Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams joined students from three City School District of Albany elementary schools, their peers from three area districts and law enforcement personnel from throughout the Capital Region on Wednesday to celebrate the ninth year of the LEADership Project.
The LEADership Project is led by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Grant C. Jaquith. The program is an anti-gang training for fifth-grade students in Albany, Lansingburgh, Schenectady and Troy.
Volunteer instructors from more than 80 law enforcement organizations and related professions spend four sessions in each classroom during the school year.
“The LEADership program, at its core, is about building strong, positive relationships between young people and our law enforcement partners,” Adams said in opening Wednesday’s news conference at Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST).
“Too often young people grow up to develop an adversarial relationship with law enforcement. Those relationships sometimes are based on misunderstandings and misconceptions. The LEADership Project helps break through some of those perceptions.”
Fifth-grade students Glenn Goldman from TOAST, Jillian Katz from Montessori Magnet School and Brianna Campbell (pictured) from North Albany Academy participated in the news conference. They were supported by their teachers, principals and the law enforcement representatives who volunteered in their classrooms.
Fifth-graders from Lansingbrgh, Schenectady and Troy also represented their schools and districts at Wednesday’s event.
“There are a lot of people in this room today who care about you,” Adams said to the students. “Every person here wants to see you make smart and thoughtful choices. Every person here has invested their time in you because they believe in you. Every person here wants you to be your best self.”
The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves nearly 9,300 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.