Head of the Class

Celebrating and rewarding excellence in D.C. schools at School Night 2009

By Michelle Fenty

Michelle Fenty (in Pink) at Fight For Children’s first School Night Awards Luncheon.

Michelle Fenty (in Pink) at Fight For Children’s first School Night Awards Luncheon.

Giving away $100,000 is not something I get to do every day. Let alone three times in 15 minutes! Last month I had the privilege of doing just that at Fight For Children’s first School Night Awards Luncheon. On April 17, I announced Fight For Children’s 2009 Champions of Quality: Bell Multicultural High School, Capital City Public Charter School, and The Washington Middle School for Girls. Fight For Children CEO Michela English joined me to present each winning school a check for $100,000. As a board member of Fight For Children, it was a thrill for me to see first hand the impact we are making in improving D.C. schools.

The Mayor and I are proud to be honorary co-chairs of School Night: Celebrating Excellence in D.C. Schools where we will celebrate the educators, parents, and most importantly, the children who make these schools great. On May 15, our friends, former Mayor Anthony Williams and Diane Williams and Fight For Children’s founder Joseph E. Robert, Jr., will join us at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to recognize the achievements these schools have made to help low-income children in D.C. thrive.

School Night 2009 will not be your typical gala. An eclectic mix of live entertainment will keep you on your feet all night long. The event starts with a garden party on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza with great food and a live performance by international sensation Naturally 7. Then we will move inside to the Atrium for a show hosted and produced by Patti Austin, a fellow Fight For Children board member and Grammy award-winning artist. Sheila E. and the E. Family will thrill us with a show heavy with percussion and Latin beats. Then get ready for one of my favorite performers and a great friend of the District of Columbia: Wyclef Jean.

You will also see performances from some of D.C.’s talented local youth, including The Saints, a jazz ensemble from the Sitar Arts Center in Northwest, and Mini Shock of Culture Shock D.C. And, most importantly, the evening will shine a light on quality District schools whose effective practices are improving student achievement. All of the kids in the city deserve the opportunity for a successful future. I am thrilled to be part of the Fight For Children family, and I applaud the work these amazing schools are doing every day.

School Night 2009 will be an unforgettable evening of fun, friends and philanthropy. Join me for what will be one extraordinary party. I look forward to seeing you there.

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