New life, new goals for Pumphrey Achievers program


January 09, 2000|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE PUMPHREY Achievers are making a comeback. Organized in 1993 by community activist Yolanda Dickerson, Achievers, an after-school tutoring and enrichment program for children from elementary age through high school, met at the Lloyd Keaser Center three nights a week.

The program ceased in 1998 when United Way funding ended, but Dickerson is working with the faculty of Brooklyn Park Elementary School and Pumphrey residents Nina Lattimore and Geraldine Brooks to get the program started again.

"It was such a successful program," Dickerson said. "We had between 50 and 60 children here three days a week. We made learning fun. The kids worked in teams and learned by doing lots of different types of activities."

In its new form, Achievers will emphasize its partnership with Brooklyn Park Elementary. The faculty will send assignments for volunteer tutors to work on with the children, and the tutors will send the results back to the faculty so that pupils' progress can be monitored.

Brooklyn Park Elementary reading teacher Kathy Fieldhouse, who will be the school's liaison to the program, said Pumphrey Achievers is a worthwhile program.

"I am receiving a lot of information about the program from the students. They really look forward to it," Fieldhouse said. "It's also important that someone is giving their time and attention to them. It's a great model program for any community."

Homework won't be the only activity. Dickerson plans to form a book club and a math club, and to take pupils on field trips to area museums and libraries, and other cultural outings.

Once Achievers is fully operational, Dickerson said, organizers will apply for grants aimed at making the program permanent.

"We have to keep the kids in school and interested," she said. "If children are not learning, they begin to feel insecure and that's where problems start. We can't let these children fall through the cracks.

"Now we just need for the parents to begin to send their children here again."

Pumphrey Achievers meets from 6 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Lloyd Keaser Center, 5757 Belle Grove Road. Volunteer tutors are welcome.

For information, call 410-636-1714 or 410-789-5842.

Belle Grove meeting

Zoning enforcement will be the topic for the year's first meeting of the Belle Grove Improvement Association, at 6: 30 p.m. Wednesday at Belle Grove Elementary School, 4502 Belle Grove Road.

Bill Bryant from the county's Office of Building Planning and Zone Enforcement will speak.

All residents are welcome to attend.

Information: 410-636-1843.

Recreation survey

The Brooklyn Heights Improvement Association will meet at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Brooklyn Park Library, 1 E. 11th Ave.

Speakers will be Howard Smith and Emily Thomasini from the county Department of Recreation and Parks, with information on plans for programs at the new Brooklyn Park Middle School. They will also conduct a survey on the kinds of activities residents would like the department to offer in the community.

Refreshments will be served. Information: 410-746-8432.

Library activities

Reading activities for preschoolers and elementary pupils are planned for Wednesdayat area libraries.

At 10 a.m., the Brooklyn Park Library will present a Winter Funland program for preschoolers and their caregivers. Children will make a craft and learn about fun winter activities. Information: 410-222-6260.

At 3: 30 p.m., children ages 5 to 12 are invited to "BRRR" at the Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, learning about winter, making a craft and listening to stories. The library is at 300 E. Patapsco Ave. Information: 410-396-1120.

Harbor Hospital events

Dr. Mukul Khandelwal of Harbor Hospital Center will speak on "Colorectal Cancer and Polyps, Facts -- Not Fiction," at 6: 30 p.m. Thursday at the LifeResource Center.

Khandelwal will provide information on signs, symptoms, early detection and treatment of the disease.

Free screening kits will be given to all attending.

January's Advantage Monthly Movie will be "The Wild Wild West," starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline. The hospital will provide the snacks. The movie will be shown at 1 p.m. Friday in the LifeResource Center.

Susan Knight, director of the county Department of Aging's Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program, will speak at 10 a.m. Friday at the center. Her topic will be "Planning for Long Term Care."

The LifeResource Center is on Hanover Street, across from the main entrance to the hospital. To register for events, call 410-354-9655.

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