I RECENTLY had the opportunity to serve as “principal for a day’’ at the Harry A. Baldwin Early Learning Center in Brighton, and I was truly inspired by what I saw. Here is a school that is doing things right. Yet I was saddened to learn that Baldwin is teetering on the verge of collapse in the face of impending budget cuts. The city of Boston is poised to gut this amazing program by drastically cutting its hours, turning the clock back on years of progress.
Baldwin has truly been a game changer. Principal Graciela Hopkins and her teachers welcome as many as 200 children through their doors each morning at 7:30, and continue to work with them long after the final bell rings in most other public schools, providing much needed assistance with homework.
The extra time spent with each student, most of them immigrants, is paying dividends in both their education and at home, where many youngsters are among the first in their families to learn English. Students at Baldwin routinely outperform children in other city schools who do not have the benefit of an extended day program. Baldwin’s success rate is a direct result of the additional 300 hours each child spends in the classroom every year.
I hope that Boston officials will look at Baldwin not as a financial burden, but as a beacon of light and a rewarding investment in our city’s future.
George K. Regan
Regan Communications Group