The Roanoke Alumnae Chapter is the proud sponsor of Delta Academy, EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) and GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) projects in several local middle schools and high schools.
Over time and in consultation with local school systems, our organization has implemented several models (after school, during school and weekend enrichment workshops). Our educational programs exist in several city and county division schools. Our organization has been recognized on numerous occasions by the Roanoke City Schools for our volunteer initiatives and projects.
Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Preparing Young Women for the 21st Century: The Delta Academy was created in 1996 out of an urgent sense that bold action was needed to save our young females (ages 11-14) from the perils of academic failure, low self-esteem, and crippled futures. Delta Academy provides an opportunity for local chapters to enrich and enhance the education that our young teens receive in public schools across the nation. Specifically, we augment their scholarship in math, science, and technology, their opportunities to provide service in the form of leadership through service learning defined as the cultivation and maintenance of relationships. A primary goal of the program is to prepare young girls for full participation as leaders in the 21st Century.
Delta Academy has taken many forms. In some chapters, the Academies are after-school or Saturday programs; others are weekly or biweekly throughout the school year; and still other programs occur monthly. At a minimum, chapters plan and implement varied activities based upon the needs of the early adolescents in their areas. The activities implemented most often include computer training, self-esteem and etiquette workshops, field trips for science experiences and for college exposure, and special outings to cultural events, fancy dinners, museums, plays, and concerts.
A natural outgrowth and expansion for the continuation of the highly successful Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy: Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Delta GEMS was created to catch the dreams of African-American at-risk, adolescent girls aged 14-18. Delta GEMS provides the framework to actualize those dreams through the performance of specific tasks that develop a CAN DO attitude. The goals for Delta GEMS are:
Project LIT is a joint Arts and Letters and Educational Development Initiative. Roanoke Alumnae partners with Blacksburg Middle School to implement Project LIT, a Book Club designed to empower students as readers and leaders. Reading Project LIT books will allow the BMS student population, which 78% White, to see students and authors from races other than theirs represented in books. Additionally, the BMS library circulation data for last year show that the circulation of fiction texts dropped 27% from the previous year. The BMS Project LIT program aims to help to increase free choice reading through encouraging students to read novels depicting characters who are different from them.
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