Thirty adults spent their morning back in school, to learn about how to effectively guide students and assist teachers in the classroom and beyond.
The meeting last Wednesday was a training session for a new Adopt-A-School Initiative, the first to establish in a city public school. Ramona Gatison, principal of Lincoln Bassett, welcomed the gathered volunteers to her school and expressed her gratitude toward their service and dedication.
The volunteers came from five Greater New Haven churches: First Baptist Church (Milford), First Baptist Church (New Haven), Church on the Rock (New Haven), Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church (Hamden), and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church (New Haven). Young Life of New Haven will also participate in this initiative.
Rev. Leslie Foster (pictured) from Church on the Rock, a former teacher herself, spoke about volunteer conduct and best practices for caring, protecting, teaching, and guiding the students. “Never humiliate or degrade a child… We must always respond in love,” she said. “We’re here to bring life and to help raise these children.”
The main goal of the Adopt-A-School Initiative is to focus on enhancing literacy through reading, assisting in the Singapore math program, and mentoring. Lincoln Bassett plans to work closely with the volunteers and their schedules to maximize the amount of volunteer hours in the classroom.
As part of the meeting, a presentation and discussion went over the basic guidelines and training necessary to successfully help out in the school.
Reverend Todd Foster spoke about the Adopt-A-School Partnership as a way not only to help out with educating students, but also to “bring together the churches for an important ongoing cause.”
“We need help and God has answered our prayers. We’re so grateful and thankful that you’ve come to assist us,” said Geraldine Salters, a math coach. She spoke at the meeting about Singapore math, a new curriculum being implemented in the school.
Gatison (pictured) spoke about the importance of education and teaching. “We’re teaching for life, not just for second or third grade,” she said. “It’s an exciting time and an amazing partnership. Reading and math is a life skill.”
Darryl Brackeen Jr. (pictured), a social studies teacher at Lincoln Bassett, spoke at the meeting about the “Fifty Book Challenge,” which challenges upper-school students to read50 books by the end of the school year. “It’s been scientifically proven to raise CMT scores,” said Brackeen. “All these kids can do it. They have a heart, a brain… They can do it.”