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EDUCATION ADVANTAGE FOUNDATION
EDUCATION ADVANTAGE FOUNDATION


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Education Advantaged Foundation
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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 company.    

 

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 by LLC.

 

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 rent. 

 

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 info@educationadvantage.org if you have any questions or if you would like a tour of our facilities.