KIPP LA will open its fourteenth school, KIPP Corazón Academy, in South Gate this coming 2017-18 school year for kindergarten and first grade students, eventually growing to be a K-8 school.
Read on to learn more about the new school’s guiding principle, vision, and values.
Colleen Kennedy, the founding school leader of KIPP Corazón Academy, believes in the power of revolutionary love. She first discovered the idea of revolutionary love in Jeff Duncan-Andrade and Ernest Morrell’s book The Art of Critical Pedagogy: Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools. They define revolutionary love as “the love that is strong enough to bring radical change...endless dedication, an unyielding belief in the brilliance and potential of every student, and the commitment to stop at nothing to get kids to learn.”
“Revolutionary love runs through every aspect of the school,” shares Ms. Kennedy. It is her desire to ensure KIPP Corazón’s values are tied to this guiding principle and connect with her students so that they “have the courage to take risks, the ganas to set challenging goals and work hard to meet them, the honor to love and respect themselves and their community, and the hope to know that they have the power to find a better way.”
KIPP Corazón will open its doors in South Gate for the first time on August 14, 2017. Part of the vision for KIPP Corazón, according to Ms. Kennedy, is that students, families, teachers, and all members of the community “lead with love by driving excellence and demanding equity.” Ms. Kennedy’s commitment to equity began early on. Her father was a member of the military, which led her family to different parts of the world and exposed her to multiple cultures and educational inequities. It was this exposure to inequities that motivated her to become an educator.
Ms. Kennedy started her teaching career in Philadelphia and received her M.S. Ed. in Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the KIPP LA Team and Family in 2012 at KIPP Comienza Community Prep in Huntington Park, initially serving as a founding teacher for second and fourth grades, and later becoming a dean. She describes students and families at KIPP Comienza as “proving the possible every single day,” and she plans to mirror this experience at KIPP Corazón. She is eager to greet and welcome each student and family member on the first day of school “as a part of our KIPP Corazón Team and Family.”
The choice to lead with revolutionary love ensures that collaborative partnerships are forming in the KIPP Corazón classrooms and community. To that end, KIPP Corazón will be the first KIPP LA elementary school to open with a fully-implemented restorative practices model. Restorative practices focus on empowering students to repair harm in a safe and respectful way for the entire community. The school’s leadership team believes these restorative practices will ensure that every member of the KIPP Corazón community is valued and affirmed, and that students understand the impact their choices have on themselves and their community.
By building the school’s foundation on revolutionary love, KIPP Corazón students become leaders and agents of change, both inside and outside of the classroom. They will be confident and impact their own stories and the stories of those around them as they successfully navigate high school, college, and life.
There are still a limited number of spots available for kindergarten and first grade. Be one of the students and family members welcomed into the KIPP Corazón Team and Family with Ms. Kennedy on the first day of school! KIPP Corazón Academy will be located at 2728 Liberty Boulevard South Gate, CA 90280.
To enroll or learn more about KIPP Corazón, please visit the KIPP Corazón website or call (323) 457-5051.