Help Build HEROES - School for the Gifted and Talented in Central, NJ
In 2007, we founded HEROESgifted. In 2012, we opened HEROES Academy, an educational facility for gifted and talented students. After twelve years, we're finally purchasing property in Monroe Twp, NJ, a facility where we will ultimately be able to offer a full-day school and testing services for gifted and talented students in addition to our current weekend classes. We're looking for help financing the renovations of this property.
How We Plan to Use the Funds
Construction on this facility will cost approximately $240,000. We are doing extensive interior renovations, replacing the roof of the building, putting a new "face" on it, and improving the site with new parking and landscaping.
Our Story - Find out more about HEROES
When my little brother was eleven years old, he started college at Rutgers University. He was -- and continues to be -- my inspiration for HEROES. We started HEROES to find other kids like him -- other gifted kids in need of social, emotional, and academic support.
I find that many people believe that gifted children will be “just fine” as if ability automatically results in happiness and success. It doesn’t. Our gifted children are often highly sensitive; many struggle to develop friendships with their same-age peers, and school is often quite hard for them -- not because the course work is hard but because the environment challenges their patience and endurance.
Gifted children are an at-risk population. I’ve seen far too many under-served gifted children fall into bouts of depression and anxiety -- even more that simply stop trying, giving up before their life’s really begun -- and many who find not-so-great ways to use their abilities that land them in trouble later in life.
When we started HEROES in 2007, we had big dreams for what we could do-- would do, but we couldn't do it all right away. In the beginning, we provided social programs and emotional support. We pooled resources together and advocated for these students, and we ran a few scattered academic programs that finally allowed these children to experience an educational environment in which they were mentally stimulated -- actually learning something new!
For years, we tried to open a school for the gifted using public funds. There was simply not enough grant funding available, and regulations on charter schools were far too restrictive to allow us to adequately serve these children.
In 2012, we opened HEROES Academy using personal funds. Over the last seven years, we’ve worked with hundreds of gifted and talented students, offering accelerated classes in a variety of subjects. Unlike other academic programs, we place students into classes based on their tested math, reading, and writing skills rather than age or grade level in school. This allows each child to be adequately challenged in the classroom, acquiring grit, logic, and critical thinking skills in addition to the core subjects being taught. More significantly, I’ve had the pleasure of watching our community grow and mature as our students and their parents develop life-long friendships.
We’ve made tremendous sacrifices to ensure that the quality of our programs are not compromised, sticking to our admissions and placement plan for the last seven years regardless of the number of students enrolled in a given class. We’re committed to continuing this mission; however, we cannot continue to do this in our current location.
Our current facility no longer suits our needs. In addition, it’s become increasingly costly to remain in our facility. It does not allow us to expand our programs, and we would never be able to offer a full-day school in our current location. As such, we’ve spent the last three years searching for the perfect new home for HEROES.
We finally found it, and we’re scheduled to close in early February. At that point, we’ll need to begin extensive renovations on the property. The entire building needs to be gutted and remodeled. We need a new roof, a new parking lot, and a new face on the building. All-in, this project will cost us over $500,000. We’re asking for your help with this.
Help us support gifted children and their parents. Help us to build a permanent facility for gifted children. We’ll continue to offer our weekend classes for those students in traditional schools, but we’ll also be able to add on a full-day program, more social events, teacher training, and gifted identification services in this facility.
3-D Renderings for New Location
Our architect put together some 3D renderings to give everyone an idea of what the school will look like when the construction is complete.
We will start out with two classrooms, a waiting room, and a teacher prep room. We plan to add-on additional classroom space and a library soon after moving in.
Language Arts Classroom
Waiting Room & Reception
- Jahangir Shah
- Manish Shah
- Sharif Muhammad
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