School offers new vision for minority students

Life Source

Teachers cut the ribbon to officially open Life Source Charter School

Jasmine Jefferson (with mom Linda Howard) will attend Life Source Charter School.

Jasmine Jefferson (with mom Linda Howard) will attend Life Source Charter School.

LANCASTER – Dozens of parents and students gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday to mark the opening of Life Source International Charter School — Lancaster School District’s First Approved Charter School.

“I love it,” said Linda Howard, whose daughter Jasmine Jefferson will be attending. “I can’t wait to see her first report card and to see her go back to making straight A’s.”

“You can tell they have been working really hard at this,” said Virginia Yac, whose son Brian will be a student. “I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

School officials say the free school will offer unique individualized programs that blend technology with traditional face-to-face instruction.

“We have small classrooms, we have individualized instruction, and we have computer programs that are performance-based so students don’t just get a blanket education,” said Office Manager Jamaal Brown. “Students get a lesson for that day that is appropriate for them and their knowledge base on the subject matter.”

Deberae Culpepper-Ofori speaks to a parent and student.

Deberae Culpepper-Ofori speaks to a parent and student.

More importantly, minority and disadvantaged students receive instruction in a manner that is culturally responsive to their needs, said Founder Deberae Culpepper-Ofori.

“They [traditional models] don’t touch on that, they just touch on reading, writing and arithmetic, and if you can sit still and pay attention,” she said. “We motivate our kids by bringing them into the learning process, especially our minority or disadvantaged kids.”

To motivate students, the school offers unconventional programs that speak directly to the students. For instance, its Flowcabulary program will teach students how to write through rapping, Culpepper said.

“Maybe they [students] speak Ebonics at home or maybe they speak Spanglish at home or maybe they speak another dialect at home,” Culpepper added. “We affirm their home language and then we teach them standard English, as well, to be successful in the real word.”

Life Source International Charter School is located at 44215 10th Street West, Suite D. The 16,000 square foot learning center houses eight classrooms, two computer labs, a music room, a cafeteria and an outdoor learning area. The charter school will serve grades K through 4 for the first year, and then increase one grade level until it reaches the 8th grade.  Wednesday is the first day of school for students at the Life Source Charter School; however, the school is still accepting applications.

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