What was originally meant to be a reading room for kids in Point Four and nearby communities has now gained support to operate an after school phonics and reading program titled “Read to Succeed,” thanks to Exxon Mobil and the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).
Known as the Rosetta Steps Literacy Center, Ms. Ama W. Harris, Executive Director of the center, told the Daily Observer that the program should graduate 180 kids within a year.
The center celebrates the legacy of Ama’s mother, Mrs. Rosetta Benson Harris, former principal of Tubman High School, as her legacy to kids in the community.
“The participants in the program were recruited from schools within the community and the program will run in four cycles, each lasting for three months with between 50 to 55 participants per cycle,” Ms. Harris said.
“Our classes run from 2pm to 5pm, five times a week and, thanks to Mamba Point Hotel and Bodyzone Gym, we have been able to include a snack break.”
After three months, the children who show significant improvement in their reading proficiency will be certificated and a new cycle will begin.
“All students were given a recorded pre assessment and, based on these assessments, we have placed them into levels. At the end of every month we conduct another assessment and this enables us to evaluate the efficacy of our program,” Harris said.
The center, which has Mr. Logan Harris as the administrator, teaches kids there to learn 25 sight words a day, using video, television, flash cards, among other effective learning aids.
Subjects taught at the center are phonics, English, reading, spelling, math, verbal and quantitative reasoning, as well as arts and crafts. The classrooms are equipped with televisions to support audio visual learning.
With 10 members of the staff, the center has two professional teachers who graduated from the Licoses Teacher Training College.
The center also runs a primary school which has 47 regular students, with 20 of them on scholarship and the rest supported by their parents. “We have a system that lets parents settle their fees daily or weekly, cognizant of the fact that they are daily income earners,” Ms. Harris said.
The center’s activities are held at a three-bedroom, newly-renovated building fitted with video and other learning materials, including flash cards and books.
“Our programs are intended to benefit other schools when funds become available,” Ms. Harris said. “The improved learning materials make learning more fun for the kids.”
Administrator Logan Harris said the center is attracting a lot of children in the community. “The strength of the center is on math and reading and we provide a learning environment that encourages the kids to concentrate on their learning while teachers show a lot of patience,” he said.
“An attractive feature at the center is that the center conducts regular field trips with the sponsorship of well-meaning individuals and supporters which provides the means for kids to see exciting and memorable events outside the city. Our hope is that with more funding we will be able to expand into every district in Monrovia. More about our programs can be found on our website www.rosettasteps.org.”
The current Board of Directors includes Mr. C Glenn Okoro, Mrs. Abigail Urey Miller, Mr. Olu Q. Menjay, among others.
Members of the administration includes Mrs. Fatumata Mulbah, principal/teacher; Mr. Wisdom Janalard, vice principal/teacher; Mr. Urias T. Garpehn, secretary/teacher; and Mr. Johannata Anderson, teacher.