*Marva Collins, the founder of the West Side Preparatory School, has died.
News of the education activist’s passing was revealed by her son, who said Collins died Wednesday night (June 24) in South Carolina, and was first reported by Jet. She was 78.
In addition to starting West Side Preparatory School in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood in 1975, Collins founded the “Collins Method,” a style of education that focused on phonics, math, reading, English and the Classics.
Due to a lack of funds, the West Side Preparatory School closed its doors in 2008. The school, which attracted national attention for its soaring achievements, was noted for its focus on high-risk children.
In 1981, Collins’ work at Westside Preparatory was highlighted on the small screen with the biographical film “The Marva Collins Story,” which starred Morgan Freeman and Cicely Tyson. In addition to parents and fellow educators, Collins’ expertise in education was sought by former President Ronald Reagan.