Brooklyn native Natasha Campbell is looking for crowdfunding support that combines an educational rescue mission with an exciting food program that can change the lives of students at Summit Academy Charter School.
But before you decide whether this Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is worthy of your support, take some time to get to know Summit Academy. The college preparatory school opened in 2009 in the highly underserved community of Red Hood, in Brooklyn, New York. The school was founded to tackle a serious education gap in a community where only 45% of the adults have graduated high school.
Summit Academy’s student enrollment begins with middle school, the critical gateway for youth who need steering toward a productive future. The school spends three years invigorating their students with a sense of college purpose, strengthening foundational skills, and developing solid work habits and personal traits that pave the way to success. This program empowers middle school scholars with the foundation they need to enter high school.
But the crowdfunding project, which is seeking to raise $5,000 by March 11, brings an exciting new direction for the school by partnering with the Sweet Water Foundation to bring farming to Red Hood with an Urban Aquaphonics Program. Aquaphonics is a food production program system that combines conventional aquaculture (think raising snails, fish, crayfish, or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (think cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. Symbiosis brings different entities together in a productive way. Kind of the way the Summit Academy is bringing a zeal for education to a community where less than four percent of the residents have attended college. Sweet Water’s goal of bringing transformative change by nurturing a culture that facilitates the acquisition of learning is tailor-made for the goals of Summit Academy. The mission is to bridge the gap between aspirations and reality for students grades 6-12 so that they discover the seeds of excellence waiting to blossom within.
The funds raised will be used to purchase equipment, software, and teacher resources. Funding will enable the Summit Academy to designate three of its six science rooms as labs where herbs and small vegetables can be harvested. Overseeing the program will be the school’s math and science academic coach, who will work with student volunteers to maintain the tanks, feed fish, manage water temperature and quality, and harvest the produce.
They’re committed to fundraising and anticipate receiving grants and donation from private sector sources, banks, and foundations. But they trust in Kickstarter because donors with heart know that, person by person, they can make the difference in the lives of the kids and the community that so desperately needs an infusion of hope in order to provide a sustaining social infrastructure for its residents.
Campbell has dedicated her professional life to service and her resume shows an impressive background in the field of education. She has a Bachelor’s degree in biology, a Master’s in Business Administration, and is currently pursuing her PhD in education. She’s part of a school that’s eager to blaze new trails in pursuit of education; crowdfunding can help pave that road.