Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Kedila Family Learning Services

 

Kedila prides itself on being an organization “Where the Journey to Learning Begins.”  The past few weeks have been pretty busy as we have been trying to pinpoint exactly where and when the journey will begin.

For the past six years, the journey to learning has begun at Benjamin Banneker Elementary and Middle Schools where Kedila holds its after school tutoring and enrichment program.  Banneker Elementary and Middle schools fall under the jurisdiction of the infamous New Orleans Recovery School District.  Until the Thursday before Banneker was set to open its doors for the fall semester, the Recovery School District had not set an exact opening and closing time for the school each day.

That Thursday, we were informed that the school will open at 8:40 am and close at 4:50 pm, creating a school day which starts late (after most parents probably have to be at work) and ends late.  The end time was especially significant because it meant that our after school program would run from 5-7 pm.  Most elementary and middle schoolers are unlikely to be able to focus, during those late hours, after a grueling day at school in order to do extra after-school tutoring and enrichment.

As I walked around Banneker that Thursday with Mr. Dipo, everyone inquired as to what Kedila would be doing about the after school program with school ending so late.  Their concern demonstrated the genuine need there is for Kedila’s after school program at Banneker and what the program means to the students, teachers, parents, and Banneker staff. This experience was evidence that Kedila is an organization that is truly making a difference in these students’ lives.

We are still in the process of determining when the journey to learning will begin, but I know that our program will continue to make a difference this year.  I hope I can help Kedila grow in any way possible to help sustain the program in future years and possibly even at additional sites.  We can only hope that the children will have patience with the Kedila staff and their tutors.  Although the journey is starting out slightly differently this year, we will forge forward on the journey to learning in the coming year.

Enjoy some pictures from the Kedila Summer Camp closing ceremony!

 

 

 

– Betsy Bateman, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA, Kedila Family Learning Center

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Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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