Learn More About LEARN Works
The Ada Jenkins Center exists to help people create lasting solutions for economic stability. Mrs. Ada Jenkins was passionate about education and community, and today the Ada Jenkins Center honors her through our four pillars of service:
- Education Services, to help young people develop skills for self-sufficiency.
- The only Case Management staff north of Charlotte, to help families with financial, education/career, and housing coaching.
- Food Pantry to overcome food insecurity.
- Financial Assistance to help struggling families with critical needs.
Our oldest and best-known program is LEARN Works. The LEARN Works afterschool team is getting ready for back-to-school! Operating for nearly 20 years, LEARN Works is a well-respected, positive, and productive program for local elementary and middle school students with academic needs. Their students attend Davidson K-8, Cornelius Elementary and Bailey Middle Schools. Students are referred to the program by a school teacher or administrator; at Ada Jenkins Center they receive afterschool academic support and enrichment programming.
LEARN Works students have little or no access to educational resources and assistance outside of their normal school environment. Without additional academic support they are at risk to become low wage earners and may struggle to support their own families.
Each year 60 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools elementary and middle school students are referred for afterschool academic instruction – and their classroom volunteer tutors/readers/etc. are essential! If you’re interested, please click here AFTER August 16.
During COVID, we provided LEARN Works afterschool services both virtually and on-site. We also created a socially-distanced ‘pandemic pod’ day program in our classrooms, so that our students’ parents – among the most economically vulnerable in the county – could continue to go to work without struggling to manage their children’s online education as well. We remain flexible in our ability to adapt to the needs of our students as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System schedule may fluctuate due to future circumstances.
This year, made extra challenging due to COVID and the remote/hybrid learning system:
- 56% of middle school students maintained or improved their GPA over the course of the year;
- 92% of elementary students participating in our LEARN Works Reading Check Up program improved in vocabulary or phonics;
- 67% of parents participating in Reading Check Up established and maintained a reading routine with their children to support their progress in literacy; and
- 99% of parents with children enrolled in LEARN Works met their Parent Participation Pledge. (Parent participation is highly linked to a child’s school success and it’s one of LEARN Works goals: each of our LEARN Works parents is expected to participate in at least two events or activities during the year to support their child in the program and school.)
Equally important and unique to Ada Jenkins Center: AJC’s staff provided wrap-around care for our families, addressing social determinants of health including food insecurity, financial education, housing, and career development. The interaction between our Care Coordinators and our LEARN Works educators ensures that all the needs for adults and children in households are being addressed. We focus on stabilizing each member of the household so that they we break the cycle of poverty – together.