05/10/04 — Lincoln Homes gives homework top billing

View Archive

Lincoln Homes gives homework top billing

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on May 10, 2004 2:00 PM

It's 3:30 in the afternoon and 17 children are sitting at three long tables, industriously working on homework.

A few minutes pass and a boy raises his hand to indicate he needs help. Pam Easley, director of the after-school program, sends a helper over to the boy. Then she turns back to a dicussion of the program, which helps children in public housing succeed in school.

Every weekday, up to 25 children pile into the Lincoln Community Center between 2 and 7 p.m. for the Cultural Academic Enrichment Program. The center is at Lincoln Homes public housing on Olivia Lane.

Its focus is on helping with homework and to help children develop skills in studying, reading, math and other educational activities.

Staff members also provide materials to help them with end-of-grade testing. All the children passed their mid-year test, and the test will be given again in May.

Ms. Easley said that she and her staff track their grades throughout the year and focus on any weak subjects they might have. Special events are held for members who make the honor roll.

The program is funded through block grants that are channeled through the Goldsboro Housing Authority.

"We offer safety awareness, drug prevention, nutrition, and we have an in-house Girl Scout troop," Ms. Easley says. "Each day, they have to stay in here to finish their homework, which usually takes about a half hour."

After the children finish their homework, they can go next door to the game room for foosball, air hockey or ping pong.

They also go outside for old-fashioned games of hide-and-seek or "Duck, Duck, Goose, Goose."

In the summer the center holds a day camp from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer enrollment usually pulls in between 40 to 50 campers a day.

Social events are also held throughout the year. All major holidays are celebrated. During the winter, the children play for the Lincoln Hornets basketball team. This year, the Hornets were the regular-season champs and also won the championship game.

The children are enthusiastic about the program, but Ms. Easley said she wishes she had more parental involvement.

"There's nothing hard about working with these kids," she said. "They're reachable, and we try to expose them to positive things."