Future Education Center gets boost from city

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

A business that strives to help others achieve their goals got a little boost from the city of Selma Monday morning.

The Future Education Center, which sells teacher supplies and offers kindergarten through 12th grade personalized tutoring, received $1,000 from the city’s Economic Development Initiative.

Email newsletter signup

The grants are an effort designed to “help businesses that want to come downtown and do business,” said Mayor James Perkins Jr., who presented the check to Future Education Center owner Garfield Clarke.

“We pray for your great success in your business,” Perkins said.

Clarke and his wife Galina – along with children, Jozef and Ulyana – relocated to Selma from Florida about a year ago. Both are former teachers and opened the center as a way to “make sure students get what they need,” he said.

Clarke said the education center has truly been a family project, and he thanked everyone involved for making it possible.

“We want to be an asset in every way,” he said. “And we want to benefit the children here.”

The Center’s motto is Aspire and Achieve through Confidence and Character. Parents can make appointments between the hours of 3:45 to 7:30 p.m. for their child to come in for a free assessment. Then, working with teacher support, teachers prescribe a personalized program for the students.

The computer lab/learning center has more than a dozen desks, each with its own computer. The area is designed to be conducive to learning.

There are six to nine week programs with a cost of $20 to $22 a session.

Students come to the center twice a week. “Everything is supported by teachers,” Clarke said.

There is also a Teacher Resource Room, with a library “if they need a little extra help,” he said.

Nine-year-old Daniel Bailey was recently assessed at the Center and was proud to report the results. A student at Craig Elementary School, and the son of a teacher, Bailey said he made a 4 (the highest score) in art and made high scores on the SAT test as well.

This is the second presentation of grant money the city of Selma has presented to a downtown business. The first went to El Ranchero after renovations on their building.

Perkins said he admired the Clarke family’s commitment to the Education Center, and also stressed the importance of the relationship between the business and the Board of Education. “We’re excited about that relationship,” he said.

The Economic Development Initiative is a joint effort between the city of Selma, the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, he said.

“We want the children to know we’re doing this for you,” he told youngsters in attendance at the presentation. “We’re doing it for the children.”

The Future Education Center is located on Broad Street, next to the bus station. For more information or to make an appointment, call 874-1120.