Adele is the principal of the Edgar Hooks elementary school in Chelsea, MA. For those of you not familiar with Chelsea, it's the smallest city in Massachusetts in terms of land area, (1.8 square miles), yet the second most densely-populated area in the state. 38 percent of Chelsea residents were born outside of the United States, the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in the state.
Many of the students in Adele's school came to Chelsea with few possessions. Yet at the Hooks School, they have flourished. In the fall of 2014, the school achieved an unheard of Level 1 status – something very rare in an urban school, and especially one that houses a new immigrant program for grades 1 and 2. This English Immersion classroom begins with six or seven kids in a typical year. This year, there are 32 students. Some have never been in school before. But all of them are greeted with open arms.
As principal of the Hooks School, and as an educator in the Chelsea Public School system for more than four decades, there are fewer people who have invested more into the lives of these students than Adele. Over the years, this "investment" has covered things like books to take home, Christmas gifts, coats, and in-school programs like an annual social, family movie nights, and countless more. And during one of these programs, she rewarded the kids by doing the chicken dance. At an assembly. In front of all of the students, teachers and parents. In a chicken costume.
So for her birthday, we've decided to forego the typical birthday gift, and give her something that will directly impact something she has put so much of herself into - her school. Our goal is to raise $1,500 for the Hooks School Student Activity Account. We're hoping to be able to present her with a cartoon-sized check for her birthday, and to positively affect the school community in her honor. And maybe do it dressed as a chicken.
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- Christina Carlin
- Tina Sullivan
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