The next generation of math scholars is prepared to soar, thanks to the Summer Enrichment Academy (SEA) sponsored by Pastor Mark E. Whitlock, Jr., and the members of Christ Our Redeemer (COR) A.M.E. Church in Irvine.
The six-week program, held in partnership with California State University, offered students in grades 6 to 9 an intensive, yet fun, curriculum aimed at strengthening mathematical skills. Thirty-seven youngsters participated in SEA from July through the beginning of August.
According to Pastor Whitlock, “Our Youth and Young Adult Pastor Charles Dorsey gave expert direction to ensure we achieved our two-prong goal of improving the student’s overall school performance while connecting with them early enough in their education to make sure they qualify for acceptance in the four-year state university.”
The Algebra Institute proved to be a key component of the SEA with youth receiving four hours of training from certified math instructors. College students from the University of California and California State served as teaching assistants.
“The Institute’s chief instructor, Mr. Ed Ussery, is a Harvard graduate and member of COR Church. His team of qualified teachers and undergraduate tutors presented algebra in a manner that the students embraced with lots of enthusiasm,” noted Pastor Whitlock.
“Also, every student has the opportunity to remain connected to the program to ensure his or her progress during their normal school year.”
A ‘Celebration of the Arts’ week was another highlight of the SEA program. The activities included African Drumming and Dance, Sports Camp featuring basketball and volleyball, and field trips to UC-Irvine where the young people toured the campus and its computer gaming lab.
The students also traveled to UCLA for a tour and African Culture lesson, performed community outreach at the Orange County Food Bank, visited the Irvine Police Department, and enjoyed an afternoon at the Discovery Science Center. During the tour of Angel Stadium in Anaheim, the youth met retired Angel’s outfielder, Gary Matthews, Jr., who presented them with signed baseballs.
“We concluded with the SEA graduation on August 3 where we recognized the achievements of each student such as attendance, most improved, outstanding classroom habits, talent, and new skill demonstration,” Pastor Whitlock said.
“We set out to make a difference in the lives of our future leaders and through the combined efforts of many dedicated people, I believe we succeeded with the SEA program. It’s an ongoing campaign for us, so expect to see more COR programs directed at our youth.”