Feb. 2, 2023 - Paterson One Square Mile Initiative Launches At Eastside High School

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$1 million Dodge Foundation grant to Montclair State University will be used to create district’s 11th Full Service Community School

PATERSON – Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer welcomed leaders of Montclair State University and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, as well as many community partners and local dignitaries, to Eastside High School today for the launch of the One Square Mile initiative.

One Square Mile is Montclair State University’s comprehensive initiative designed to aid in the City of Paterson’s community development efforts. The Dodge Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to the university, which will use it to establish Full Service Community School services at Eastside High School.

“Through the district’s partnerships with Montclair State University and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Eastside High School will become the eleventh Full Service Community School in the district,” said Shafer. “That means that Eastside students and their families will have access to health care, counseling, academic support, and many other services right at school. This not only makes these services conveniently available to students and families, but it also helps ensure our students’ success in school. When students succeed, the whole community succeeds. I want to thank everyone at Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, our cooperating agencies, and our professionals here at Paterson Public Schools who worked to make this initiative happen.”

Today’s announcement follows the award of a $2.5 million federal grant to provide Full Service Community Schools services at Public School No. 16 and the Alonzo Tambua Moody Academy. The district's other Full Service Community schools are Public School No. 5, the Senator Frank L. Lautenberg School, Public School No. 15, the New Roberto Clemente School, the Dr. Frank Napier School of Technology, John F. Kennedy High School, Public School No. 2, and the Joseph A. Taub School.

“Public universities can and should become true partners with the communities they serve,” said Montclair President Jonathan Koppell. “To do that, however, we must lay down deep roots, be active participants, and demonstrate commitment to lasting, sustainable change.

“The One Square Mile project starts with the community articulating its needs and goals, and the University then working alongside community members to achieve those objectives by drawing upon its capacity and existing efforts. It is not about a university coming in and acting like we have all the answers. We can maximize Montclair’s potential, including creating fantastic learning opportunities for students and faculty, by collaborating around a shared vision of what is possible; we have found outstanding partners in Paterson and Paterson Public Schools.”

“Our support of the One Square Mile program strengthens our work towards a just and equitable New Jersey,” said Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation President Tanuja Dehne. “We are proud to support organizations and initiatives focused on addressing the root cause and repair of structural racism and inequity across the state and are eager to see the impact of this community-led initiative between Montclair State University and the City of Paterson.”

“This initiative is community-led. It’s focused on education, health, and economic opportunity,” said Rosie Grant, Executive Director of the Paterson Education Fund. “The best part about it is that we’re looking at all of that through the lens of equity. We’re bringing equity to the children and families of Paterson. This is an investment in our future, our schools, and our children.”

“Tier1 Recovery loves this wonderful opportunity to partner with Montclair University and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation on this amazing partnership that would continue to assess the needs of the Paterson community,” said Chosen Generation Community Corporation Chief Executive Officer Willie Moody. “Tier1 Recovery, a pillar in the 4th Ward, stands ready to assist in making the One Square Mile project a success.”

“The One Square Mile project is the perfect way to bring community members together to collaborate for a unified neighborhood,” said Paterson Alliance Executive Director Inge Spungen.

“Everyone at St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation is pleased to see the investment that is being made in our community,” said St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation Executive Director Richard Williams. “We thank the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Montclair State University for their belief in the collective impact that can be accomplished through the One Square Mile initiative. As an organization that has a longstanding commitment to the city of Paterson, its residents, and the neighborhoods encompassing the One Square Mile initiative, we firmly believe that this work will provide ‘Hope for Today’ while ‘Building a Better Tomorrow.’”

Several people pose while standing on either side of a podium.

From left, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, District Full Service Community Schools Executive Director Jenna Goodreau, Mayor Andre Sayegh, Superintendent Eileen Shafer, MSU President Dr. Jonathan Koppell, PEF Executive Director Rosie Grant, EHS Principal of Operations Edgard Nieves, and Dodge Foundation President & CEO Tanuja Dehne.

Several women stand behind a podium while the one in the middle makes comments into the microphone.

From left, Health N Wellness, LLC President Denise Hajjar, St. Paul’s CDC Executive Director Richard Williams, PEF Executive Director Rosie Grant, New Destiny Executive Director Caroline McCombs, Paterson Alliance Executive Director Inge Spungen, said Chosen Generation Community Corporation Chief Executive Officer Willie Moody, Paterson Alliance Program Manager Shanikwa Lemon.

people sit while listening to a speaker (out of frame). The focus of the image on a man in the middle of the frame.

Paterson Board of Education Commissioner Eddie Gonzalez.