What is Project Ready?

Project Ready is a organization that will provide the Newark community with a platform to engage actions that will secure and protect high quality education. We believe Newark is at a critical moment, where we have regained local control of our schools. If we’re going to continue to move forward as a city, we need families engaged in decision-making when it comes to our schools.

What are the Project Ready Programs?

Ready to Grow

Through an online resource portal and major events, parents will have the tools and resources they need to eliminate barriers that prevent them from providing households where their children can thrive.

Ready to Organize

In service of the goal to enhance and protect high-quality schools by holding elected officials accountable, Project Ready will build community organizing and school-based advocacy programs. These programs will provide training activate parent and community participation to key actions.

Ready to Lead

Through a series of leadership development offerings fellows will become stronger political leaders and/or future candidates. Additionally, prospects, candidates, and members will continue to learn how to support and protect high-quality education.

Ready to Win

Having completed the Ready to Lead development series, emerging leaders are placed into tracks for candidacy, community activism, campaign management, lobbying, or organizing.


Vote by Mail Initiative FAQ

A key goal of Project Ready is to engage more Newark families in decision making. A big part of engaging families in decision making is making it easier for them to vote. Newark’s voter turnout is increasing dramatically, but there are still too many people whose voices aren’t heard because they don’t vote. We know if it were only easier to vote, more Newarkers would.

In 2018, Essex County had the second lowest vote by mail turnout in the state — only 8.8%. So that’s why we’re getting to work making more Newark voices heard. Vote by Mail is a program aimed at making it easier to vote by registering more Newark families to cast their votes by mail

Vote by Mail is pretty simple. Fill out the entire application form, seal it with a piece of tape, place a stamp on it, and drop it in the mail. Make sure that you check “ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS” in the upper left hand corner.

Once your application is received by the Essex County Board of Elections, you’ll be registered to vote by mail for the next city, state, and federal elections and can expect your ballot in your mailbox a few weeks before each election.

Click here to submit your information in order to obtain your Vote by Mail application.

Shennell McCloud

Executive Director

Our Executive Director is Shennell McCloud. As a native and resident of Newark, NJ, Shennell McCloud has successfully channeled her experiences to become not only an advocate, but social activist toward the elimination of poverty and the promotion of quality education.

For six  years, she successfully mobilized hundreds of volunteers, social activist groups, and local businesses to create a bridge of optimism between these groups and thousands of homeless individuals throughout Essex County. Through this initiative, Through Future Eyes (TFE) was founded. In 2006, Through Future Eyes hosted its first annual homeless initiative which provided food, clothing, and toys to over 200 people in need in Newark, NJ. Since then, TFE provided clothing and shoes to over 1,000 people in the Newark, NJ area alone.

Shennell McCloud joined KIPP NJ in 2008. For seven years, she supported and directed recruitment for the KIPP Schools in Newark, NJ. Shennell officially became Director of Recruitment in 2011 where she led and developed a team of seven recruiters. The team was responsible for the recruitment and selection of over 300+ employees. In July of 2014, Shennell became KIPP NJ’s Director of Advocacy.

While directing advocacy, her accomplishments include founding and running one of the most successful parent-led programs in the state–the New Jersey Parent Summit–as well as numerous grassroots programs to elevate the voices of Newark families in the education conversation. She is a parent to two young children, and resides with her husband in Newark.


Get Registered. Stay in the Know. Take Action!

ready to grow, ready to organize, ready to lead, and ready to win.

Send me my Vote by Mail Application Now


Easy as 1,2,3!

Project Ready F.A.Q.

Project Ready is a new organization founded by a group of Newark leaders. We believe Newark is at a critical moment, where we have regained local control of our schools. If we’re going to continue to move forward as a city, we need families engaged in decision-making when it comes to our schools.

Our vision is a school system where every child can go to a great public school in Newark.

We’ve already begun!

In August, we helped to organize the third annual New Jersey Parent Summit, which convened 200 parents for workshops, skill-building, and a Career Expo.

Highlights from our#VoteByMail campaign

Over eight weeks, Project ready staff:


Doors Knocked on


Community Events Attended


VBM Applications Submitted