KIPP Texas Public Charter Schools has a mission to help students in educationally underserved communities—neighborhoods with low-performing traditional public schools. However, their growth depends on the generosity of donors. Recently, KIPP Esperanza Dual Language Academy in San Antonio held a celebration to thank philanthropist Harvey Najim for a new $1 million gift. This gift continues Najim’s pattern of supporting local organizations that serve disadvantaged children.
KIPP Esperanza is part of the Cevallos campus, located at 239 Stark St., San Antonio, TX 78204 (map) in downtown San Antonio. The campus, which opened in 2016, is also home to a middle school, KIPP Aspire Academy, and an International Baccalaureate high school, KIPP University Prep. As shown in the Texas Education Agency’s school profile, KIPP Esperanza students are 80.8 percent economically disadvantaged and 35.5 percent English language learners; 8.6 precent of students receive special education services.
To show appreciation for Najim’s gift, the building’s wing that houses KIPP Esperanza has been named after him. KIPP Esperanza serves students in kindergarten through fourth grade and offers a dual language program to help students become bilingual and bicultural in English and Spanish. At the celebration, a choir of students sang for Najim in English and Spanish. The students were joined in giving thanks by Mark Larson, Chief Growth Officer of KIPP Texas Public Schools, and Dalia Contreras, Regional Superintendent of KIPP Texas–San Antonio.
Larson and Contreras have new roles since the unification of several KIPP regions into KIPP Texas. In his remarks, Larson thanked Najim not only for his monetary gift, but also for years of sage advice that saved him from making even more costly mistakes.
Statewide, KIPP Texas serves over 27,700 students at 52 public charter schools in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. KIPP Texas—San Antonio was founded in 2003 and serves over 3,500 students in six schools. About 1,500 students are currently on waiting lists for KIPP Texas—San Antonio schools, as Michele Brown, Deputy Chief, Marketing and Communications at KIPP Texas, mentioned to the Rivard Report. Najim’s gift will help fuel growth plans for KIPP Texas—San Antonio, but no specific announcements have been made about new campuses.
The benefits of a KIPP education for students include a longer school day and longer school year, higher graduation rates, and higher rates of college enrollment and college graduation. That’s worth celebrating!
- “Local Philanthropy Ensures Thousands More Students for Charter Schools,” Emily Donaldson, Rivard Report, September 15, 2018
- “Najim donates $1 million to San Antonio charter schools,” Liz Teitz, San Antonio Express-News, September 12, 2018
- “KIPP San Antonio schools get $1M boost from local philanthropist Harvey Najim,” Mariah Medina, KSAT 12, September 12, 2018
- “4 KIPP Texas Regional Networks Announce Merger Into Single Statewide Nonprofit to Leverage Growth, Share Expertise,” Bekah McNeel, The 74, July 11, 2018
- “South Side School Choice Fair at Compass Rose Academy,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 20, 2018
- “FAQ Update: What New Charter Schools Are Opening in San Antonio?”, Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, August 21, 2013