From the Desk Of Mr. McHenry

Dear “extended family” of MAS,
As I planned for August 31st, the start of the 2020-21 school year, I had to consider the challenges the spring and summer brought to our country and city; specifically to Black and Brown families and children growing up in poverty. COVID-19 provides a painful reminder that issues in our country become crises in the least resourced communities. The unnecessary and brutal killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and now the shooting of Jacob Blake provided yet another reminder that maybe black lives don’t matter to everyone in our society as I believe they should. I wavered between sad, frustrated and angry when reflecting on these issues and their impact on communities like the one I grew up in.

Then, on August 31st, at approximately 8:10 am, I entered a virtual K4 Zoom class and marveled at the children and parents engaged in learning. I was thrilled to see their smiling faces, even though I know there is a tough world awaiting them. I can be optimistic for these babies because I know that if they remain at MAS for the next 14 years, they will graduate and enter post-secondary education PREPARED to compete successfully.
That is the point I would like to make today. Education, a high quality education, is the key. When we think about how to steer our city in a positive direction, at minimum, we should ensure that more children in Milwaukee receive a high quality education. I’m actually foolish enough to believe that all children deserve to attend schools that prepare them for life, a GOOD life.

In the near future, MAS will expand to serve more Milwaukee children. Equally important, we will shine a bright light on our successes compared to other city schools so that we provide a painful reminder that it’s educational leaders, politicians, those who influence policy, and other adults that are failing children, not the other way around. Maybe, just maybe, if adults are reminded that kids living in poverty can and will learn when given permission and the support necessary, we will improve our education policies and approach to school, which will in turn change our city for the better.

Do you agree that if more children graduate from post-secondary education, less people will live in communities without appropriate healthcare options, and therefore will be better prepared for the next virus?

Do you agree that if more African American males are self-sufficient adults, less will involve themselves in crime, less will encounter the good and not-so-good police officers, and less will get stuck in a system that seems designed to make their path to the American dream harder than necessary?

If so, join me in the fight to ensure that more children, particularly those with darker skin and lower incomes, have strong educational opportunities.
This is how we will change the status quo and see a brighter future for all.

In partnership,
Anthony McHenry