CamdenForward School

CamdenForward School is a private, Christian elementary and middle school for kindergarten through eighth grade students. With a learning environment rich in love, hope, and structure, the school challenges students to attain high academic standards, learn necessary life skills, maintain personal integrity, and develop a Christian worldview.

In 1997 CamdenForward School opened with only two grade levels: pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. UrbanPromise established an additional grade each year thereafter until all elementary and middle school (K-8) classes were available. The school now serves around 130 students from the Camden area. Music, dance, visual arts, and unique extracurricular learning opportunities (such as Urban BoatWorks and SeaQuest) supplement CamdenForward School’s comprehensive academic curriculum.

Despite living in a city with low rates of academic achievement, CamdenForward School students are eager to learn. This year, they attended school at a rate of 95%!

Each year around 130 students enroll at CamdenForward School. Around 30 are still in need of support for their tuition through our Partner Program.

Led by UrbanPromise's executive director, CamdenForward School's Book Club engages around 120 students annually. Since last year, students read and discussed 4,200 books!

The Lesson of a Butterfly

Raised and cared for by our students, the monarch butterfly begins its flight to Mexico in Camden, NJ each year.

Now in 5th grade, Trinity has attended CamdenForward School since kindergarten. Each year, she learns about the migration of the monarch butterfly and each stage of the creature’s development.

Along with her classmates, Trinity cares for and raises the monarchs in the classroom as part of the school’s science curriculum. But the butterflies are much more than just a science project to students. The monarch has become CamdenForward’s official mascot and is celebrated each fall during an annual butterfly release.

Along with faculty and staff, Trinity and her classmates gather in UrbanPromise’s butterfly garden to release hundreds of monarchs and offer a celebratory send-off for their migration south. The event includes a morning program with special guest speakers and a parade to the garden led by 8th grade students.

A symbol of our students’ own migrations and development, the growth and release of the monarch butterfly has become a highlight for CamdenForward School and an experience treasured by all at UrbanPromise.