• Carlos Valentin Jr

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: ELIDIA BROWN, Dr. William Horton Elementary School

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program provides federal funding for the creation of community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for children, particularly students who hail from underserved communities. At it's core, the program focuses on key academic subjects such as reading, math and science. This program is also intended to offer students a broad array of activities and to include families and the community in the educational process.

However, this program wouldn't be successful without the countless dedicated and engaged staff who's passion is to help young children develop into well rounded adolescents and ultimately, productive citizens.

Elidia Brown, a 5th Grade Teacher's Aide at Dr. William H. Horton Elementary School, is one of those individuals. She recently sat down with ASPIRA Program Coordinator Soledad Aguilar to briefly chat about her role, the impact of the program and what it means to her. Check it out below!

SA: So, how long have you worked with ASPIRA and the 21st CCLC program?

I have worked with ASPIRA for about 3 months now.

SA: Students are often shy when it comes to learning new things. What are some of the daily things that you do with ASPIRA and the 21st CCLC to build them up?

As you've stated, students are very shy and a little afraid when it come to learning new things especially through virtual learning platforms. However, the best way to handle that is to make yourself relatable to the students and what target what they are interested in. When that occurs, students begin to open up and build a relationship of trust...They become open to learning new things, but also build their confidence to be more engaged.

SA: How do you assist parents in the 21st CCLC program?

As the Parent Liaison of the school, parents are already comfortable with me. At the moment, my assistance to parents is to help them complete their child(ren)'s application to join the program. I am sure as the program grows I will assist parents with whatever it is that they need help with. The voice of parents is a critical component of their child(ren);s success. My role is to ensure that that success happens.

SA: What is the biggest challenge that you face on a daily basis?

All challenges are life lessons. God doesn't put no more on me than I can bare. If something is a challenge it is to better me as person to strengthen my knowledge, so with that being said I don't face challenges - I deal with them head on and learn from them.

SA: What is the best part of working in and with ASPIRA and the 21st CCLC?

The best part of working in and with ASPIRA is that at it's core, it's family oriented. I loved that the program is based on the interest of the students, not what we think they need. The one thing that also stands out to me about ASPIRA is the time and effort that is put into the program to assist students especially during a time like this. For instance hosting class during Winter Break to keep students engaged, active and sharp.

So there you have it! If you'd like to learn more about the Dr. William Horton Elementary School, click below:


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