On a crisp Saturday morning (November 14, 2015), parents, children, friends, and supporters strolled to NOC’s Marsh Pointe Learning Center. This was a special day for the community and nothing would stop the children from participating. The atmosphere was festive.
Every day, more than 25 children come to this Learning Center, which operates outside regular school hours afternoons, weekends, and summer. NOC’s model of innovative partnership brings the school’s learning platform, curriculum, teachers, and technology, together with volunteers to improve children’s achievement, attendance, and behavior, and parent and family engagement. Children receive healthy snacks and juice as a component of this learning program. Incentives and regular consultations with parents and guardians are new features to improve academic performance.
Speeches were made by several leaders (Narendra P. Sharma, Founder & Chair, NOC; Jeffrey Moss, BSCD Superintendent; Bill Evans, Community Leader; Angela Childers, Director, Beaufort County Housing Authority; and Alice Howard, Councilwoman). Mayor Billy Keyserling led the ribbon cutting ceremony. He remarked that the children and parents ultimately will be the winners. Bill Evans noted that “the most essential and enduring piece of the NOC Model is the use of technology and local teachers who come into the child’s community to work with them.” Angela Childers said that she and her staff are already seeing evidence of the positive impact of NOC’s program on learning and behavior. Alice Howard remarked that we need to create similar opportunities for other children who come from a poverty background. Narendra Sharma concluded that the future of our country depends on how we invest in our children and how we prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.