Charter School for At-Risk Youth Facing Eviction
West Palm Beach, FL — April, 2009 After a decade of service to Palm Beach County’s disaffected youth, the students and faculty of the only African-centered charter school in the State of Florida are hoping to weather a storm of financial uncertainty.
The national economic crisis is dire. Foreclosures, failing banks and unemployment are the fodder for incessant headlines and office water cooler conversations around the country.
Budget cuts and furloughs are affecting South Florida public schools, as well, including the Joseph Littles- Nguzo Saba Charter School in West Palm Beach, which is struggling to keep its doors open.
The school for at- risk youth has been unable to make its rent payments. School founder Amefika Geuka said he believes the school will continue to defy the odds, as it has in the past.
He said the school’s financial issues are a result of inadequate funding from the state, along with a number of severe budget cuts this year.
Geuka said, he, the faculty and staff are discussing several options in case the eviction becomes a reality. They are thinking about how to make a smooth transition for the sake of the students. Your support can help us reach our goal of raising $150,000 to keep the school open for these children.
Richard Keitel, landlord for the school’s facilities, said he agrees that the students should come first. He said he will try to hold off from the eviction for as long as he can, adding that he hopes to work something out with Geuka for the sake of the children.
"I have been carrying the school because I’m in a position to do so at the moment,” Keitel said. "I don’t want to take action that will harm the students."
We have made a modest beginning with just over $6,000.00 from small contributions all across the country. While billion dollar bailouts are being considered for Wall Street, your support is needed to keep the doors open for this school which is helping the least of us. CLICK HERE to make a secure online donation.
The Thompson Family
Paula Thompson, with children Curtis, Alexander, Corey and Yolanda
Photo by Elgin Jones, South Florida Times
Mrs. Paula Thompson is a working mother of three children who graduated from the school, and one who is currently enrolled there. She strongly believes that the teaching style and uniqueness of the charter school has brought her children much more educational success than regular public school. She is active in school life of children. She says, "Someone told me about the school, and when my children went there, I felt like I was a part of a family who were committed to taking care of my children. Alex started in 4th grade. His grades were great. He has always has been a good student. We moved from New York, and liked this school much better. He is in 11th grade, and he wants to go to college and study Marine Biology."
"Mr. Geuka is like a father to the children,” she said. "And the staff pays close attention to each child’s individual needs. They act as parent substitutes."
In spite of the struggle to keep his school alive, Geuka said he refuses to turn his back on his community and the foundation he started. Faculty members do not merely address formal and academic education, but also a social and self- disciplinary education. The school provides students with a sense of family and belonging that is best suited to meet their individual learning needs, Geuka said.
"Our school is special because the children are at the center of the universe," he said. "The whole world revolves around them."
Our only failure in response to this appeal would be to do nothing. Any contribution is acceptable. Be as generous as your means will allow.
If contributing by check, your tax deductible contribution should be mailed to:
Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School
5829 Corporate Way, West Palm Beach, Fl. 33407
ATTN: Amefika Geuka
CONTACT: Amefika Geuka
Telephone: (561) 689-1536