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Oldest African-American sorority brings oasis of hope to Bmore inner city school

Baltimore's Rosemont Elementary/Middle Charter School, 2777 Presstman Street
Baltimore's Rosemont Elementary/Middle Charter School, 2777 Presstman Street
by Vickie M. Oliver-Lawson

Rosemont Elementary/Middle School is located in the inner city of Baltimore. Plagued with the usual social ills associated with most urban areas, there is a vision of hope for the Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Eight students who attend.

Sorors from the oldest African-American sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, founded in 1908, have been providing services to students at the school. The sorority has a four-prong focused program in which they emphasize Coping With Asthma, Tutoring, Mentoring and Character Development as well as Parental Involvement.

In the Coping With Asthma segment, students are educated, schoolwide, on how to deal with asthma. This involves a number of resources from the community, including health care practitioners. The need for this program was emphasized after the untimely death of a student.

Weekly tutorial services and assistance in the development of reading skills will be provided for students in Grade Five during the next semester.

Mentoring and Character Development involve the young ladies in Grade Eight. The students are engaged in various self-awareness activities, presentations by resource people. field trips, and enhancement of knowledge as well as areas of personal development. (Senator Delores Kelley will sponsor a field trip to Annapolis for these young ladies.)

The Parental Involvement component is still in the developmental phase, but is geared to assist parents in understanding and interacting with their children at various stages of development.

The very accomplished AKA ladies involved are Frances Parks (AKA Education Committee Chairperson), E. Francine McElveen (President), Tamara Greenhill, Edmonia Yates, Anne Moore, Jean B. Owens, AnnaMaria Joyner, Clara Adams, Toni Byrd Hines, Ramona Green, Shirley Hill, Odessa Dunston, Barbara Howard, Barbara King, Dawn Ray, Cecelia King, Sharon Smith, Gwendolyn Statham, Ramona Jenkins, Adeline Wheless-Hutchinson, Mary Ellen Smackum, Kimberlyn Peal, and Jennifer White.

Weekly services are being provided from November, 2013 until May, 2014.

Located at 2777 Presstman Street, Rosemont Elementary/Middle is a charter school with oversight by Coppin State University.

The principal of the school is Dwayne Wheeler. He can be reached at 410-396-0574.

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