the initiative.

Grant funds youth violence prevention work in Camden//Written by Matt Flowers//Courier-Post

CAMDEN - What happens when you restore rundown buildings that contribute to violence?

Camden is about to find out.

The Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center has received $6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue its studies on how improving vacant properties affects violence, property crimes and intentional injuries among youth.

The Michigan center, based at the University of Michigan School of Public Heath, will focus on the effects of engaging residents, particularly youth, in caring for properties in their neighborhoods.

Rutgers-Camden to cover tuition for low-income students//Written by Carly Q. Romalino//Courier-Post

CAMDEN - Rutgers University’s Camden campus is redoing its financial aid system so new students from families making $60,000 a year or less won’t have to pay any tuition.

There also will be significant financial aid for students whose families have incomes from $60,001 to $100,000 under the “Bridging the Gap” program announced Monday.

The program is for students who graduate from high school and enroll in 2016. It will cover tuition and fees — which total about $14,000 for the current academic year — but not room and board at the largely commuter university.

'Seven Day Pledge' Shows Results for Innovative Coalition in Camden//Written by Andrew Kitchenman//NJ Spotlight

For patients and doctors, it pays to make appointments shortly after patients are hospitalized due to chronic conditions, as it reduces the chances for future readmissions - although it hasn’t paid off in terms of dollars and cents.

Until this year in Camden, that is, when an effort that rewards both doctors and their patients for making quick follow-up appointments is swiftly yielding good results.

COMMENTARY: All Camden schools can rise//Written by Paymon Rouhanifard//Courier Post

As I head into my third year as superintendent, there are encouraging signs of progress across the Camden City School District: In the last year alone, the graduation rate rose six points, more students attended pre-school than ever before, and students, staff and families all reported feeling safer.

But we need to keep pushing forward. Even though the graduation rate is up, for example, nearly four in 10 high school students are still not graduating on time.

A Child’s Laugh Brings A Smile To Every Face//Written by Ellen Lambert//PSEG

I remember taking my children to the local park while they were growing up and watching them run around, make friends and most importantly, laugh. They had the wonderful opportunity of being able to play in a safe place. Unfortunately, many children growing up in poverty don’t have such opportunities. They don’t have access to safe playgrounds that encourage them to stay active by playing with friends.

$700M development coming to Camden//Written by Phaedra Trethan//Courier Post

CAMDEN Gov. Chris Christie saw Pope Francis address the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., Thursday morning as a guest of Rep. Tom MacArthur.

By Thursday afternoon, he was in Camden to join city officials in announcing a major development on the city's waterfront — a $700 million project he called "another concrete commitment from the business community" to help renew the beleaguered city.

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