Milwaukee Excellence Charter School Teaches Students to Stop the Violence – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2022-05-18 08:33:17 –

Living primarily in the central city of blacks, unlike elsewhere in the metropolitan area, experiences violence and trauma. If you are a student at Central City School, your main purpose may simply be to stay safe.

The Milwaukee Excellence Charter School is located on 4950 N. 24th Street and, in partnership with the Peace for Change Alliance, has violence and trauma at seminars on reckless driving, gun violence, mental health, sexual assault and bullying. Think about your own community. If you are a high school student in the suburbs, will these topics be on the agenda of your curriculum? Or would you like to find this comment in your social media mailbox? “Milwaukee has messed up this Fuckin City so badly that I’m not going to turn it into a new chic,” posted in the comments section of Central City Activists the day after the shooting in the Deer district on May 13.

Rodney Link, Jr., 36, is the CEO of Milwaukee Excellence, and his younger brother, Markus Rink, 32, is a restoration practice coach that resembles a high school dean. They were born and raised in the heart of Northside Millwalky, 27th and Burleigh and 27th and Chambers. The brothers went to Frederick Douglass Elementary School and then to Milwaukee Language School. 6th to 12th grade. They were a single mother’s household. Mom worked hard, instilled her dedication to service, and taught her children how to give back to the community. Rodney Jr. holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree in education from Marquette, an MBA from Milwaukee School of Technology, and is now a doctoral degree from Madison’s alma mater. Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in California, and his mother earned a degree from Concordia University in the same time frame.

I talked to the Link brothers at Milwaukee Excellence Middle School (formerly McNair Elementary School). I noticed that they are enthusiastic about educating their students in every way.

How did the gentlemen get involved in the field of education?

Rodney: I moved to California and taught at Rocketship Education, the best primary school in the United States.

Marcus: I joined my brother, attended San Jose State University for psychology, and took up a teaching profession in a rocket ship.

Rodney: After teaching there for a few years, we returned to Milwaukee to try to influence the education of black children in the North Side. The cultural problem here is the ongoing economic development of the South Side. Milwaukee is the story of two cities, south and north. Our school, Milwaukee Excellence, ensures that our students have a quality education. We do it in two ways. One is financial stability and the other is personal freedom when they leave here.

Could you elaborate on these two concepts?

Rodney: In terms of financial stability, each of our students’ goals is to earn $ 45,000 to $ 50,000 five years after graduating from Milwaukee Excellence, buy a home, earn disposable income, and become a taxable citizen. Is to be. We tell them how finances work, credit card management, saving money, financial literacy, investment, entrepreneurship, and how money can work for you. Teach. It also provides a path to personal freedom by allowing students to develop their interests and talents while gaining access to different career options.

I think the $ 50,000 salary target will be achieved after they go to college.

Rodney: Not only do everyone go on to college, but some learn skilled trade. That is where the concept of individual freedom begins. Some of our students go to MATC to study construction, IT networking, computer programming, and even cooking. We are trying to expose our students to different career options. This includes blueprints for personal freedom and compliance with available opportunities. According to statistics, Wisconsin is the worst state to raise black men. We want to help change that. If we give them financial stability and personal freedom, they will be fine.

How did you attend this Milwaukee Excellence Charter School?

Marcus: We worked for years at the Rocketship School in California. I taught everything from gym to math to English.

Rocketship employs a “hybrid” learning model that uses individualized online instruction, classroom instruction, and small group instruction. This model focuses on low-income communities through a sustainable public school model that improves student performance and fosters superior educators.

Marcus: I wanted to bring the educational style of rocketship back to Milwaukee, so I came back here. In 2016, Rodney helped launch the Milwaukee Excellence Charter School. After that, I participated in the program with my students and fell in love.

Currently, the curriculum includes grades 6-11..

Rodney: The 2023 class will be our first grade class. This year there are 561 students aged 6 to 11 years. Next year there will be more than 600 people. Our new high school building will be on the 71st and Brown Deer.

What is the ethnic breakdown of your student’s body?

Rodney: Mainly black students in the city center, zip code 53206, 53208, 53209, all Northside communities from River West to Millroad and Browndia.

What do you think is the problem for the black children who go to your school?

Rodney: The media talks about COVID, the general trauma caused by American isolation and mental health. Our students have been working on this type of trauma long before COVID. At our school, students gain stability, community consciousness and social interaction. Not only with other students and friends, but also with teachers. We think of ourselves as their family, father and mother. COVID lost that connection in our community because our school needed to be virtualized.

Marcus: Instead, students had to find connections through social media, but some of their exposure was bad. For example, a KIA boy over 12 years old who steals a car and drives recklessly. Or cyberbullying.

It leads me to what your school is doing to educate your students about the dangers of violence. Recently you held a youth victory week against violence. Every day, I devote myself to seminars on various forms of trauma and violence. What were you trying to achieve and what were the results?

Marcus: We were raising awareness. Some students commonly see violence in their neighborhood. It is not supposed to wake up at night by seeing gunshots, reckless driver calls, or violence at home. Our goal was to change the story.

On the first day, we covered “story”, stolen cars, and reckless driving.

Marcus: We invited volunteers from the city, law enforcement agencies, entrepreneurs and politicians. We also demonstrated car flipping to show the dangers and damage that a reckless driver could pose to passengers, family and friends. The children talked about relatives who drove too fast, injuries and deaths. They were educated on how to report stolen cars and reckless drivers.

The second day was about gun violence.

Marcus: The topic of gun violence was a moving day. Some children broke down while talking about gun violence with friends and family. Even our teacher broke down. Our school lost students to gun violence. Some children expect someone to be shot or killed when the weather gets hot. The idea should not be an idea. You don’t need to be vigilant if you can be shot or witnessed by stray bullets in the streets or parks. There was a law enforcement agency here, with special caregivers and even victims of trauma. Our goal was to teach consciousness.

On the third day, I focused on mental health.

Marcus: During Covid, so many children felt lonely. All they had was a computer screen and a cell phone. They connected via social media, TikTok and Instagram and gained a sense of community. We gave the children the opportunity to talk about their isolation. Our teachers also talked about their own isolation. Teachers often hold community circles to check in “Hey, where are you today?” Before the class begins. We want our students to listen. Again, we had police officers here and explained how they themselves deal with personal mental problems as a result of dealing with the violence in their work. We encouraged children to use music as a home remedy. We wanted them to know what was happening mentally and where to go if they needed help. There is a program called STUDENT VOICE SMATTER here that encourages students to be open about their feelings.

Another topic you undertook was sexual assault.

Marcus: Sexual assault was a big deal and a very influential day. We talked about the implications of protecting ourselves, the implications of sexual assault, such as improper contact. We also covered teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases. These are growing teens with sexual desire. Both children and teachers talked about sexual assault between friends and family.

And finally, there was a program about bullying and cyberbullying.

Marcus: Much of the bullying children experience these days comes from social media. Your child can post a selfie photo and receive a lot of negative comments. Children are also posting pictures of themselves undressed. Other children can use those pictures to intimidate. “I tell you or I share your nude photos across social media.” Police officers attend to cover bullying and discuss how children can protect themselves and their peers. I did. Today, when it comes to disagreement issues, social media is probably the most important thing for kids. Unfortunately, many of the posts are about hearsay, not what actually happened.

You had a talent show on the weekend.

Marcus: Yes, it was a huge success. Children expressed themselves through art, singing, dancing, joy and connection. Mill Walkie’s PEACE FOR CHANGE ALLIANCE donated a prize.

Rodney: The purpose of our talent show was for the kids to express themselves after a dramatic week of discussing trauma and difficulties. They celebrated all of us here together as the Milwaukee Excellence family. Violence only occurs when there is no purpose.

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