Grace Church in Salem

385 Essex Street Salem MA 01970 978-744-2796 The Rev. Deborah Phillips, Rector Mark Engelhardt, Lay Associate


The Bentley Academy Innovation School Partnership with Grace Episcopal Church


In 2014, Grace Church entered into a partnership with the Salem Public Schools. The parish committed to being a supportive presence to the entire class of 4th graders at the Nathaniel Bowditch School. For the next 5 years, Grace Church participated in activites with these scholars and developed lasting relationships. This class then entered high school.

In 2019, the parish entered a period of discernment as to what might be next. We are excited to announce that the Bentley Academy Innovation School will be joining us this year. 

The purpose of our parish/public school partnership is:

     to give us a context for understanding what public school education is like for our scholars 

     in the Salem Public Schools,

     for the scholars to have an experience of adults who commit to them because they matter to us,

    and for advocacy and hands on assistance as we all work to provide equitable opportunities for our young people. 

God has led us to this place.


Our first engagement will be a Summer Book Club. A member of Grace Church will facilitate a book club for each of the grades 1-5 via Zoom. Each book club will have 6 scholars and meet once a week for 4 weeks. For the lower grades, a book will be read to them by the Grace Church member and then the discussion will take place. For the upper grades, they will read a chapter book on their own and together, and then discuss. 

We are excited to begin to establish relationships with these scholars. Let us know if you are interested in joining us!