YWCA Rhode Island to hold dedication ceremony


School Leaders to Hold Dedication Ceremony for YWCA Rhode Island sponsored Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy

Central Falls, Rhode Island
-­‐ The official dedication ceremony for the Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy will be held on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 43 Hawes Street, Central Falls at 11:00 AM.

Mission of Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy The mission of Shelia S. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy is to increase the educational achievement of at-­‐risk high school students in Rhode Island by providing a comprehensive high school program that addresses and breaks down the barriers to high school attendance and completion that are related to teenage pregnancy and parenting, family care-­‐taking responsibilities, domestic abuse, lack of family support and other family-­‐related challenges.

Nowell Leadership Academy is sponsored by the YWCA Rhode Island.

The school has physical locations in Central Falls and Providence and serves 160 students from throughout the state. Within the next four years locations will open in East Providence and Warwick and serve an additional 160 students.

YWCA Rhode Island -­‐ Founder and School Sponsor YWCA Rhode Island is the founder and sponsor of Sheila "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy, a public charter high school named after a former YWCA Northern Rhode Island Executive Director.

In 1984 under the leadership of Sheila Skip Nowell, an advocate for the rights of young women to continue their education during pregnancy or after the birth of a child, the YWCA created PIP (Parenting in Progress), a G.E.D./external high school diploma program with wrap around services.

Under the leadership of Deborah L. Perry, President/CEO of YWCA Rhode Island, Skip's vision was expanded and approval was sought from the Rhode Island Department of Education to open a unique public charter high school that would contain a rigid but flexible curriculum combined with wrap around services targeted toward at risk youth and in particular pregnant and parenting youth.

The Sheila Skip Nowell Leadership Academy was granted approval to open in September 2013 and hired Jodi Timpani as Head of School to lead its day-­‐to-­‐day operations. The school will ultimately serve 360 at-­‐risk youth including parenting and pregnant teens and their babies. The school is the 1st charter school in Rhode Island to use a blended on-­‐line curriculum and has the potential to serve as a national model.

Sheila "Skip" Nowell -­‐ School Namesake Sheila "Skip" Nowell was born in New York City, graduated from Music and Art High School for the Performing Arts, attended the University of Wisconsin, and then resumed her musical studies at the Juilliard in New York. In 1946 she married John Nowell. They moved to Rehoboth, Massachusetts where they raised their four children, and were active in town politics. Both served elected terms on the School Committee.
She then became Music Director at the Gordon School, until she was appointed to direct the first Rhode Island Head Start program located in South Providence. She administered that program for five years until she was asked by The Junior League to organize and direct Volunteers in Action. In 1973 she was elected Executive Director of the YWCA of Northern Rhode Island, whose board encouraged her many innovative programs. PIP (Parenting in Progress) was designed for school age adolescents to study for a G.E.D. or a high school diploma, while learning parenting skills and receiving day care for their infants in a secure and supportive environment. Retiring in 1993, Skip was approached by the YWCA Retirement Fund to be a Fund Field Representative, serving all YWCAs in the United States as a liaison between YWCA employees and the Fund. She recently retired from that position. Skip presently volunteers as Artistic Director of Arts in the Village, a Rehoboth classical concert series now in its 12th season.

For more details about the dedication contact YWCA Rhode Island at 401-­‐769-­‐7450.