Kedila Family Learning Services, Inc. (“Kedila”) was founded in New Orleans post-Katrina to provide the social services desperately needed by residents as they slowly returned to the city. Kedila is committed to providing education, training, support services and affordable and safe housing to the constituents it serves. Our vision is to provide hope to those who have been left behind as they continue with the daily struggle of life. Kedila prides itself on being an organization “Where The Journey to Learning Begins.”
The two program tracks offered by Kedila Family Learning Services are targeted at youth and young adults. Kedila’s youth-focused programs include an after school program aimed not only at providing academic support and enrichment but also creating a safe haven for school aged children. The second aspect of youth-focused programming is Freedom School. Freedom School is a summer program dedicated to bridging the gap between academic school years and summer time by fostering a love of reading in participants. These two programs serve 150 students during the regular school year and more than 250 during the summer. Students in our program perform well at school and are constantly named student of the week.
The second program track provided by Kedila is focused on helping young adults ages 16 to 24 that did not receive a high school diploma. YouthBuild is a program that focuses on GED (General Education Diploma) preparation, leadership development, and teaching basic construction skills. Participants receive a living stipend while in the program and are provided with the resources to overcome personal issues that could hinder learning. YouthBuild provides a life transformation from that of apathy and resignation to that of hope for a better future.
Before becoming a participant of YouthBuild, applicants must take the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education), and be able to read at least at the sixth grade level. Of the applicants that applied to be the third cohort of YouthBuild participants, only 22% were reading above the sixth grade level. Because of this, Kedila is starting a new Pre-GED program for students reading below the sixth grade level. This program will teach basic reading math and science skills that will allow participants to later enroll in YouthBuild.
Of the 66 students that have enrolled in YouthBuild since 2009:
•14 Passed the GED
•39 Are gainfully employed
•5 Continued their education at Delgado Community College
•1 Serves on the Delgado Student Council
•1 Studied at SUNO (4 year college)
•1 Is preparing to pursue an MBA
•2 Are in apprenticeship training
•6 Went back to jail for parole or traffic violations
•ALL students gained 2-5 grade levels in math and reading while in the program
•Kedila continues to provide support services to all its graduates
After School Participants:
•90% Pass the LEAP
•80 % Daily attendance rate
•Regularly awarded Student of the Week/Month in their regular classes
•Successful Family nights held regularly
•Successful and enriching field trips