Thousands of Success Academy Scholars Pack Radio City Music Hall For Massive Academic Pep Rally
New York, NY — On Friday morning, nearly 4,000 Success Academy scholars came together at the historic Radio City Music Hall to hold one of the largest academic pep rallies in the country ahead of state exams. Marking the fifth annual “Slam the Exam” event, third and fourth grade scholars from 24 elementary schools, as well as fifth graders from SA Williamsburg and SA Cobble Hill, joined together to celebrate their academic achievement and show off their school pride.
“We are incredibly grateful to Radio City Music Hall for providing our scholars with such a unique opportunity at one of the city’s most historic landmarks,” said Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools. “Cultivating a joyous and magical atmosphere is central to our mission – and every year, Slam the Exam is one of the most exciting ways we celebrate our scholars and boost their confidence ahead of exams.”
Similar to years past, scholars from each school performed their own choreographed cheers to showcase school pride, the Network Dance team performed on the Radio City stage, and awards were given for excellence and growth in ELA and Math. Jonathan Dant, Principal at Success Academy Bensonhurst, and Shea Reeder, Principal of Success Academy Bronx 4, co-emceed the event with CEO Eva Moskowitz delivering the keynote speech this year.
“I stand on this stage as a principal, not just proud of my school, but proud of you all,” Ms. Reeder told scholars on Friday. “All the principals come together and talk about how hard you guys are working, how much greatness you put into every single day, and how you persevere no matter what. Next week, put forth that stamina and energy to do your absolute best because you deserve it.”
“Next Tuesday I want you to think about everyone who is here today, how we are all on one team and on one mission,” Mr. Dant added. “I want you to think about the excitement and energy and I want you to bring that with you so that you are ready, you are prepared, and you feel like you are a part of this one big family.”
Last year, Success Academy — where students are primarily low-income children of color, admitted by random lottery — ranked in the top 1% of New York State on the state math exams and the top 2% in English language arts. Across the network of 41 schools, more than 5,800 scholars will be taking state exams this year – more students than can fit into one venue. For older scholars, the rallies will be school-based.
In her keynote speech on Friday, Eva Moskowitz told scholars, “Your teachers and your principals, your parents and your friends are all so proud of you. Not only because of what you’ve accomplished as individuals and as a school community, but also because you are showing our entire country what kids are capable of doing.”
Check out some highlights below, and click here to view more images from the 2017 Slam The Exam event.
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 41 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 14,000 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 77% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 16% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Ranked in the top 1% in math and the top 1.5% in English on 2016 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 20,000 applications for about 3,200 open seats this year.