Founded in 1989 by Joe and Carol Reich, Beginning with Children provides and advocates for rich and rigorous educational programs for public school students from all backgrounds and of all abilities. BwC’s two partner schools, Community Partnership Charter School and Beginning with Children Charter School II, nourish children’s natural intellectual curiosity and inspire them to become self-directed learners and active citizens. Learning expands beyond school walls through community partnerships and explorations around New York City that expand students’ ambitions and opportunities. BwC schools are nurturing communities that help develop students’ values and character, especially empathy, integrity, kindness, resilience, trust and social responsibility.
BwC has been a leader in New York City education reform since 1989 when it partnered with the city school system to found Beginning with Children School, an innovative public school offering unique instructional methods and a well-rounded, rigorous educational program. Beginning with Children School opened in 1992 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with BwC as its strategic partner, providing funding and operational support and guidance in a wide range of areas. The school’s unique instructional methods and educational philosophy focused on helping develop students as independent thinkers in a supportive and creative environment. The school provides rigorous, high-level academics and supports students’ physical, psychological and emotional development. BwC establishes strong partnerships with families and the community, including local organizations that provide programming in areas such as music and the arts. A core instruction principle at the school has been continual assessment of students and the curriculum and professional development of staff to ensure that every child experiences academic success.
After founding Beginning with Children School, BwC emerged as an advocate for policies and laws that have brought new ideas and resources for reforming public education from outside the traditional system. BwC embraced the charter school movement as a way to improve options for families in public education and advocated for the passage of the Charter School Law in 1998. Shortly thereafter, BwC successfully supported Beginning with Children School to become the first K-8 conversion charter school in New York State, changing its name to the Beginning with Children Charter School (BwCCS).
In 2000, BwC partnered with a group of parents from the neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to open a new charter school based on the Beginning with Children School model. The Community Partnership Charter School Education Corporation, located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, opened its doors with 100 students in grades K and 1. More recently, BwC continued its tradition of excellence by launching Beginning with Children Charter School II in September 2012. BwCCS 2 provides more options for families in Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant currently serving grades K-2.
BwC schools have demonstrated their success in promoting academic achievement and received full five-year renewal charters from the New York State Board of Regents.
BwC schools are centers of student and adult learning. BwC’s unique school management model focuses on developing strong educational leaders and helping them support and train their staff. BwC leverages the strength of the charter model by empowering talented educators to continue to develop their practice and to support high student achievement. BwC resources enable school staff to focus on the business of educating children and not become distracted by the business of running a school. BwC provides support in the areas of educational management, leadership and staff development, research and assessment, business services, compliance, development, technology, and communications. The BwC Legacy Program helps BwCCS and CPCSEC graduates prepare for and succeed in high school and college.