Opening doors in just after-school programming in NE Ohio

Open up Doors Academy has been offering year-spherical applications for area children for much more than 30 decades.

CLEVELAND — 3 a long time back, Open up Doorways Academy started out out of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland. It’s now a K-12 out-of-college enrichment plan, but the way that it commenced speaks to its society currently.

“The tale is that there have been kids who were being strolling dwelling from a neighboring university and they would locate their way into the church,” CEO Dr. Dorothy Moulthrop discussed. “They would do matters like dribble the basketball down the sanctuary. They would rack up the telephone invoice, so the men and women in the church started out locking the doors soon after university.

“And 1 working day, the affiliate rector observed that the doorways had been locked, so he opened the doorways, and they described to him what was happening. And he claimed, ‘That isn’t going to appear to be like the reaction that we want to have. Possibly these kids want a little something,’ and out of that reaction to a have to have, Open Doors Academy was born.”

And this reaction has developed in excess of the Academy’s 31-year existence. It now stands as a collection of plans that search for to be all-encompassing.

“We truly include the entire child all over our a few hours with the scholar,” Anita Whitlow, System Manager for Cleveland Metropolitan School District, instructed us. “They will have been enriched with research. We also supply academic finding out time, which features social psychological discovering and supports.”

Advertising and Improvement Manager Daa’iyah Rahman clarifies their achieve proceeds to expand at a continuous tempo.

“We are capable to provide presently 20 different schools all through the condition. We generally serve the Greater Cleveland place, but we have been fortunate to arrive at out to Lima, Ohio Mansfield, Sandusky, and also Firelands.”

The ODA programming also emphasizes the unity that it seeks to bridge among households and schools.

“There isn’t really necessarily often a straight route between families and the faculty structures as considerably as it ought

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UMD alumna is first female to run youth mentorship, after-school programming foundation

By Angel Gingras
For The Diamondback

Two University of Maryland alumna are working to improve the lives of students in the Washington, D.C., area through mentorship and after-school programming at the Youth Leadership Foundation.

Janaiha Bennett is an alumna of this university and the executive director of the Youth Leadership Foundation in Washington, D.C., which provides mentoring to students from third to 12th grade who live in underrepresented communities. She is the first female to hold this position in the organization’s 24-year history.

“The relationships that are created between the students and the staff are really deep-seated … you just bond, and so it is sort of a family and a community” Bennett said. “So essentially what we do is give students the tools they need to fulfill their potential as a human being.”

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YLF is a year-round program open to students in any of the organization’s seven partner schools in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Students can take part in after-school or weekend programs during the school year or in the five-week summer camp as often as they want. This fall, the staff is running an in-person program with the option for students to attend virtually.

Bennett was first introduced to YLF when she was an undergraduate student at George Washington University. She joined other college students and began mentoring young women, working her way up through various program roles, until she became executive director in 2018.

Bennett was also at YLF when she graduated with her master’s degree in school psychology from this university in 2013, which she said contributes to the work she does at YLF.

“I learned a lot about working with individual students and how to work with teachers so that they can help students,” Bennett said. “It was a really great experience.”

Kayla Montgomery, also an alumna, began her mentorship with the organization when she was a sophomore at this university. She graduated with a degree in criminology and criminal justice in 2020.

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