Tosha Rooks

Second Place

Prize Awarded:
Clara J. Peck Elementary School
Greensboro, NC

Project Description:

Rooks’ winning program, “Whole Village Saturday Academy,” is designed to educate parents while also educating the students at Clara J. Peck Elementary School. Nearly half of the students at the school are not native English speakers; once they leave school, little English is often spoken at home. Parents are a child’s first teacher and want to help their children thrive in school and in the community. The program seeks to help build the relationship between home and school to help students succeed. Objectives for the program include: teaching students strong English language skills; providing tutorial services in reading, math and science; offering parents a place to learn English in a comfortable and nonjudgmental environment; and helping parents interact and assist their children with homework and school projects without frustration. Students and parents participate in the program on Saturdays throughout the year where they work with a school translator, ESL instructor and high school volunteer. The Saturday sessions often become family events where other family members who want to improve their English skills also attend. Rooks is excited that entire families want to improve their communication.