Northshore Mall Opens its Space to Students

If you’re stuck with a stubborn vacancy, consider looking to Northshore Mall for inspiration.

Earlier this week, the shopping center was host to the grand opening of a new tenant: Peabody Learning Academy. It’s an alternative high school for students who have struggled with the traditional high school system, and it’s giving local kids a second chance they really appreciate.

The rent is being covered by Simon, part-owner and manager of the mall. And the Simon Youth Foundation provided a quarter of the funding for the mall school, $200,000. Many of the kids attending the school shop at and work in the mall, so Northshore Mall is helping to build its own community.

Here’s more information from Salem News:

The Peabody Learning Academy is the 24th such alternative school Simon has helped launch in combination with local public school districts — the foundation calls the schools Education Resource Centers. Across the country ERC schools have a 90 percent graduation rate, despite the troubled populations in their classrooms.

“Most kids will tell you there is so much drama in high school; there isn’t drama at an ERC, there aren’t fights, there isn’t bullying,” said Rick Markoff, the executive vice president of the Simon Youth Foundation. “Everyone is on the same footing, and everyone is there to help each other out.”

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