Donations Help Keep Model School Program Alive
by Kevin Rothstein, The Boston Herald, July 26, 2003
For more articles like this
A lauded program credited with turning a tough Roxbury middle
school into a high-achieving institution has been saved from the
budget ax by $600,000 in donations - coughed up mostly by
Parents of students at the James P. Timilty Middle School were
relieved that Project Promise, which offers longer classes and
school days, would return at least for a year.
"My younger daughter is just excelling with the program,'' said
West Roxbury mother Eda Ludvigson. "The periods are built up to
be 90 minutes long so they're kept on task.''
The Project Promise program not only paid to extend classes more
than the traditional 45 minutes but also provided teachers with
more planning time, extending the school day to 4 p.m.
It was saved by the unorthodox fund-raising effort of Robert
Romanow, an auto parts magnate who runs Frugal McDoogal's, a
bargain store near Dudley Square in Roxbury. Romanow, 62, tapped
into his own philanthropic network to find the donors, nearly
all of whom live outside Boston.
"They gave because they believe this school is a model,'' he
The $600,000 was raised just a few days before the June 15
deadline, giving the program one more year of funding. The city
agreed to match the money in 2005 and 2006. Another $600,000 is
needed to support the next three years, and Romanow wants to
start an endowment fund.
Students at the school, who are 90 percent black and Hispanic,
recorded some of the highest MCAS scores in the Boston Public
When Ludvisgon's older daughter started sixth grade at the
Timilty, she was failing math. She credits the school for a
turnaround. "Before that it was like passing her along, giving
good grades but she never knew anything. She started getting D's
in math at the Timilty,'' Ludvigson said.
Now she attends a Catholic high school, earning a B-plus in
back to the top ~
back to Breaking News
~ back to