Diversity Award presented to Readiness Center and Sister Paulita Walters
Lake Michigan College presented its annual Diversity Award to the Readiness Center of Benton Harbor, MI, and Sister Paulita Walters, RSM, its founder and executive director. Sister Paulita received the awarded at the college's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration held Monday, Jan. 21.
The LMC Diversity Award is presented annualy to an individual or organization that embraces and values the diversity of the greater community and promotes connections across differences.
Sister Paulita founded the program in 1980 with a $2,000 grant. She had a vision of giving pre-school children the tools they need to succeed in school by creating a nurturing environment and by involving parents. Over the past 33 years, she and her dedicated staff have done just that serving more than 1,000 families and showing significant results. For example, their studies have shown that 90 percent of the children participating perform up to their ability and the high school graduation rate of their graduates is 97 percent. Many center graduates go on to college. Their parents also stay involved in their children's education.
Services have grown over the years as well. Today, the Readiness Center also has an after-school program for teens and a program in which young adults tutor and mentor younger children and are compensated for half of their time. The center also offers parent and adult education.
To learn more about the center, visit their website at http://www.readinesscenterinc.org/