Best Choice Center gets new donated smart board SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE _ _ The Best Choice Center, 1031 North Highland Avenue at the corner of 11th Street, has been around for nearly two and-a-half decades. It is an after-school and summer camp program with the capacity to serve 50 to 75 children ages 5 to 13 sponsored by the YWCA of Winston-Salem Forsyth County. Dr. James David Branch and his fami ly are among a group of community mem bers who continue to support the Best Choice Center. They recently presented the Best Choice Center with a smart board (similar to a computer) and software that will enhance the program participants' learning with exposure to additional tech nology. The students are taught daily good cit izenship with academic reinforcement. Parents of Best Choice Center students appreciate the homework assistance and enrichment activities that their children receive. Ninety-five percent of the Best Choice Center's students in third through fifth grades passed their EOGs (End of Grade tests). They arrive from various schools and receive homework assistance, tutor ing, usage of the computer lab and help with projects. Their parents can pick them up as late as 6 p.m. The staff is made of licensed teachers and counselors with experience working with children and youth. Historically, the Best Choice Center's students were identified by former Winston-Salem Police Chief George Sweat. These were children "at risk" of being involved in drugs and other antiso cial behavior. Chief Sweat presented a proposal to the then Winston-Salem Board of Aldermen, asking for a way to help those children. Alderman Virginia K. Newell asked to be allowed to take those children and control them by love. The proposal was accepted, and within three to four months, the East Winston Restoration Association accepted the idea and was instrumental in the development of the original Best Choice Center. The popula tion of children who attend the Best Choice Center has changed. However, the spirit of love and nurturing, which guided the original program is still a cornerstone of the current program. The YWCA, United Way and the Winston-Salem community has accepted Best Choice as a place to help our children achieve and become good citizens. United Way support makes it possible for the Best Choice Center to offer scholarships to community children for after-school and summer camp. For more information or to donate, go to www.ywcaws.org or call Marilyn Odom at 336-722-0597. Isaiah Myers, a fourth-grade student at the YWCA Best Choice Center, works with the smart board. People affiliated with the Best Choice Center are: (L-R, first row) Todd McCloud, Jourdyn McLaughlin-Moses, Dr. James David Branch, Dr. Virginia K. Newell, Jayshun Reed; (L-R, second row) Evelyn Becoat, Renee Sulivan, Cathoni Waiguchi, Marilyn Odom, vice president of youth services; Rosario Lopez Perez, Semaj Reed, Khyrea Tymes and Sioria McCloud. Members of Phi Omega Chapter. AKA celebrates 107 years, the importance of HBCUs SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE The Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc." celebrated its 107th Founders' Day with a lunch eon at the Anderson Center on the cam pus of Winston-Salem State University. The guest speaker was Rosemary King, Northern Carolina Cluster Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region. The theme for the event was "Think HBCU: Transforming Communities through Education, Engagement and Advocacy." North Carolina's eleven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were honored and attending university officials were presented with awards. Also, during the luncheon, new Golden member Sandra Armstrong and new Silver members Andrea Bush, Cheryl Harry, and Freda Henry were recognized. "HBCU's are the heart and pulse of the African-American community having pro duced some of the world's most talented individuals, and of course the illustrious and premier sorority established for African-American women in 1908 - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.," said Kenyetta Richmond, chapter president. Richmond encouraged participants to take the time to reflect on the contributions of our HBCU's and the role they have each played in the lives of African-Americans and RaVonda Dalton-Rann (L) receives HBCV Award for Winston-Salem State University from Kenyetta Richmond, Phi Omega chapter president the communities in which we all live. She also noted that this is a critical time in the history of our HBCU's and it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure their continued existence. The Phi Omega Chapter, raised over $8,000 at the Founder's Day luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 21. The funds have been designated for scholarship awards to students attending HBCUs. Scholarship applications will be avail able in April at local high schools. Students may check with their guidance counselors for more information at that time. Priscilla Green and Cassandra Lewis co-chaired the Founders'Day Program Committee. Committee members were Tammy Burke Griffin, Lois Buries, Andrea Bush, Veronica Ford, Robin Griffin, Linda Jackson-Bames, Sandra Miller Jones, Sharon Jones, Rayna Minnigan, Olivia Morgan, Susie Nance, Anissia Scales, Roberta Wilkins, and Dorothy Wynecoff. Inactive sorority mem bers are invited to join the Phi Omega Chapter. The soror ity meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Ivy Arms Apartment Club House located on 1115 E. 2nd St. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the aldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women. The sorority is com prised of more than 265,000 members in approximately 986 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Africa. Led by International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is often hailed as "America's premier Greek-letter organization for African-American women." For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and its programs, log onto www.akal908.com. MOUNTAIN VIEW SKIN^CARE Paul D. 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