Students Begin Classes in New Mastery Charter School Building

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

Hundreds of students put on their thinking caps Wednesday morning, Aug. 23rd, as they started a new school year at Mastery Cramer Hill Elementary School in a brand new building. 

“We’re thrilled to open for our first day of school," said Meredith Howell-Turner, the principal at the school. "This has been the culmination of [several] years worth of work on this site and we’re thrilled to finally open our doors to the Cramer Hill community” 

As the children stepped off the big yellow school buses, the teachers greeted them with high fives and big hugs as they welcomed them to the building. The new facility is a combination of two elementary schools that have been run by Mastery Charter for the last three years. 

Students will see a beautiful world-class facility with a library media center, a gymnasium, a cafeteria with a stage, air conditioning, technology labs, and large classrooms with bathrooms in the kindergarten and first-grade rooms.

“The new space is phenomenal; it looks great," said Jasmine Pearson, a Camden native and first-grade teacher at the school. "We have big, wide windows. It looks nice and open.” 

“[Students] will see a beautiful world-class facility with a library media center, a gymnasium, a cafeteria with a stage, air conditioning, technology labs, and large classrooms with bathrooms in the kindergarten and first-grade rooms,” said Howell-Turner.

The facility serves as a welcoming environment where the kindergarten through 8th-grade students will grow in more way than one. 

They’re going to be somebody. They’re going to be out of the poverty that we used to live in when I was younger.

“Kids deserve the highest quality education," said Joseph Ferguson, the chief operations officer at Mastery Charter Schools of Camden. "They need to be able to pursue their dreams and they need to be developed personally and academically. At Mastery, that’s part of our mission.” 

And the parents couldn’t be happier to get the opportunity to send their children to the school.

“[This] means my children are going to get a better education," said Gloria Sanchez, a parent who was dropping her two daughters off at the new building.  

"They’re going to be somebody. They’re going to be out of the poverty that we used to live in when I was younger.” 

“I wasn’t too fond of the city schools," said Margaret Payne, another parent who was dropping off her son and daughter at the new building. "But when I found out about Mastery's curriculum, and just the way they do things different than the usual school, I really liked it.” 

Pearson went through the Camden Public School District and is elated to be teaching in the area where she grew up.

"It is truly empowering and very exciting,” said Pearson. 

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