“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African Proverb
When a community comes together, there is nothing that can stop the people of that community from striving and being successful. Where there is love, hope and support, failure is nonexistent. This theory has been proven at Elder Diggs School 42, where the entire community has its arms wrapped tightly around the students and staff.
Programs like the “Pacer’s Read Like a Pro Reading TimeOut” that took place in the school gymnasium Thursday morning, keep students engaged and ready to learn. Elder Diggs School 42 Principal Donald Caudle says he entered the school for the “Pacer’s Read Like a Pro Reading TimeOut” opportunity and was surprised when he received notification that Elder Diggs had been selected. The first grade students were separated into reading groups with members of the Pacer’s reading team. While sitting on oversized bean bags with warm blankets, a Pacer’s reading team member read from an oversized children’s book.
“My favorite book is “Five Little Monkeys” because I like to look at the colorful pictures,” Elder Diggs School 42 first grader Cortez expressed from the crowd.
Even Boomer, the Pacer’s mascot showed up to read and have fun with the students.
“Cool cats read,” says Boomer.
In another community showing of support for the school, American Senior Communities sponsored 2nd grade students for the holidays; giving all of the students new coats, shoes, socks and books. Fifth grade students received new bikes, helmets and books at the McMiracle on 38th Street event sponsored by McDonalds.
“The outpouring of love and the caring spirits of our community is just beautiful. We have such strong community supporters, it definitely makes things easier,” says Elder Diggs School 42 Parent Involvement Educator Naplio Johnson.
“Retired teachers, grandmothers, and parents visit the school, some on a daily basis, to volunteer,” Principal Caudle says, and “many of the volunteers help with small group classroom instruction, guided reading, and SUCCESS groups.”
“I went to Elder Diggs School 42 as well, and now my two daughters attend the school. If u don’t stay involved with your kids’ education, there’s no telling where they may end up,” says Elder Diggs parent Elaine Davis, “It’s not all on the teachers and administrators, it starts in the home. Davis further explains, “I just want every student to know and realize that if they put their best foot forward they can do and be whatever they want to be, [and] with the support that we all give these students, failure is not an option.”
New Era Church also plays a major role in the growth and advancement of the students in the school. The church is passionate about students and their education. In October 2013, Operation Moore Hope was started to give struggling students at Elder Diggs School 42 a chance to get guidance and tutoring. The tutoring takes place afterschool Tuesday through Friday. The students are able to eat a hot dinner and receive encouragement from the tutors to do better, not just in school, but in life in general.
Operation Moore Hope Tutor Brionna Cole says she has always been passionate about education, so when the First Lady of her church approached her to become a tutor, she had no choice but to sign up.
“It’s a chance for us to teach [students] about culture, dinner etiquette, good hygiene or anything else that will help them be a better person in society,” says Cole.
The tutors give the students homework aligned with the targeted academic areas they need help in the most. Students take assessments to determine what group they need to be placed in during tutoring sessions.
“It’s important for struggling students to be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel, every student deserves the chance to grow academically,” says Cole.
Principal Caudle says this year he will develop a reading club with students that are sent to his office more often than others. He wants them to spend one-on-one time with him so that they know he cares about their futures.
“It means a lot to me to have so many people willing to help, everyone is constantly offering support,” says Principal Caudle, “when I first came here, I didn’t know anyone and it was hard, but the community welcomed me with open arms and has made me feel like I’m at home; I’m forever grateful for each and every one of them.”
Principal Caudle took the leadership role at Elder Diggs School 42 this year and we remain very excited about his diligent efforts that are already yielding outstanding results!