Challenge Preparatory Charter School in conjunction with Bright Future Community, Inc. hosted Saturday Academy from February through April. At the K-5 and Middle School sites, scholars got additional instruction from 9:00AM to Noon. The Academy offered extra time for scholars to practice difficult concepts in subjects such as Math, Science and English.
At our K-5 site a unique partnership with Fordham University formed where Ms. Dana Gathers served as Academic Director over the ten weeks of Saturday Academy. Ms. Gathers is a Doctoral Candidate in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham, and the Academy offered her a hands-on opportunity to work with Challenge Prep teachers on best strategies in literacy and learning.
Ms. Gathers was a Special Education teacher for five years before pursuing her dissertation on a full time basis. She also spent time as the Program Coordinator for Adolescent Special Education for Hunter College. For Saturday Academy, Ms. Gathers had the opportunity to see what school leaders do and served as a link between all valuable stakeholders including teachers, staff, students and parents.
“It is a big deal when teachers and families give up their Saturday to dedicate extra time to learning. I focused on making sure to provide scholars what they needed and that what they learned at Academy related to what they were doing Monday through Friday,” Ms. Gathers noted.
About 150 Challenge Prep Scholars participated in Bright Future Community Inc.’s Saturday Academy between K-5 and Middle School. The Academy offered scholars small group learning and one-to-one support and gave them time to practice skills and specific strategies.
“We were so pleased to offer Saturday Academy to our families the past couple of months. I intend for us to build on the great beginning we had this year, and I’m so proud of the dedication of our teachers and scholars to work hard even during the weekend to achieve their academic goals,” said Dr. Mullings, Founder/CEO.
Of her time at Challenge Prep, Ms. Gathers said, “I remember my first day there, and I think what stands out the most from the first day was that everyone greeted me. When I walked in, starting with the security desk, to the main office, to the teachers and students in classrooms, I was greeted, and so my first impression was, ‘This is a welcoming environment.’ Now that the students and teachers know me, when I walk in I have a feeling of being at home. My other impression is that there is an urgency to do more in the classrooms. Teachers are preparing these scholars to excel.”