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It's National Family Literacy Month! Spend time reading to the young people in your life. Choose a short story, a poem, a letter you received, an article from the sports section, or a part of a novel you love. Better yet, let the young person choose the text. Then, read the text aloud for 20 minutes. Discuss the text after reading it. Establish a weekly reading routine with your family. It is a great way to help your child develop literacy. 

Families with young children may be interested in Loyola University Maryland's "Ten Ways to Celebrate National Family Literacy Month."


The NTE Family Advisory Board, Families as Decision Makers


October 26, 2022, Michon Crawford and Tiffany Lawson-Newton, Newark Trust for Education's Families as Decision Makers Initiative (FDMI) members, recently joined Tameeka Walden, NTE Program Coordinator, at the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association Advocacy training. As part of the training, they learned about Advocacy Grassroots efforts, organizing community stakeholders and parents, informing others about community and school issues, and the impact of policy on schools and communities. 

Additionally, they shared their passion for Social Emotional Learning  (SEL) in schools with Angelica Allen-McMillan, Ed. D., Commissioner of Education from the NJ Department of Education

FDMI was developed in 2022 by NTE to extend the learning and work of graduates of the SPAN Empowering Women in Community Leadership for Healthier Families trainingThe goal of Families as Decision Makers is to engage and support parents to become influential community leaders, ambassadors, and decision-makers and to inform the Trust's direction, strategy, and implementation. In addition, we aim to empower parents and mobilize them to improve the conditions for learning proficiency across social, emotional, physical, and mental planes consistent across homes, communities, and schools. We're so excited about the work our FDM parents are building. 


The Trust is committed to working collaboratively with families, education support organizations, early learning centers, and schools to nurture the conditions necessary to accelerate student learning. A laser-like focus on improving young people's literacy skills is key to acceleration. Mastering these literacy skills is fundamental to young people learning effectively, pursuing competitive careers, and participating actively in civic engagement.

As part of this commitment, the Trust leverages learning from its efforts to help Newark families and schools develop social and emotional skills and create safe, supportive learning environments. It builds community awareness of the importance of literacy development in Newark. It shows how families and other community members can contribute to helping toddlers, adolescents, and teenagers master reading, writing, and speaking. It identifies and facilitates access to existing resources, identifies gaps in literacy development, and promotes high-value, evidence-based literacy development practices in the home.


Ronald Chaluisán Batlle


Community-Based Learning to Close the Literacy Gap

Newark Trust Education Executive Director, Ronald Chaluisán, was recently a guest on New Jersey Morning Show, sharing insights on how to help students overcome learning disruptions exacerbated by the pandemic. In this segment, Ronald shares his views on children's resiliency and expresses optimism about improving childhood literacy through community-based learning and support from caregivers. Chaluisán also speaks about how adults can deploy reading, listening, speaking, and writing as tools to promote literacy for learners. Watch here.


Working with Educational Stakeholders

The Newark Trust for Education continues its partnership with SEL4NJ, facilitating the statewide School Provider and Quality Implementation Work Group. On November 3, 2022, the Trust and SEL4NJ hosted a virtual information session to spread the word about the project. You can access the slide show presentation delivered at the session here.


Working with Families

The Great Start, Great Future Workshop series is in full swing. The Early Learning Team has worked with our partners to host three sessions. The Trust continues its commitment to highlight the work of local organizations, increase awareness among Newark residents, and improve access to existing high-quality services and programs. 

  • Session One: Advocates for Children, NJ, presented its Newark Kids Count 2022: A City Profile of Child Well-Being virtually to 14 English-speaking and 16 Spanish-speaking families.
  • Session Two: Greater Newark Conservancy hosted an in-person session focused on literacy for 30 Newark children and their caregivers. Berlando Drake, a local author, read to the children from her new book, Gurty the Goose Leads the Flock.
  • Session Three: Representatives from Project Ready, NJengaged sixteen families of young children in discussions focused on the importance of voting.
  • Session Four, Healthy Moms & Kids, is being planned in conjunction with Aetna.
  • Session Five will be led by members of the Trust's Family Advisory Board.

Starting in January, the Trust enters into a formal partnership with the Studio Institute, which is responsible for designing and implementing the family activity for each session. Note the staff at the Studio Institute is bilingual.

To receive information about these sessions, join the GSGF family by texting @FGGKAB to 81010, emailing GSGF to [email protected], or registering at

For more information on Great Start, Great Future, contact Lissette Morales, Program Officer for Early Learning at the Trust.


Working with Formal Learning Environments

The Newark Cares Network

The Trust's collaboration with Unified Vailsburg Services Organization (UVSO) and Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center (Clinton Hill) supporting Family Child Care providers continues. The Network has enrolled six providers: Debra Williams (Williams Day Care), Darnella Grey (Nurturing Care/ Darnella Grey Child Care), Tanya Davis (Beautiful Beginnings), Tameika Devon (Preferred Childcare FCC), Patricia King (Pat and Co), Hanifa Elmore (World of Infants and Toddlers). The entire group is now determining priorities and designing implementation strategies that will strengthen each provider individually and the Network as a whole.

For more information on the work of Newark Cares, reach out directly to Kalimah Wilson, Director of Early Learning Strategy at the Trust.


He Helps HBCU Students Graduate — Though, at 48, He Hasn't Done It Yet

Hassan Abdus-Sabur, a Newark Native, attended a DC-based university for two years before returning to Newark. At the time, he was struggling financially, and college expenses were adding up. That was one reason he decided to leave – but it wasn't the only one. He sees that now. "I could blame finances for that," he said in a morning recently. "But I could have gotten a job, I could have stayed in DC, I could have finished whatever time I had left." He could have graduated from one of the country's HBCUs — historically black colleges and universities. Hassan did that with his missed opportunity. He's 48 now, and still doesn't have a bachelor's degree from Howard or any other university. But despite that, and because of that, he's spent the last few years raising money for students attending HBCUs. Since 2020, he has helped raise more than $100,000 and his efforts caught the attention of GoFundMe staff. Hassan has been named a GoFundMe Hero and is now working with the company on an initiative that aims to award $500 in textbook scholarships to HBCU students. Read more here


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LISC Newark's annual convening, Growing Leaders, Building Communities

GLBC is back, and this year will tie in our Newark Resident Leadership Academy (NRLA) 2022 graduation! Save the Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022. Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, 123 Washington Street, Newark, NJ. 

Register here:

The Absolute Preference For This Convening Is For Resident Leaders & Resident Power-Builders!

Parents and Parent Leaders! ALI (Abbott Leadership Institute) invites you to join us for the first annual Alliance for Newark Public Schools Newark Parent Conference! 

Register here:

This conference will be hosted by various community organizations, organizers, & parents. Through various workshops and panels, we will provide parents with the tools and resources needed to strengthen their parent advocacy skills.

Saturday, November 12 | 9:30 am

Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University - Newark

350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ 07102

Statewide Special Education Parent Leader Roundtable

Register here:

November 14, 2022, at 7:00 pm EST OR November 16, 2022, at 10:00 am EST

This is an opportunity for parents across New Jersey to meet virtually for a peer-to-peer exchange of information, discuss emerging topics and learn about START-EPSD and NJDOE initiatives. More information to come! If you would like to suggest a topic for this roundtable, please email Debbie at [email protected].

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network

Placing African American and Latinx Histories at the Center of the New Freedom School Curriculum

The next virtual Freedom School Panel discussion is Monday, November 14, at 7:00 pm EST.  

Click the link to register for the panel discussion:


Newark Board of Education Title 1 Parent Conference 

Hold the Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.


Schools That Can Free, Virtual, Thought Leadership Event: Where Does Education Reform Go From Here?

November 15, 2002

John B. King Jr., President of The Education Trust & Former US Secretary of Education

Norman Atkins, CEO, Together Education; Founder/Former CEO/Board Chair, Uncommon Schools

Dr. David Steiner, Former NY State Commissioner of Education, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy.

Register here:

Online Event | Date And Time: 11/17/2022 @ 07:00 PM (EST)

The National PTA and other education leaders will celebrate National Parent Involvement Day in a virtual town hall at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time on November 17.

Tune in here:

Discover how using the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships can enhance your efforts to help children and communities thrive. Discover the newest resources and hear from leading researchers and practitioners about the latest updates to the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships.

Interpretation will be provided in Spanish and ASL.