After discovering that some students in their community were struggling academically, the people of St. Mark’s, Teaneck realized their parish’s gifts could be stewarded into a successful after-school enrichment program. Here’s their story. (Time: 2:15.)
Kesha Rodriguez, Warden: Our school community had a great achievement gap that we were trying to address, and we saw that we had this wonderful beautiful space and we had within the church community and in our outside community folks that had gifts of education or just general interest in working with youth, and so we thought the melding for the time was a really important service that we could offer.
Therese Edwards, MAWP: Math Adventures and Word Play is an academic enrichment program for students from grades 2 through high school, although sometimes we do take ESL students who are younger as long as they have their work from their teachers. We've been extremely fortunate the last few years to have enormous support from Ramapo College that sends their students here to volunteer.
Rodriguez: Well certainly Math Adventures and Word Play shows a love of our community. So it's been 16 years in the making.
Edwards: Whether it's preparing for a test, an upcoming test or reviewing a test that perhaps they didn't do well on in the past and helping them overcome some of the challenges or issues that they had in that particular subject.
Rodriguez: We've had the good fortune of sharing information with parents through what we call our Parent Voice Box, we hold forums about every month on specific topics. We just covered vaping today, we've had how to apply for college, how to apply for financial aid and how to work with your school districts. Just helping the community know and learn how they can advocate for their own children and that has been very successful for us. The parents really appreciate it, it's one of the higher remarked things we do outside of the good grades that kids get.