Mullings Receives Spirit Award

 Mullings receiving Spirit Award

Mullings receiving Spirit Award

Pastor, school founder, and widely-recognized community leader, Rev. Dr. Les Mullings was recently awarded the Queens Borough Spirit Award from the African American Heritage Committee and President Melinda Katz. The award ceremony took place on Monday, February 26th, 2018 at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens.

The ceremony recognized community leaders who have made an impact on the borough along with the next generation of young leaders. Rev. Dr. Mullings was also the keynote speaker for the event. After accepting his award, he addressed the crowd admonishing them to encourage and support the young people who are paving the way to a better future.

At the event, college scholarships of $1000 were given to a group of 12 exceptional high school students, as well as awards to men and women working across Queens in science, journalism, education, business and more.

“This award ceremony is a testament to the good people across Queens who care about our communities and the needs we see all around us.” commented Mullings. “We have a lot of work before us, and I am honored to be amongst these great men and women and the students that represent our bright future.”

The Cheetah Report

Each week our middle school scholars take part in the Cheetah Report. This internal video news report is given daily by a student and features history, new vocabulary words, school reminders, and more. Principal Gordon recently described the report and the way it enriches the learning of our scholars saying:

"My vision for the daily CCMS Cheetah Report was to create a platform for the scholars to display their skills in reading and oration on demand, and additionally provide an incentive for them to aspire for greatness, as qualifying scholars must have good attendance and deportment. Another goal was to have this report serve as an instructional tool to address and leverage the speaking and listening standards outlined by the state of New York.

Airing live during the morning advisory period before instruction begins, this report helps us reinforce a community mindset among our scholars, and sets the tone for the day via important reminders and shoutouts for exemplar behaviors. We announce the instructional day as well as the testing countdown, so that the scholars are reminded about the value of time spent in the classroom and to keep an eye on key dates. Birthdays are acknowledged so that no one's special day goes unnoticed and scholars are asked to repeat our school's motto: Teach Me...Prepare Me...Challenge Me... By punctuating each report with this mantra, we are reminding scholars and staff of our purpose here at CCMS."

Be sure to ask your scholar about the Cheetah Report. 

 Middle School Scholars give the daily Cheetah Report.

Middle School Scholars give the daily Cheetah Report.

Black History Month Program

CCMS' annual Black History Month Program was on Wednesday, February 14th at 10:00AM in the school gym. Families were invited to join scholars to come together to celebrate the rich history of trailblazers and hope makers who have emulated excellence.

7th Grade Scholars represented influential leaders and stars such as Maya Angelou, Oprah, Rosa Parks, President Barack Obama, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Jordon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and our own Music Banks and Principal Gordon.

Performing Arts scholars performed a skit and musical selections, and Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech was recited by the 6th and 7th Grade Scholars. 

Music Banks and Principal Gordon recognized CEO/Founder Rev. Dr. Les Mullings for his vision and the opportunity that has been given to the scholars and their families through Challenge Charter Schools.

Principal Gordon thanked families for coming out to support the school and admonished the scholars with more words of Dr. King quoting, "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

Performers at our 2018 Black History Month Assembly, Grades 6-8.

A Man of Service from the Beginning

This week our school family celebrates the many years of service of Custodian Raphael Charles. Mr. Charles, as he is known in our halls, will be retiring at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

 Mr. Raphael Charles

Mr. Raphael Charles

When CEO and Founder, Rev. Dr. Mullings approached Mr. Charles about a job, Challenge Preparatory Charter School was meeting at Golden Maple Elementary while the building at 710 Hartman was being remodeled. When the property at Hartman was ready, the basement and first floor were used for Kindergarten and First Grade.

“When we moved into the new building, it was challenging and there was a lot of work. Mr. Morris and I were the crew at that time. I typically arrived at 6:00am and left about 6 or 7 at night,” Mr. Charles recalled.

Ms. Ward-Brew remembered what it was like then and shared, “In the early days of Challenge Prep, I used to close out the building with the custodial staff.  Everytime Mr. Charles would pass by my classroom, he would scold me and tell me to go home, and I would smile and tell him that I had work to do. He would walk away grumbling and mumbling in classic Mr. Charles style. He continued to scold and lecture me as we left the building. You see, Mr. Charles knew I had a 2-hour commute ahead of me, and he was concerned.  Mr. Charles can scold, lecture, and make you smile at the same time, because you know he cares!”

The work continued as the school expanded. Mr. Charles became a regular “fixture” as grades were added. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Charles came to the U.S. in 1987. He visits his brother, cousins and friends there every couple of years, but he hasn’t made any long-term plans for retirement.

When asked what he will miss the most about being here every day, Mr. Charles replied, “Seeing the kids. Challenge is all about the kids, and I see the teachers doing a great job with these kids. I know that school is going to be taken care of. I know that there are good people that will come and fill my shoes.”

On Friday, February 9th a dinner and celebration will be held at 5:30 PM to express heartfelt thanks for Mr. Charles’ dedication and hard work. Teachers and staff are encouraged to attend the celebration which will be held at 710 Hartman Lane in the gym.

“We will miss Mr. Charles greatly at Challenge Prep. He went beyond his work to show compassion and concern for our students, and I appreciate his many years with us,” Dr. Mullings stated. “We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Application Season in Full Swing

 We love giving out welcoming packets to our new families!

We love giving out welcoming packets to our new families!

Challenge Preparatory Charter School is celebrating 8 years of excellence in education in Far Rockaway, NY. In recent years, a Middle School for 6-8 grades at 1526 Central Avenue was added following the success of the K-5 site at 710 Hartman Lane.

Challenge Prep is now taking lottery applications for 2018-19 which are due by 5:00p on Thursday, March 29, 2017. The school provides excellent support services for English Language Learners (ELLs) and Special Education scholars particularly in Community School District 27.

“We have exciting new offerings at our Middle School including Honors courses for 8th Graders, an expanded Athletics program, and a Performing Arts Department with music, theater and dance. We encourage families with rising Kindergartners to rising 8th Graders who want high academic standards and robust enrichment activities through our electives and after school activities to apply,” said Founder/CEO Rev. Dr. Les Mullings.

Families interested in applying are invited to attend an Open House in the coming weeks. Open Houses will be offered in the evenings from 5:00-6:00 p.m. At the Middle School at 1526 Central Avenue, Open House dates are the following Thursdays: February 1st and March 8th. At the K-5 site at 710 Hartman Lane, Open House dates are the following Thursdays: February 8th, March 1st, and March 15th.

The Open Houses at either location will feature a tour of the site, an overview of the educational model, student services offered, and a question and answer session. Spanish translators will be available at every Open House, and additional Open Houses will be added as needed.

The random lottery for all grades will take place on April 19th, at 7:00p at the K-5 site at 710 Hartman Lane. The current application can be found at once an account is created on the NYC Charter School Center site.

If you have questions about applying to Challenge Preparatory Charter School, please call Mrs. Tameeka Richards, Executive Director of Expansion at 718-327-4040 ext. 512.