“Having a safe home is as important as having good teachers,” according to David Steadly, a senior vice president in New York with mssb.htm" title="http://topics.investmentnews.com/companies-and-associations/morgan-stanley-smith-barney-mssb.htm">Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, explaining his devotion to the Hyde Leadership Charter School in an impoverished section of the South Bronx.
Since the school was founded in 2006, he has donated and raised more than $86,000, and $198,000 is in the pipeline.
This 900-student college prep school is part of a network of Hyde schools in four states that emphasize character development — for families and teachers, as well as students — as the cornerstone of their educational approach.
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend family events such as seminars and retreats that focus on self-reflection and personal growth. The school holds regular “discovery” meetings — a type of group therapy where families and students air their differences and their struggles.
“We're supporting parents so they can build a cocoon of protection around their children,” Mr. Steadly said.
Students develop character through a structured curriculum that helps them develop skills such as public speaking, problem solving and etiquette, and involves them in community service.
“Every time you have a kindergartener walk up to you, look you in the eye and shake your hand, it blows you away,” Mr. Steadly said.