Fighting Poverty with Passion
On December 19th at Grace Baptist Church Homer A. Plessy Community School’s after school program (Champ Camp) had it’s first year end celebration. The program was attended by family and community members of the students enrolled in the program and showcased all that Champ Camp has to offer. Champ Camp is a program run through Communities in Schools of New Orleans.
Communities in Schools, or CIS for short, is a nationwide network of about 185 affiliates who make up the fifth largest youth serving organization in the United States. Their mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS has been serving the students in New Orleans since 1996. Our previous head of school requested that CIS partner with us to provide after school programming for students at school. In May 2013 CIS was awarded a three year grant to provide CIS Champ Camp for 300 students across the three school sites of Homer A. Plessy Community School, Encore Academy and Bricolage Academy.
The students of Homer Plessy Community school from pre-kindergarden to second grade have the opportunity through CIS to enroll in this after school program that runs from 3:30pm-5:30pm.
The afternoon is broken up into two sections for each student, an academic section where the information they receive during the day is reinforced through games and learning activities facilitated by a Youth Development Coach. Youth Development coaches are individuals who work with a specific group of students consistently to help them master their classroom materials.
The second half of the afternoon is all about arts enrichment and is broken up into several different classes. Each class teaches the basics of different art forms as expressed by our class list of song writing, dance, cheer, theatre, soccer, guitar lessons, and STEM(science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The students receive 45 minutes of instruction time with their enrichment teachers and have progressive classes that build upon the previous lesson.
With this added instruction time our students have seen a marked improvement since the beginning of the school year in behavior and knowledge. We can only hope that through continued instruction and a dedication to learning our pre-kindergarden through second graders will continue to grow and thrive in the Homer A. Plessy Community School atmosphere.