In pursuit of excellence
Jasmeen Codrington-Edmead was doing well in English. That did not stop her mother, Zarinah, from signing the 13-year-old up for tutoring.
Substitute teacher Tamika Todd set up Arete Academy to help students like Jasmeen fulfil their potential.
The programme is open to any student and challenges them, “to graduate from mediocrity to excellence”.
“Jasmeen was in an English class in M1 and she was performing very well in that English class. In M2, she got the opportunity to participate in Ms Todd’s Pink Paper Pupil Programme,” Ms Codrington said, of the Dellwood initiative.
“She would come home with a pink paper, and that paper would detail some extra activity that she had to do for English.”
The programme pushed the Dellwood Middle School student “a little bit harder than the regular English class did”, her mother said.
Jasmeen is now in M3 and taking English classes at Devonshire senior school, CedarBridge Academy.
Ms Codrington credits Arete Academy for her daughter’s success.
It offers programmes for public, private, and homeschooled students from primary through to, and including, IB.
“Dellwood already has valuable literacy resources — its main library and the librarian [Heather Stafford],” Ms Todd said.
“Using these existing resources, plus the invaluable input of the students, the teachers and other staff members, Arete Academy simply developed an initiative designed to increase the number of students actively engaging in reading.
“By effectuating creative ongoing strategies to encourage more students to read, achieving auxiliary goals in various subjects becomes more realistic.
“It is truly humbling and exciting to watch students transform as they gain knowledge and understanding; they grow into a more confident person right before your eyes. It’s a beautiful experience.”
The programme gave her daughter “that extra boost and she just transitioned right into the CedarBridge class”, Ms Codrington said. Jasmeen said that taking English with senior students was intimidating at first.
“Sometimes it can be a little awkward,” she said.
“Sometimes I’ll get things wrong, but I learn from it and it becomes really easy afterwards.”
She believes Arete has helped her improve in her studies and helped her become more confident.
“It was a good choice because I’m doing much better in English. She will help students who are in need, but she also pays attention to students who she sees that have potential,” she said.
“I’m starting to get inspired. I want to start writing. I already have a plan.”
The teenager said she learnt that from Ms Todd.
“I had to put in a lot of hard work but it was a really fun experience.
“I did not want to do it at first, but my mama made me. I’m glad that she made me because it opened up a lot of opportunities for me. Ms Todd wants to see children succeed.
“She doesn’t want their potential to go to waste.”
Ms Codrington is now urging her ten-year-old daughter, Jazarah, to join Arete’s after-school programme.
“Ms Todd is doing something special at Dellwood,” said the mother-of-three. “Having her give Jasmeen that gentle and persistent push was really welcome. Even with her doing this extra course, Ms Todd has again gone out of her way to make sure Jasmeen understands the subject. I would definitely recommend the programme.”
Learn more: 339-3400 or www.areteacad.org</i>
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