Our interactive literacy program is one out of the 9 main Gem Project programs that has really improved. The lesson plans, attendance rates, participation, and now recently our progress reports. We have been very objective when it comes to self-evaluation and tracking our results. One of our location sites function as the leading site where all programs change. Our theme for this upcoming month has been cultural awareness. In an effort to track results a part from testimonials, we have been trying to develop assessment tests which track knowledge retention.
On April 27, 2011, Tiffani N. Artis of Love’sTouch Designs and event planner of The Gem Project, Inc., and I both shared tears of joy after interviewing two participants of our interactive literacy program. We questioned them on what they remembered from a lesson that was taught 3 weeks ago. We casually asked a series of questions from definitions to how they felt about the Gem Project. We honestly were surprised and started crying.
We say time and time again, we LIVE for moments like this.
Brianna and Stacy are students from Roberto Clemente school in Newark, NJ. They’re both in 3rd and 2nd grade respectively. They are also sisters who participated in our lesson about autism roughly 3 weeks ago. We decided to interview them after we did a cultural awareness program at one of our sites.
When asked about the autism program, Brianna revealed that she went to inform her teacher at her school about it. At the Gem Project Interactive Literacy events we couple each program with a discussion, reading, and an interactive activity that both hones and challenges their leadership and community organizing skills.
ON: what they think, honestly.
On what she did at her school:
Brianna: “I took out the book and brought it to my teacher and asked her to read it to the class, and she did.” The book Brianna is referring to is “My Brother Charlie,” by Holly Robinson-Peete and Ryan Peete. It is a children’s book about autism.
On how Brianna feels about the Gem Project:
Brianna:“The Gem Project is the best. It’s great because it helps me know more things that I didn’t know like about autism, Japan, and culture.” She later goes on to say, The Gem Project makes me feel happy and glad. She also added that she loves Tiffani, Parul, and Amanda.
On whether there are autistic children in her class:
Brianna:“I have autistic children in my class.”
On what she wants to be when she gets older:
Brianna: Lawyer, Judge, President, Governor, Cop, and Mayor.
Stacy, the 2nd-grader from Roberto Clemente, stated: “I like the Gem Project because you read lots of books.”
This made our day and we were honored to be with these two bright young ladies! This was from our interactive literacy program. The Gem Project has nine main programs and our programs now fit every age group, primarily age 4-24.
Continue to be our fuel, encouraging words give us so much hope. It is moments like this that truly change our lives.
Please visit the main website, www.thegemproject.org. This is just a subpage, the TEAM Blog.