BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — An all-girls, Bed-Stuy charter school is one of two public schools in the borough to win a national education award, according to officials.
The U.S. Department of Education honored Excellence Girls Charter School at 794 Monroe St. as a National Blue Ribbon School on Wednesday, recognizing the elementary and middle schools for academic excellence.
“We’re so excited to be receiving this award,” said Nikki Bowen, principal of Excellence Girls Elementary Academy.
“Our teachers work so hard day-in and day-out, our students work so hard, the families work so hard.”
A total of 329 schools nationwide were presented with the award this year and 10 New York City schools were recognized.
The National Blue Ribbon Scholars Program honors public and private schools where students are making “noticeable improvements in closing the achievement gap” or are among their state’s highest performing schools, according to education officials.
Founded in 2009, Excellence Girls is one of several public schools operated by the Uncommon Schools network. It aims to address the lack of representation of minority women in leadership roles.
Out of 2,500 state schools, students at the elementary school ranked 15th for math assessment scores in 2016, with 94 percent of students scoring either “Advanced” or “Proficient,” according to the school.
But test scores weren’t the only factor that boosted the school into the national spotlight, Bowen said, adding that Excellence Girls has a “huge focus” on building students’ characters.
A monthly “Fierce Females” role model program introduces students to past and present figures from a range of fields, including gymnast Dipa Karmakar and actress Lupita Nyong’o, and connects their stories to the school's creeds and values.
“We have a unique responsibility to really empower our girls and help them believe in themselves, so they’ll have limitless opportunities in their futures,” Bowen said.
City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña congratulated the school on the designation on Wednesday, recalling her visit to Excellence Girls with “passionate teachers and eager students.”
“Our educators and school staff work tirelessly, day in and day out, to put New York City’s children on the path to a bright future, and it’s wonderful to see their efforts celebrated today,” Farina said in a statement.