George Johnson, the humanitarian – philanthropist, is calling for graduates of Public School 25 to take a stand and pledge allegiance to his elementary school, currently The Eubie Blake School located on Lafayette, between Throop and Marcus Garvey Blvd. In response to a recent NY Daily News article announcing that a local group is calling for the closing of his alma mater, Johnson says it won’t be closed without a fight. He noted to this writer, for transparency, also an alumnus of P.S. 25 and a current volunteer, that Frank Mickens, principal, Boys & Girls H.S.; education activists The Baker Twins – Geraldine and Audrey; the late Congressional Record and Bowker Company editor Evelyn A. Russell; and a host of other community leaders and game-changing achievers owe their successes to the school.
The Daily News reported that a community group has called for the closing of the school due to low attendance. “If the school is getting the highest scores in District 16, that’s the story the media should report and that is a school that should stay in the community! If it is achieving against the odds then the community needs to know about it in order to make informed recommendations! Turning a positive into a negative – especially as gentrification destroys the neighborhood culture and vitality — is the worst thing we can do for our community and our children. You want to know how you turn a positive into a stronger positive? Make the school, under the leadership of principal Anita Coley, a gifted and talented oasis, like it was when I attended, and watch folks fight to get their kids into it.”
Johnson, who has sponsored an annual Toy Drive every Christmas for the past 31 years, is calling for all P.S. 25 graduates and family members of ancestor alumna of all nationalities and ages, to attend his function on Friday, December 8 (See Page 2 flyer for details). “I’m doing it for the children who attend the school, their parents, the teachers, my home community which has been ignored for so many years and for Mr. Eubie Blake!”
As Toys are given out to needy children, Johnson will appeal to graduates to join in the campaign to keep P.S. 25 open. (BG)