Letter from the President
As I write this letter, students at the African Dream Academy (ADA) are very busy happily working in their classes, even as they approach their Christmas break and the thought of a two-week vacation. They are both a happy and very grateful group of children who join me in thanking all of you who have supported ADA this past year, making it possible for them to go to school.
Thanks to our donors, ADA opened its doors for the fifth consecutive year, teaching children in classes from Pre-K through Eighth Grade. With over 2,000 applications submitted, ADA increased its student enrollment by 250 children from the previous year, giving the school a total of 700 students. New classrooms were built and staff added in the summer to accommodate the additional students and keep classes small.
I am also excited to report that, due to the wonderful generosity of ADAF Board member Oliver Moses and his wife, Alexis, ADA opened the Children’s Health Clinic at ADA (CHC-ADA), the first free clinic for children in the entire country of Liberia. More about the clinic can be found following this letter.
During this busy holiday season, I hope that you will consider making a gift of any size to ADA. Your support means so much to our children, from giving them a daily, nutritious meal, and clothes to wear, to the opportunity to become educated, successful adults.
Please CLICK HERE to make your gift on the ADA website’s DONATE page.
With my deepest thanks,
Children’s Health Clinic at ADA Opens
Thanks to the generosity of ADA Foundation Director Oliver Moses and his wife, Alexis, on April 4th, 2016, ADA opened the Children’s Health Clinic at ADA (CHC-ADA), the first free children’s health clinic in Liberia. In the first two weeks alone, the Clinic served over 800 patients. Since then, every week it has seen and treated approximately 75-80 patients between the ages of birth to six years old. Sometimes when the need is great, without access to an alternative health facility, older children from ADA and the local community are also treated. Malaria is the most common and serious disease affecting the children, but all illnesses are diagnosed and treated whenever possible, providing ADA a healthier and safer school environment. CHC-ADA has a current staff of 15, including registered nurses, health aides, technicians, and administrators. Also assisting at the Clinic in a voluntary capacity are Dr. Moses Massaquoi, Country Director for the Clinton Global Foundation, who serves as CHC-ADA’s covering doctor; and Dr. Johnny Sokleh Montgomery, who is on call and often handles major cases.
On November 14, 2016, ADAF sponsored a benefit for African Dream Academy, with a premiere pre-screening of Harvey Weinstein's Oscar buzzing film, LION, at the Paris Theater. First treated to cocktails and refreshments at the theater, guests enjoyed the movie’s very moving story of a five-year old child of India who survives extreme poverty and difficult circumstances through his courage and the opportunity to receive a good education. This story, which strongly correlates with African Dream Academy’s mission, made a strong impact on ADAF’s audience of donors and friends. The Foundation thanks all those who attended the event, which raised over $31,000 for ADA students.
Santa Claus To Make Surprise Visit To ADA
Thanks to Santa’s helpers from the Brick Church School, the First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, New Jersey, and many other friends of ADA, all African Dream Academy children will receive their first individual Christmas gifts this December. Among the presents students will be receiving are toys, books, school supplies, health products and an ADA backpack wrapped up in individual red bags. It’s truly wonderful to give back during this holiday season and bring joy to our ADA students. ADAF is deeply grateful to Vice President Lydia Spinelli for coordinating this project and to the generous donors for their time and generosity.
A Spring Night to Remember
May 23rd, 2016, was a night to remember as the ADA Foundation (ADAF) welcomed once again donors and friends into a transformed Watson Hall at the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. Greeted by photographers who snapped their images in front of an ADA Step-and-Repeat banner, guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails and refreshments, dancing, and a silent auction held to benefit the students of ADA. The MC for the evening was CBS News Anchor Maurice DuBois, and special guests included Katie Couric and Dr. Susan Henderson, President of New Jersey City University (NJCU). In her introduction of Dr. Henderson, ADAF President Gracey Stoddard announced that ADAF and NJCU were forming an exciting partnership that would send University teachers and students to Liberia for short periods to enrich ADA’s educational and health services programs. Thanks to our donors, the benefit raised over $90,000 to support ADA’s program.
ADAF Partners with New Jersey City University
The African Dream Academy Foundation (ADAF) is pleased to announce the formation of a partnership with New Jersey City University (NJCU), which will enrich the programs of both ADA and NJCU. The University has fully accredited colleges of arts and sciences and graduate schools in business, education, criminal justice, and health sciences. After several meetings at the NJCU campus this spring between University President Sue Henderson, ADAF President Gracey Stoddard, and other ADAF Board members, it was agreed that NJCU and ADAF would collaborate to support the best possible educational program at ADA and comprehensive health services of CHC-ADA. The first step NJCU will take in this project will be to make a trip to ADA in the spring of 2016 to assess the current program and needs of the school and the clinic. Subsequently, the University will determine what resources and support it can provide, and with ADAF help, realize the goal of empowering Liberia’s children through education and good health.
ADAF Board Welcomes New Director
Blanche Goble Mansfield, Educator and ADAF Board Member
Blanche Mansfield will be visiting ADA in March 2017 with ADAF director Lydia Spinelli to pave the way for high school students from the Nightingale-Bamford School to visit ADA in March of the following year.