Monday, April 26, 2021

Street Law Launches New Jersey Legal Life Skills Program

Street Law, Inc. is excited to announce that today, alongside the BRICK Education Network and the Verizon Foundation, we are launching a new Legal Life Skills program in Marion P. Thomas Charter High School of Culinary and Performance Arts in Newark, New Jersey.

"Street Law is thrilled about our newest partnership with the Verizon Foundation, and the BRICK Education Network,” said Street Law Executive Director Ashok Regmi. “By working alongside schools and community partners, we can help young people develop the legal knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to thrive to become informed, empowered, and civically-engaged community members.”

The BRICK Education Network leads and operates BRICK schools, including the Achieve Community Charter School and the Marion P. Thomas Charter Schools. BRICK’s unique approach to transforming public education builds resilient, intelligent, creative young people by equipping them with a high-quality, nurturing education and thriving, engaged families to support their success.

Street Law's Legal Life Skills Program targets young people in the community who are most vulnerable to racism and injustice to provide them with legal knowledge and skills needed to advocate for themselves and their communities.

“BRICK Education Network is excited to partner with Street Law to bring Legal Life Skills to young people at Marion P. Thomas Charter High School of Culinary and Performing Arts,” shared Tashia Martin, BRICK’s Senior Director of Student Supports. “Now more than ever, it is important that schools establish a culture that empowers student individual and collective identities and voices to influence social change. Our students are eager to build on their natural gifts with the tools and resources that this partnership will bring.”

Street Law, a Verizon Foundation global volunteer partner, will train 60-120 legal volunteers a semester from Verizon to prepare them to conduct the program. The training will cover essential implementation topics, including Street Law teaching methodology, best practices for student engagement, and tips for teaching virtually.    

An enthusiastic team of administrators, teachers, and student representatives at Marion P. Thomas collaborated with Street Law to roll out this program. The students, proudly referred to as scholars, took the lead on lesson review and selection. The scholars chose lesson topics that they see as most relevant such as Rights & Responsibilities in the Workplace, Intro to Credit, Banking Basics, Traffic Stops, Intro to Criminal Law, and Restorative Justice.

“I'm most excited that the Street Law Legal Life Skills, program will expose our young people to information that will empower them to make informed and responsible decisions right now and throughout their journey of life,” said Hassan Munford, the student success coordinator for Marion P. Thomas High School.

Guest speakers from Verizon will facilitate the lessons virtually during the advisory class periods at Marion P. Thomas. The program will take place throughout the next six weeks and again during the fall semester of next school year.

Overall, this program will reach more than 500 students from Marion P. Thomas Charter School during 2021.

“I'm excited to learn and share information that could save someone's life,” said 9th grade Marion P. Thomas High School student Elizabeth. “Even if it’s a little information, it could still well be enough to allow somebody to get out of a situation that could end with them passing away or not being able to go home to their families.”