Lennard High School ninth-graders took on the role of teen mentors last week while visiting Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) Academy in Wimauma. Students brought Easter baskets for each child in three classes and also read books to the children.
RCMA Wimauma Academy and the next-door RCMA Leadership Academy are Hillsborough County charter schools operated by the nonprofit RCMA. The Immokalee-based RCMA also operates 69 child-care centers in 21 Florida counties, including the Bethel Child Development Center on the Academy’s campus.
The Lennard students are in the S.P.A.R.K. Teen Mentoring program, available through The Cypress Initiative. The program aims to empower students to achieve greater academic success, create a healthier state of mind and develop a deeper sense of community. The program is based on the teachings of Sydney Banks, who first articulated three universal principles: mind, thought and consciousness.
Parents can visit www.cypressinitiative.org to explore the group’s mission, or visit www.sparkcurriculum.org for a preview of the curriculum being used.
The RCMA project is one of four that S.P.A.R.K. students are doing in the South Shore area this year. They are made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, South Shore Council.