Paige Academy’s educational mission is to provide an environment that fosters individual worth as well as collective responsibility. Our African American value system promotes the Nguzo Saba, Seven Principles of Kwanza: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.
Paige Academy embraces the concept that a diverse student body enhances the quality of the academic and cultural experiences of the community. The school has an experienced, ethnically diverse staff and faculty, with teachers trained in early childhood and/or elementary education
Cultural Resonance, the philosophy practiced at Paige Academy, promotes a way of being in tune and in harmony with the people in the community and their desire to enrich their institutions.
Cultural Resonance means educating students in an awareness and sensitivity consistent with the cultural life force of a particular community. This resonance is based on the community’s social processes and values, intersecting with commonly shared ideologies. Cultural Resonance may be described metaphorically as a vibration of energy consistent with the culture of a particular community. Such resonance is felt deeply inside the community and emerges from the spiritual values and ways of knowing and interacting shared by community members.
At Paige Academy, our practice of Cultural Resonance includes sensitivity to language and culture as they relate to the Global Diasporas & African American students, but not excluding students from all the world’s cultures. Cultural Resonance also includes the integration of these factors: a holistic approach to learning; flexibility; and leadership from within.
In practicing Cultural Resonance we use the Kwanza Principles to create community, solve problems, and bring out the best in our students, staff, families, and friends.
Goals & Objectives
At Paige, from the beginning stages of a child’s development and throughout, our goal is for children to be directed toward respect and value for all life.
Our objective for respecting and valuing all life is implemented extensively in the child’s surroundings and first relationships with others; this includes peers, parents, extended family, and schooling.
- Nguzo Saba/the Seven Principles of Kwanza - the basis of our school and community. We name the Principles in Kiswahili, an African language. The Nguzo Saba are based on a universal, African centered value system. In learning and practicing the Seven Principles, we also express their meaning in English.
– Unity: to work and learn together in an atmosphere of love and respect for self and others.
- Self-Determination: to help build minds geared for positive movement and for making dreams come true.
- Collective Work and Responsibility: to struggle together to reach the goals we have set for ourselves and to conquer all obstacles.
- Cooperative Economics: to pull together all of our resources to build a strong, beautiful school, both materially and ideologically.
- Purpose: to develop and substantiate a positive direction in which to guide and lead our children.
– Creativity: to expand and develop the creative potential inherent in all of us.
– Faith: to believe and have confidence in ourselves and our progress and to know that together we can build strong minds to make for a brighter tomorrow.
Source of the Nguzo Saba/Seven Principles
These are universal principles that Ron Karenga, founder of Kwanza, calls divine creativity principles that are timeless truths. He maintains, “We live in a universe of law and order and there are principles by which all our life’s experiences, conditions, and events take place” (Karenga, 1968).
Guides for daily life at Paige Academy:
A safe and accepting learning environment that nurtures teamwork, diversity, and the concept of the extended family.
A welcoming and encouraging attitude toward African centered languages and art forms, and an open-minded attitude toward other cultural expressions.
The implementation of the Seven Principles of Kwanza, and the presence of their cultural symbols in the daily life of the school.
High academic standards
Committed and affirming teachers who are Black/Brown and White role models and value diversity in language and culture.
A holistic approach to education. Rules and guidelines that are fair for resolving conflicts among students, parents, and staff.
A safe place to examine and combat racism in order to make the world a better place for all.
The tenacity to define the school as an African centered institution in the face of challenges from the larger society toward the notion of African centered education and thinking.
The involvement of parents in all aspects of the school.
A special concern for children of African descent.
Teachers who are sensitive to the needs and learning styles of African American students, international students, and ALL students.
An institution that provides on-going educational leadership; a welcoming place where alums hope to send their own children based on their desires to replicate their own learning experiences for their children.
For a fuller explanation of our Guidelines, Philosophy, and Principles please contact us.
Curriculum & Enrollment
Educational Program & Admission
We are an independent school offering a comprehensive, culturally affirming, and developmentally-based educational environment.
We provide Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Programs as well as our Elementary School curriculum in Arts, Sciences, Humanities, and Technology for children ages 6 to 12 years old. We embrace the concept that cultural resonance expressed through an ethnically abundant educational community enhances the quality of a child’s academic and intellectual experience.
Paige seeks to create a stimulating tapestry of diversity in its community of students, parents, staff and faculty. Paige employs a multilingual, international teaching and administrative staff that represents the many people and cultures of the Global Diasporas.
The Elementary Summer Program Includes:
The arts and sciences, mathematics, and basic academic, social, and other formative skills. The program also offers elemental natural and social science,drumming, personal hygiene, music, art, theater, literature, yoga, gardening and holistic food preparation. Field trips will be included as approved by the CDC’s parameters and guidance.
The curriculum for the Early Childhood program is rooted in the mastery of eight basic developmental skill areas:
- Developing the use of large muscles in arms and legs through dance, play, drumming, etc.
- Developing the small muscles in hands and fingers for grasping and holding small objects with manipulation games, painting, and puzzles.
- Developing processes of understanding and communicating in English and multiple languages.
- Developing intellectual abilities of reasoning, thinking, exploring, problem solving, and remembering through games, question and answer sessions, and story time activities.
- Developing creative expression and skills through the experience and exploration of multiple genres, materials, and media.
- Developing concept awareness through learning about the environment, temperature, animals, the solar system and culinary science.
- Developing concept awareness through stories, songs and games that focus on number recognition, number order, and basic counting and numeracy skills. These include advanced computer and robotic programing as well as physics and complex math skills for elementary school students.
Community and Social Interaction - Developing positive play and social skills through the use of toys and games that encourage group interaction as well as dramatic play. Instruction in these skill areas is tailored to the respective developmental and social needs of Infant, Toddler and Preschool children.
The toddler program is structured to help children develop a positive self-image and world-view. Our staff will continue to help each child establish a strong concept of self and the surroundings. The curriculum is designed to establish rudiments of language and self-expression through physical and sensory stimulation, with playtime, art projects, music lessons, exposure to nature and animals, and peer-play.
Preschool children are surrounded by warmth and love, especially when outside the home. We impress upon children our love for them and the importance of their love for themselves and each other.
Our Preschool/Primary Program is designed to be developmentally appropriate for the intellectual, academic, and emotional needs of Preschool aged children while preparing them for a readiness to enter Kindergarten.
Play acting, storytelling, call and response, and drama all play a vital role in learning and engaging children within this age group.
Children between ages 4 to 6 years are encouraged to investigate their world through drawing, hands-on science and math projects, and expressive writing assignments.
We introduce the skills needed to begin reading, writing, and understanding the fundamental rudiments of counting and mathematics.
Play acting, storytelling, call and response and drama all play a vital role in learning and engaging children within this age group.
Our approach to education enables children to understand:
External Environment: How and why do I share my space, my toys and myself with other children? How can two children share one cookie, or play with one ball or ride one car?
Atmospheric Environment: What are the various weather conditions? Why and when do I wear different clothing for specific weather conditions?
Simple Laws of Physics: How can I move a particular object from here to there? How to engage body motion and plan of action.
Observation and Expression: How can I describe my needs to others so they are understood? How can I understand what is described to me? How can I act on what is communicated?
The children are encouraged to express their problems and interests and then are placed in experiences where they can solve these problems. Successful problem-solving means growth of self-confidence for children. Confidence and knowledge can be used to solve problems in all aspects of life.
Junior Class: Elementary School
Our Junior Group Curriculum for students 2nd grade through 6th grade, supports and encourages self-expression as well as self-control. Our teaching sets the stages for distinguishing between self-expression and self-control or the discipline to master oneself.
This ability to master oneself establishes the foundation for adulthood beyond Paige Academy, and for advanced studies from High School to College, or any desired field or public service.
Children are natural scientists. The world is a new experience for them. Older children naturally attempt to communicate with and understand nature and their environment. What has become obvious to us as adults is of sensational interest to children. Children spend a great deal of time storing and putting together information from their environments.
We help children analyze and correctly determine how to use information. Our curriculum and staff educate in order to facilitate children’s natural abilities to problem solve.
Our mathematics and science curricula focus on problem-solving as the approach to stimulating intelligence.
After-School Program (Not offered in Fall 2021)
The After-School program is a school enhancement program with a current enrollment of 20 students. It serves children ages 6 years to 12 years, after our regular elementary school day has ended.
The students are organized into a single group, with a teacher and a teacher's aide with a teacher: student ratio of 1:10. The program is based on the developmental levels of the individual children enrolled. It is a developmental program specifically designed to accommodate the intellectual, academic and emotional needs of elementary school age children. Reading, math, science skills, and creative arts are integrated into the curriculum to provide the full spectrum of academic and imaginative learning.
Applications for After-School can be obtained by contacting our Admissions and/or Program Director.
Enroll for this academic year
We invite you to consider our school for the academic year.
To enroll for the academic year and schedule a Tour (617) 445-6969 Ext. 203
We consider applicants from all ethnic and all financial backgrounds: private pay families or families with the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Vouchers by the state of MA are given equal consideration for admissions.
Paige Academy was seeded in 1970 with the formation of the Black Ghetto Theater Company. In 1975 Paige Academy opened its doors continuing the shared value system based on Nguzo Saba - The Seven Principles of Kwanza
These Principles are the basis of the African American Kwanza celebration and the foundation of our curriculum at Paige Academy. They are applicable to all healthy and caring communities. We strive to incorporate them into daily life at school. Here they are named in Kiswahili and English, with a student’s interpretation for each one.
Unity. “UNITY is races of people sitting together in a circle around the world.” - Marcus Wheeler
Self-Determination. “KUJICHAGULIA is trying hard to win a race.” - Jallah Leonard
Collective Work and Responsibility. “UJIMA is a father helping his son up into a spaceship.” - Waiyaki Manselle
Cooperative Economics. “UJAMAA is sharing your water with someone who is dying of thirst in the desert.” - Déjo Crayton
Purpose. “NIA is making sure that your friends are happy and your house is calm.” - Tracey Bell
Creativity. “CREATIVITY is an octopus dancing.” - Ahmed Cook
Faith. “IMANI is believing you can make the world better.” - Nzinga Brown
Sister Angela was raised in Washington, D.C., where she grew up in a family of educators. She received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Theater Arts at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. Dr. Cook then pursued a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education at Wheelock College in Massachusetts.
From 1980-81 she served as an Urban Studies Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge MA. In 2002, she completed her Ph.D. program, focusing on Leadership in Urban Education, at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her dissertation is entitled A Case Study of a Black Independent School: Reflections on Cultural Resonance in an Elementary and Preschool Setting.
Reverend Joe Cook, Co- Founder
Brother Joe was raised in rural Bessemer, Alabama. His family and community encouraged his early interest in science and math.
He received a Bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. Rev. Cook pursued a Master’s in Physics program at Vanderbilt University. From 1993-95 he was a research associate in the Media Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a Computers in the Classroom Project. He explored Logo programming techniques for classroom instruction under the direction of Seymour Pappert, creative designer.
He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Physics at Northeastern University.
Brother Joe also studied at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and in 1976 he was ordained as an Episcopal Priest. He and Sister Angela served for several years as co-Unitarian ministers at the First Church, John Eliot Square, Roxbury, MA.
Sister Kim N. Archung, Ph. D - Educator - Fisk University, Lesley University, Emory University
(The Late) Sister Kayt Burrage - Speech and Play Therapist - Smith College, Boston University
Sister Elena Dodd - Writer/Teacher - Boston University, MFA Vermont College of Fine Arts
Brother Ted Dodd - Designer/Cabinet Maker - Yale University
Sister Lauren Lee - Massage Therapist/Acupuncturist - Tufts University
Brother Sandy Liu, Ph. D - Physicist - Boston College
Our Staff serves families and children with care and devotion. Collectively our staff brings over 50 years of experience in curriculum development and practices that specialize in nursery and elementary education.
We are committed to making a unique and valued experience for parents and children. Every member is dedicated to working and learning together in an atmosphere of love and respect for self and others. Our diversity is reflected in the number of different languages spoken at Paige Academy and is illustrated on the chart below:
Paige Academy is named after Lucy Paige Williams (1876 - 1965). She was Sister Dr. Angela Paige Cook’s maternal, great-grand aunt. Angela was given the namesake Paige by her parents, James and Gwendolyn Brooks.
Historically the naming of someone or an institution is a universal tradition. It expresses a hope that the spirit of that being is given new life and energy for the next generation. It is hoped that all the positive attributes and strengths of the person will remain alive, helping the named person (namesake) to do their best in a positive direction.
Lucy Paige Williams was known by everyone in her Richmond, Virginia community as someone ready to answer questions and share a wealth of knowledge – from how to make natural dyes to crocheting, knitting, and singing lullabies. She formed "schools of benevolence" in her own home, using the Bible to teach reading.
Lucy Paige Williams is an early example of Fugitive Pedagogy, an African American tradition of risky and radical education. She taught turn-of-the-century adults and children academic and life skills needed to overcome the oppression we still face. She was a stern and loving person who was admired and respected by her friends and family.
Paige Academy aims to continue “building better brains” and self-worth in the lives of children during this century and beyond.