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LINKS to show off new project

Sisters of the Selma Links Inc. have worked with 40 of the third, fourth and fifth grade students of the after school program at Sophia P. Kingston since January, teaching students about etiquette, health issues and finances through Project L.E.A.D., Links Educate, Accommodate and Develop program.

Now advisors want parents to witness firsthand the learning students have received at the sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays by hosting a hands-on workshop at the PTSO meeting at the school on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“They’ll be receiving information and talking about different topics,” said Frances Bumbrey, public relations person for “Project Lead.”

Parents and students can visit the demonstrations about CPR, public speaking and understanding finances, among other stations.

“The parents will be able to see what the children have been doing,” Bumbrey said.

The program targets at-risk students, disadvantaged children and latchkey children, who are children who go home to an empty house because parents are working or otherwise not at home and have little or no parental supervision at home generally.

Links members teach the lessons, about two members per session, and the after school teachers assist in classroom control.

“We feel that interacting with them has been good because many of us are former teachers,” Bumbrey said.

Sessions are 30 minutes each, and Links members teach students about different topics each session, such as etiquette, financial literacy, public speaking, career planning, health and wellness education, and life skills such as self-esteem, respect and leadership.

The program will continue workshop sessions with students three times a week through April.

Bumbrey believes the program has helped students to become more confident.

“They’ll be able to get up in front of a crowd,” Bumbrey said, “Of course, many of them are still bashful, but it will take time.”

To gather official information about the impact of the program, students were given a pre-test to survey their knowledge of etiquette, heath issues and the other themes.

Once the program is completed in April, students will be tested again to see how much of the information they received has been retained.

Links, Inc. is one of the oldest and largest volunteer organizations, comprised of professional women of color. The Selma Chapter is one of 270 in the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.