Our Work

 

Statistics show that children who experience trauma in early childhood are more prone to high-risk behavior and chronic health issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and early death. But we also know that children who have more options have far better outcomes and well-being.

Children who visit museums dream about creating art. Children who experience the wonder of science experiment dream about solving complex problems. Children who interact with successful businesses dream about how they might succeed. And, children who learn to swim, dream about the exploration of unchartered waters. 

The Pinkney Foundation believes that early intervention is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and empowering children for a lifetime of success. Early intervention is about making space for opportunity.

The Pinkney Foundation supports Eagle Academy, a public charter school that teaches students between the ages of 3-9 and supports the communities where its campuses reside, both in Southeast DC, including Ward 8. Eagle Academy's mission is to foster the building blocks for a promising future for all students in a rich, robust learning environment that fosters creativity, problem solving abilities, emphasizing cognitive, social, and emotional growth by engaging children as active learners. 

Quality education is critical, but early intervention is about more than just classroom instructions. It's about experiences that open doors to the world that these students don't normally have. We must give our children a glimpse of what's possible. And we must do it NOW.

 

How we Make Space

 “Shayla has enjoyed and excelled in the STEM program at Eagle Academy PCS. As a single parent I would like for my child to be afforded the same academic privileges as other students in her grade level and not allow my financial situation to count her out of opportunities.”  Shalya was awarded one of the first Pinkney Opportunity Scholarships to attend a STEM summer campaign, further expanding her interest in STEM.  - Shamelli, Shayla's Mom

“Shayla has enjoyed and excelled in the STEM program at Eagle Academy PCS. As a single parent I would like for my child to be afforded the same academic privileges as other students in her grade level and not allow my financial situation to count her out of opportunities.”  Shalya was awarded one of the first Pinkney Opportunity Scholarships to attend a STEM summer campaign, further expanding her interest in STEM.

- Shamelli, Shayla's Mom

The Pinkney Opportunity Scholarship

The Pinkney Opportunity Scholarship was established to make space for opportunities for our students, teachers, and families. Mrs. Pinkney spent her life fighting for the children of DC. She remained firm in her belief that every child - regardless of background - should have access to a high-quality education. And she made it her life's work to fulfill that vision. 

In 2018, the Cassandra S. Pinkney Foundation awarded scholarships to seven 3rd grade students who applied for and were accepted into the Pathway to STEM Summer Camp in Washington, D.C. Scholarships awarded ranged from $1,895 to $2,295. These scholarships provided an opportunity many of our students wouldn't have been able to experience due to their families' financial constraints. The Foundation made space for these seven third graders to further their excitement and interest in STEM.  

Students, teachers, and families of Eagle Academy PCS are eligible to apply for the Pinkney Opportunity Scholarship by submitting an application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will be approved based on alignment with the Foundation's focus areas:  

  1. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) 
  2. Special Education
  3. Whole-Child Supports and Wrap Around Services
  4. Community and Family Engagement
  5. Extra Curricular Programs
 

Supporting Eagle Academy's Growth

Eagle Academy Public Charter School's mission is to build the foundation for a promising future for all students in a rich, robust learning environment that fosters creativity and problem-solving abilities. We emphasize cognitive, social, and emotional growth by engaging children as active learners in an inclusive learning environment.

As Eagle Academy looks to deliver on this mission and increase the number of students served, the Cassandra S. Pinkney Foundation will be there to support expansion efforts, financially. Over the next decade, Eagle Academy plans to serve an additional 500 students in grades PreK-3 through 5th grade. This expansion includes the development of a school specializing in special education. The Cassandra S. Pinkney Foundation is committed to serving under-resourced students and supporting Eagle Academy as the school continues to provide high quality education for the District's youth.

 

Making space for equity

Men of color account for less than 7% of the teaching population in the United States, while students of color are projected to make up 54% of the population by 2024. Teachers of color serve as "mirrors" in the classroom where students can see themselves as educational leaders instead of "windows" where they are being taught through a cultural lense that is foreign to that of their own.

Improving teacher diversity can also help all students. Teachers of color are positive role models for all students, breaking down negative stereotypes and preparing students to live and work in a multiracial society. A more diverse teacher workforce can also supplement training in the culturally sensitive teaching practices most effective with today’s student populations.

The Cassandra S. Pinkney Foundation strongly believes that the first step to making space for opportunity is in the classroom with teachers that look like our students. In May 2018, the Foundation cohosted a town hall discussion on the topic titled The 7%:Men of Color in K-12 Education.