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Winter 2014

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Getting Close to Students and Teachers at Quitman Street Renew School

Photojournalist Amanda Brown turns a sharp eye on one of Newark’s education success stories

Over the course of nearly two years, photojournalist Amanda Brown visited the Quitman Street Renew School in Newark to chronicle its path to rebirth -- or at least improvement.

Brown, a freelance photographer, worked with writer Sara Neufeld of the Hechinger Report to create the award-winning series “Promise to Renew” that ran in NJ Spotlight and ended last week.

Brown’s task was a little different than Neufeld’s -- finding the images that told the story.

As a photographer, “I’m looking for the essence of a situation,” Brown said. “It’s fractions of a second that we are dealing with. It’s building a lot of little moments to tell the grander story.”

She credited Quitman Principal Erskine Glover for what she said was unprecedented access to his school, and Neufeld for capturing its lessons, ones she saw through her lens as well.

“It’s not like there are no challenges ahead for the school, but it seemed to be a little lighter over the last 18 months,” she said. “It just seemed the mood had become a bit brighter.”

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