Ascend Charter schools welcome new curriculum thanks to multimillion-dollar grant

This year, students' learning is being supported with an $11 million grant from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott.

Julio Avila and

News 12 Staff

Sep 6, 2023, 10:12 PM

Updated 230 days ago

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It was a celebration with music and more outside of Brooklyn Ascend Lower School as the staff welcomed their kindergarten and first-grade students. 
Wednesday was the second day of school for the students. The students walking in are among roughly 550 students attending the school this year.  
"I like learning a lot and meeting new friends," first-grader Skylah said. 
This year, their learning is being supported with an $11 million grant from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. The money is going toward curriculum to all the Ascend Charter Schools in Brooklyn. Principal Jennifer Bauer said the money will also help spearhead a new learning approach called the Science of Reading. 
"That's coupling up language and phonics and comprehension and building their skill around vocabulary," Bauer said. 
She also spoke of a financial literacy program offered at Brooklyn Ascend Lower School that Bauer says will help students learn about “how to save money and how to be fluent with money”.  
"This is just day two, and you can tell by the environment in the building, they're very excited to be here," Bauer said. 
Day three will be the first day back for students in second, third and fourth grades. 


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