A Sub in the Brick City


In 1999, there was a Renaissance going on in Newark. The Projects were blown to pieces to build townhouses. The Brick City was being transformed into a place where one could find new homes,art, culture, and a new sports arena. The city was visually cleaned up, but the problems remained. Newark, NJ was still stricken with drugs, crime, gangs,teen pregnancy and Aids. Education should erase tribulation. What happens when it doesn’t?
During this course of time a young substitute teacher becomes assigned to a school where most of the children were wayward, going down the wrong paths, mostly due to no fault of their own. Many of these children were coming from dysfunctional homes, and going to school became recreation as an escape from their home life. School by most of them was not taken seriously, especially due to the inconsistency of their school day. Some joined gangs, became teen parents, and some fell victim to death in the streets. These children were attending schools were there was a daily shortage of teachers, not enough books, no heat, and some faced abuse at the hands of those that were supposed to educate them. The substitute teacher Ms. Stephens was able to convince many of these children that their circumstances of their past could not stop them for success in the future. This is a non-fiction story about Shangaza (Shani) Stephens and the children that she taught. The story covers the years of 1999-2004.

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