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Youth Program Gets To Heart of Education/Life
FORT WORTH- Victor Hugo once said, “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come."
Two pastors, the Rev. L.S. Wilson and the Rev. K.P. Tatum put their hearts together with other Pastors and community leaders to establish an academic program concept to help change the lives of many of our most at-risk children.
Named the Rearing Our Own to Succeed Academy or "ROOTS ACADEMY", it opened its doors on June 9 to serve students from several school districts, including Crowley, Fort Worth, Arlington, Austin, Mansfield, Everman, Houston, Dallas, and Hurst-Euless-Bedford.
An accelerated learning program for students in K-12 education, ROOTS Academy targets at-risk students who are serious about “excellence in learning” and will dedicate themselves daily to activities that will enhance the student’s academic performance, improve reading, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills and promote Abstinence and Achievement.
ROOTS ACADEMY’s mission is to educate and prepare students to become thoughtful active citizens who have an appreciation for the basic values of our culture and national heritage and who can understand and productively function in a free enterprise society.
National research clearly shows that students who spend the summer actively reading and writing daily are better prepared and less likely to engage in unhealthy sexual activities.
Each child participated this summer in healthy daily activities that improved their academic skills, improve their self-discipline and esteem, and further their spiritual growth and leadership development.
“We recognized that our children are in need of additional support and that the Church is a great place to offer supplemental support services,” said Rev. Tatum, pastor of Friendship Rock Baptist Church and Administrator of ROOTS ACADEMY.
Housed on the campuses of East Saint Paul Baptist Church in Fort Worth and Historic Mosier Valley’s Saint John Baptist Church in Euless, ROOTS ACADEMY has served over 250 students through its academic enrichment and summer food programs.
“We were blessed to serve over 5,000 meals on a shoestring budget this summer to students who otherwise would not have had a hot breakfast or lunch,” said Rev. Wilson, Pastor of East Saint Paul Baptist Church and President of ROOTS ACADEMY. “This is the miracle. ”
Leaders for ROOTS ACADEMY are optimistic about future program developments. Officials are currently exploring opportunities to collaborate with other institutions and agencies within the community to begin an after-school initiative and a research-based charter school to address the mental health of these students.
“Many of our children in these communities need the proper diagnosis and services that are necessary for them to grow into healthier and smarter adults,” Rev. Tatum said. “We are committed to making sure they receive the best in quality care from the right providers.”
In a short period, the ROOTS ACADEMY has received recognitions for its innovation in program ideas from local, state and national leaders.
On July 29, Fort Worth Mayor Pro-Tem Kathleen Hicks invited the students and staff from the ROOTS ACADEMY down to City Hall for special recognition. Also, former United State Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige has endorsed the program and has agreed to serve as the honorary chair of the ROOTS ACADEMY advisory board.
“The time has come for everyone in the community to take back the responsibility of rearing our children to succeed,” Wilson said.
“We may have lost some of our children in the past, however, we believe we are called by God to reach out to the least, last and the lost and most of these are our children,” Rev. Tatum said.
In order to create an environment of excellence and establish high expectations for our participants, each student and parent are required to complete an interview before they can enroll into the after school program.
“This is one of the greatest callings in the world,” Tatum said.
Parents are encouraged to contact ROOTS ACADEMY officials at 817-293-5067 to discuss enrollment into the after-school program.
ROOTS ACADEMY is a member of the America’s Promise Alliance.