As Tamika sat in the audience, she was nervous. School had never come easy for her son and although he was working hard to improve his behavior and academics, she was accustomed to hearing more negatives than positives. As staff called each child to the front of the room her anxiety grew.
Name after name was called … but never her son’s. When she nervously leaned over to ask her mother what might have gone wrong, she got an unexpected answer. “Nothing’s wrong Tamika—they just save the best for last!”
Grandma was exactly right. Staff saved Jaiceon for last because his achievements during the Youth Achievers Program’s (YAP) summer program were so phenomenal. During the ten-week summer session, his reading improved by four grade levels and for the first time in his life, he was academically ahead of his peers!
Tamika is excited that Jaiceon will begin the third grade reading at a sixth grade level and couldn’t be more proud of his hard work. “I love this program,” she explains. “He’s having fun here, but he’s also learning and seeing that it’s cool to do something positive. I see him changing and I’m just so proud of him!”
Project VOICE, a collaborative community effort made it possible to offer NdCad’s Sankofa Reading Program to youth enrolled in YAP. The tutoring added an important academic boost to a busy summer of activities, field trips and experiences designed to help youth succeed and grow.