The Community Leadership Center - Ready, Set, Learn!
By The Bahamas Weekly News Team
Jun 18, 2012 - 11:49:49 PM
The Community Leadership
Center is a two year-old, registered non-profit entity that took its first
steps towards social change via a reading center on Market St. The Grove in
September of 2010 in a space donated by Cynthia “Mother” Pratt. Since then, the
Reading Center has evolved into a Learning Center that focuses on both Language
skills and Math skills. The founder and director of the Center is Chet Pratt
(no relation), who started this project at the age of 24 as a result of a
passion for community that was fostered in him during his time at Morehouse
College (2004 – 2008) and as a result of having grown up in the nearby
community of Ridgeland Park West. He was later joined by assistant directors,
Pearl Pratt and Ryan Knowles, and numerous volunteers and donors who have
allowed the center to be a success. The program currently serves 30 kids a day
from the nearby Market St. Community.
Ready. Set. Learn.
Formerly known as “Ready. Set. Read.”, “Ready. Set.
Learn.” is a multi-level educational program designed to comprehensively
supplement education in the foundational subjects (Math, Reading and Language
Arts) through individualized lesson plans.
Our goal is to combine proven
e-learning programs with direct instruction methodologies in order
to surpass the nationally recommended standards of performance for
each student at each grade level. The program incorporates daily fun
group activities, video games, board games, movies, music, prizes and food and
beverages as a mean of encouraging participation, creating an engaging environment
that kids want to be a part of.
A grant from the Lyford Cay
Foundation has allowed us to move away from our effective but limited direct
instruction learning methodologies, to an electronic-based classroom where
learning is PC-based and catered to the needs of the student. Currently, our
reading comprehension and mathematics needs are being met primarily through the
means of the purchased computers and software with instructors functioning as
facilitators to the e-learning materials.
The average student attending the
center during its first year was nearly 3 grade levels behind in math during
the year 2010 - 2011. 100% of the students underperformed compared to an
international standards test in math. Keep in mind that most of the students
attending the program were in primary school at the time.
The average student was nearly 2
grade levels behind in reading - this being the same student population that is
behind in math.
Basically, an average student in 6th
grade would be at a third grade level in math and a fourth grade level in
Results for regular students during
the first academic year was an average improvement in reading of 1.46 grade
levels. For the first half-academic year in math (we were only a reading
program initially), we managed an impressive 1.2 grade levels improvement.
We are currently performing our end
of year evaluations and are expecting even better progress this year as we have
observed amazing gains that are beginning to show via the GPAs of our students
in school, which suggests that our approach of educational supplementation by
focusing on Language Arts, Reading and Math is doing what it is meant to do:
bolster overall achievement. The kids are catching up to their grade levels and
with the use of our new learning software, expectations are very high for the
Ready. Set. Lead.
Our second program will focus on life/leadership skills development, as
we feel that successful development of life skills will create all the
qualities necessary to be successful leaders. Like the academic program, this
program will also be highly incentivized to attract participants. We have
purchased necessary equipment for this program as well and are in the process
of developing the curriculum. The program will cater to the middle school and
high school students who are already enrolled in Ready. Set. Learn. as a means
of promoting overall success beyond merely academics. We plan on launching this
program in the upcoming academic year.
Can you Help?
"We hope to raise the
awareness of our activities, especially if it reaches the eyes/ears of
people that want to get involved by volunteering or donating. We'd like those who may want to get involved with our facility to know that they are
welcome to contact us regarding any questions or queries about the work
we do and how they can assist," said Chet Pratt, Director.
"We'd also appreciate assistance with anyone how can help support our daily purchase of
beverages/snacks. For our continuing educational needs, we'd appreciate assistance in the purchase of additional learning
software. We have earmarked the following software:
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank The Lyford Cay Foundation (their
grant enabled us to upgrade to an electronic learning environment),
Cable Bahamas Cares Foundation (they gave us our initial funding), The
Caribbean Civil Group (they've been our most loyal funder), and
Signature Styles (another loyal contributor) for their generous support, and I hope other businesses or persons can feel inspired to also help our youth," said Pratt.
Community Leadership Center
P.O. Box GT 2291
© Copyright 2012 by thebahamasweekly.com -