Why EAF Needs Your Support
Funding for public
education is not what it should be. As a result, the quality of education,
especially in larger metropolitan areas continues to suffer. Additionally, the
ability to find and retain capable teachers is increasingly difficult,
considering the rising cost of living and the comparatively low salaries that
teachers earn. As a response to these challenges, Learning Links Centers (“LLC”)
was established in May 2002, as a socially responsible real estate investment
On November 18, 2004, LLC
announced the launch of the Education Advantage Foundation (“EAF”). EAF is an
educational non-profit organization serving the economically disadvantaged
neighborhoods of major metropolitan areas. EAF’s goal is to promote higher
education in the inner city, by providing scholarships and free after-school
mentoring/tutoring programs for children, who are residents of buildings owned
LLC is committed to the
educational achievement of the children who reside in their buildings. Thus,
LLC donates one unit in each building to serve as a study suite called the
Resource Center. The Resource Centers offer residents a safe haven from drugs,
crime, gangs and provides a positive learning environment. Each Resource Center
has a small library, as well as, computers with supervised internet access, and
teaching tools for the students and mentors.
LLC’s goal, as a leading
provider of residential units in economically disadvantaged communities, is to
transform these communities from within. Through EAF’s educational and mentoring
programs, LLC offers its residents the opportunity to have a brighter future. In
exchange for tutoring resident children, LLC provides teachers with subsidized
By demonstrating an interested
in the future of the tenants and their children, EAF and LLC, create an
environment in which tenants are proud to be part of the building. Thus, the
buildings are desirable destinations for renters, minimizing vacancy and
vandalism rates, and improving the surrounding community. In order to foster a
safe environment for the children who participate in EAF’s program, all tenants
sign a lease stating that they will refrain from drug use and drug dealing.
EAF has two Resource Centers to
serve their Baldwin Village residents. Many residents have two jobs, and the
need for after-school programs is pressing. The Resource Center at Santa Rosalia
Drive comes alive in the afternoon when the children, ranging from
kindergartners to 12th-graders, run up the stairs after school. They go to the
Resource Centers "Quiet Zone" - a nook in the kitchen - sit at a dining table
and do their homework for an hour. For the next 45 minutes, they play
educational games on the computer, and spend the remaining 45 minutes at their
leisure. Some go online, others play games like Monopoly and dominoes, while
others read books.
It is particularly satisfying
to see the children’s interest in reading, considering the low academic
achievement of some EAF children before the Resource Center opened. Some of the
resident children age 10 years old, could not read. But with one-on-one
tutoring, these children are finally getting the help they need. Karen Batiste,
a 27-year-old, unemployed single mother, whose child participates in EAF, says
the center is a blessing for her daughter who struggles with reading. Ms.
Batiste said "It's a beautiful opportunity for people who are in my
situation…It's right up my alley - its right upstairs, and it's free." Her
daughter, Dayshanora Francisco, 9 years old, has always struggled in school.
Batiste says that because they have moved a lot, Dayshanora never attended a
school long enough to grasp the curriculum. Now Dayshanora has consistency:
Mother-and daughter have lived in the same apartment for three years, and
Dayshanora goes to the Resource Center every day that it's open. Occasionally,
Dayshanora meets with the tutor early and gets extra help before the other
children arrive. "It's fun. I like it here," she said. "When you read and don't
understand, they help you." The center serves a dual purpose for 13-year-old
Sylvester Walton: He gets help with his math homework and something fun to do.
"When I used to come home from school, I would be bored because there's nothing
to do," said Sylvester, an eighth-grader at Audubon Middle.
It is tutors like Imani-Ati-Danli,
that make the biggest impact on the resident children. Imani Ati-Danli, a
substitute teacher for the Inglewood Unified School District and the Los Angeles
County Office of Education, is an EAF tutor. She says the children need centers
like this because they don't get enough one-on-one attention at school. "I help
them understand that learning can be fun, and I try to make them feel successful
at it," said Ati-Danli. “Part of making it fun is having access to educational
computer games, which many of the children don't have at home,” she added.
EAF is transforming Baldwin Village into an educational oasis.
Also, EAF’s Board of Directors review the resident children’s report cards.
Thus, the EAF Board of Directors is able to track the progress and academic
challenges of each individual student. This system allows the tutor to focus on
problem areas the children have.
With the success of EAF
programs in Los Angeles, EAF and LLC have launched a program in Dallas, Texas.
On April 21, 2008, EAF had a grand opening of the Resource Center at 14000 Maham
Rd., Dallas, Texas 75240. The Resource Center provides services for the children
in the 71- unit complex. EAF has over 25 resident children participating in
activities in Dallas.
EAF also provides
scholarships for the students who demonstrate academic excellence. In 2007,
Francois Foster, the first graduate of the EAF program,
received a scholarship to attend community college in
New York City. Ms. Foster is the first in her family to attend college and she
anticipates transferring to New York University.
EAF used to rely entirely on
charitable donations from donors in the real estate industry. These donations
provided funding for scholarships, educational programs, and cultural
activities. But with the downturn in the real estate industry, and mortgage
crisis, EAF needs other sources of funding. EAF needs your support and asks for
you to make a donation to our foundation.
EAF is committed to providing
the finest educational opportunities possible for the youth of major
metropolitan areas and we hope you will be a partner in our cause.
Please call us at (310)
943-8533 or send an email to
email@example.com if you have any
questions or if you would like a tour of our facilities.