Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Kedila Family Learning Services Update

Erin and some awesome volunteers from Tulane University.

Erin and some awesome volunteers from Tulane University.

Good news! This month Kedila Family Learning Services received the pleasant and unexpected donation of a property! Ms. Betty Dixon Allen of New Orleans, LA donated an unused building to the organization three weeks ago. Since then, Kedila has been working with Tulane volunteers to “gut” the building in anticipation for a subsequent rebuilding. We plan to use the space as an office for now, but eventually our plan is to use it as low-income housing for students in our programs.  At the end of September, one of Tulane’s Law TIDES classes spent a Saturday taking down walls and helping clear out the building.

Additionally, our programs are in full swing at Banneker Elementary and St. Katharine Drexel. We started with a few weeks of math evaluation through bingo-style games, but have also included science enrichment (experiments of chemical reactions using balloons).  This past week we played a competitive game in which groups of students worked to factor large numbers with a time limit. We are currently working with the teachers to provide more projects to help students with the iLEAP and ANET exams. (Look out fifth graders, this means FRACTIONS.)

We are currently working on several projects, including a few grants (one to weatherproof our new building), and a major fundraising campaign. Kedila has had the amazing good fortune of near-complete grant funding for the past eight years. However, this year we want to begin a fundraising campaign from individual donors. Grants are wonderful, but they are incredibly limiting for the scale of our project. If we have unexpected expenses, we are not able to accommodate them with the grant, and must instead pay out of pocket. Because we have not worked on getting donations for the organizations, these expenses add up and prevent us from improving programming in ways we’d like. Hopefully our upcoming fundraising campaign will help to alleviate this problem!

I know we JUST sent out our summer newsletter, but I’m already working on the next one, so expect that in the next few weeks as well!  In addition, our website will be updated with some great new photos and information in the next week, so keep an eye out for that!

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2013 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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