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2007-2008 Booker T. Washington Learning Center Successes

Our accomplishments include:

  • Completing our Capacity Building Campaign: After only two years, we have completed 100% of our Capacity Building plan. With the campaign, we were able to address issues of finance, management and enhanced organizational leadership by hiring a deputy director, in-house book keeper, and a director of development. In addition to updating our technology, we secured a donor management system. We consulted with CRE to develop, plan and track our progress.
  • Having 100% of our After School students promoted to their next grade level: By providing home work help and educational enrichment programs 5 days a week, we have been able to give the children the tools necessary to succeed academically. 
  • Providing service learning opportunities: Since we teach our students that a leader is someone who gives back to his or her community all children are encouraged to volunteer. Our summer camp participants volunteer every Friday at All Soul’s Church for the Friday Soup Kitchen which provides 190 hearty meals to anyone in need.
  • Continuing with our enrichment field-trips: Exposure to activities and places outside of East Harlem has always been an important aspect of our programming.  This year we were able to re-visit many of the places our students have enjoyed in the past.  Our trips included visits to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the New York Aquarium, NY Hall of Science, Liberty Science Center and the New York Botanical Gardens.
  • Sending our participants to Colorado: Another highlight of this past year was sending some of our teenagers and adult counselors to participate in Aspen Youth Experience (www.ayexp.org) in Aspen, Colorado. Aspen Youth Experience is a nation-wide program that reaches out to teenagers to teach life skills and leadership development. The students participated in a winter session complete with ski lessons, and a summer session where they conquered the mountainside.  Through their involvement, several participants have secured college scholarships. We hope to send additional students in the future to this program.
  • Completing the Leadership Caucus: With the help of Community Resource Exchange, our Executive Director completed the 9 month Leadership Caucus for New Executive Directors and also received 20 hours of executive coaching to help with her transition into the role of E.D. The caucus included a 360 evaluation, executive coaching, an action leadership group and various seminars focused on leadership and non profit management.
  • Preparing the next generation for college: We are sending our first group of New Generations College Prep participants off to college. These young people are attending colleges such as Brandeis and the Hart School. Highlights include a tour of colleges in upstate New York and an end of the year graduation dinner.
  • Introducing art and technology components to our Literacy program: The participants in our Saturday reading program, L.E.A.P. have expressed increased interest in reading.
  • Running a successful adolescent leadership program: During the 2007-2008 program year, 15 students are enrolled in Y-L.E.A.D. (Youth for Leadership, Education Achievement and Discipline).  We are pleased to report the following successes:
    1. Our Y.-L.E.A.D participants contribute to the greater community with various service projects during the summer. They are prepped to become true beacons in their neighborhood through AYE Leadership Training.
    2. Three of our youth will be graduating this year and continuing on to exciting futures.  These young people will be going on to continue their academic careers at top high schools.
    3. During National Poetry Month, students participated in creative writing and performance workshops in preparation for the annual Garden Party/ Poetry Reading, where they performed their original work for parents, volunteers and staff. This is our 5th annual poetry event.
  • Partnering with new organizations: The Learning Center collaborates with organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in East Harlem.  Organizations that we collaborate with include:
    1. The Diller-Quaile School of Music donated 5 spots in their choral ensemble and this year several of our participants performed in the school’s spring showcase at Lincoln Center.
    2. Several times this year we have teamed with Goldman Sachs’ Community Teamworks volunteers on various projects.
    3. Our staff has received training through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to support our efforts in putting together a comprehensive mentoring program. 
    4. In addition PASE had continued their relationship with us, providing staff training and curriculum development.
    5. Students participate in the Aspen Youth Experience, a program that empowers at-risk youth to overcome their obstacles and achieve their potential by providing transforming experiences and continuous support.
    6. Both the St. Bernard’s School and E.H School at Exodus House send us school volunteers as tutors and summer camp counselors for our students.

    Thanks to the generosity of foundations, corporations and individuals we were able to achieve many of the goals we set for ourselves last year.  The support of Booker T. Washington and our programs has truly made a difference in the lives of the children and families of East Harlem - El Barrio.

 
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