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HCZ Opens New Promise Academy Elementary School Building in East Harlem, Providing a New Space for Scholars to Learn and Grow

For our scholars to get to and through college, it’s critical that they have state-of-the-art learning spaces to thrive and succeed.

Harlem Children’s Zone was thrilled to open our new HCZ Promise Academy II Elementary School classroom building at 70 East 112th Street — providing a new space for our scholars to learn and grow and expanding our services to more scholars across our growing 97-block Zone. 

To celebrate the launch of the new school building, which opened in January, the HCZ community gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony led by our CEO Kwame Owusu-Kesse, Founder and President Geoffrey Canada, and Board of Trustees.

Mr. Owusu-Kesse thanked HCZ staff, building developers, and trustees for their work and dedication to the new school building. He shared his excitement for scholars and educators who will be learning and teaching in the new building.

“We often say where people see beauty, they see value. That value creates a sense of hope and that hope becomes contagious,” Mr Owusu-Kesse said. “We are communicating to our young people every day when they walk into this building: your lives matter, you deserve the best of the best.”

Harlem Children's Zone CEO, Kwame Owusu-Kesse, Founder and President, Geoffrey Canada, and Superintendent, Dr. Achil Petit, celebrate the opening of Promise Academy II with scholars.
HCZ CEO Kwame Owusu-Kesse, Founder and President Geoffrey Canada, and HCZ Promise Academy Superintendent Dr. Achil Petit join our scholars in celebrating the opening of HCZ Promise Academy II Elementary School.

Following Mr. Owusu-Kesse’s remarks, kindergarten scholars recited the HCZ Promise Academy Creed: “We will go to college. We will succeed. This is our promise. This is our creed.” Fourth-grade scholars performed a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

Pictured, from left: HCZ Promise Academy Charter Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Saskia Brown; Superintendent Dr. Achil Petit; HCZ Board Chairman Emeritus Stanley F. Druckenmiller; HCZ CEO Kwame Owusu-Kesse; and HCZ Founder and President Geoffrey Canada at the HCZ Promise Academy II Elementary School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Closing out the ceremony, Mr. Canada thanked the Board of Trustees and members of HCZ staff for their continued commitment to our community. With their support, our scholars are on the path to building bright futures.

“This is a dream come true, seeing our young people go to school everyday in a building that is as good as any school in New York City or New York State,” Mr. Canada said. “We want them to be in an environment where they feel loved.”