African Centered Charter School Overcomes Adversity to Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary

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The Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School, in West Palm Beach Florida, is helping children in grades K through 8 reach new heights from the bottom rung of the educational ladder. Negative labeling and low expectations led to frustrated parents. They have turned to the Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School to provide a better future for their children.

Holding classes on school buses, in public libraries, parks, and make-shift trailers are distant memories for the staff and supporters of the Joseph Littles-NGUZO SABA Charter School, but their struggle for continuing success isn't over. After seeing their children labeled learning disabled, these parents from the poorest community in Palm Beach County finally found someone who believed in their children, and they were not about to let go. They viewed learning by school bus, and moving from place to place a mere inconvenience. The curriculum includes year-long studies that include Black history, not just the profiles that appear during Black History Month.

The Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School, in West Palm Beach Florida, is helping children in grades K through 8 reach new heights from the bottom rung of the educational ladder. The children that populate this school are those whom the Public Schools System has labeled as unable to learn, and allegedly didn't want to teach. Negative labeling and low expectations led to frustrated parents. They have turned to the Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School to provide a better future for their children.

This school is the outgrowth of the vision of Amefika Geuka, its founder, first Head Master, and currently, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Grounded in African Centered Education based on the Nguzo Saba Principles, strong community values, and an unwavering belief in the potential of the children and families served, this school has survived against tremendous odds to be poised to celebrate their 10th Anniversary on January 20, 2009, the date on which this country will inaugurate its first President of African ancestry!

Geuka observes, "Any time a Black person gains an achievement as significant as election to President of the U.S., this cannot help but improve the self-perception of Black children, and especially those whom we serve."

"The most African Centered thing that we can do is to be excellent every day," says Dr. P. Kamara Collins, Ph.D., former Assistant Headmaster and now a resident of Atlanta, Georgia.

The school is making progress with technology and other learning activities, but there is a shortage of funds to provide for extracurricular activities, such as sports and cultural arts,
that currently prevents the children from achieving a holistic educational experience. The educators are striving for an "A" rating for the school. "I would like to see beyond this "Nguzo Saba School," and see this concept become the model. I hope to see Nguzo Sabas all over the country," says Jenice Reddick, former Social Studies Teacher at JL-NSCS who now resides in Philadelphia.

The school is launching a nationwide fundraising effort to support their goal of becoming a role model of African Centered Education, and the success of charter schools to meet the needs of the most needy students and families that have been failed by the Public School System. For more information about their success and challenges, contact Amefika Geuka at (561) 689-1536.

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Amefika Geuka

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