Aspira Academy Utilizes Campus Day Care for Student Moms

John Phillips and Yvette Sparrow (and Olney Charter HS student)

Aspira Academy Program Manager John Phillips with student Yvette Sparrow (on his left) and an Olney Charter High School student (on his right).

Among the students who find a welcoming home to complete their high school education at Camelot schools are teenage parents who often have to drop out to take care of their babies.

Those young parents at Aspira Academy in Philadelphia are now getting additional support to raise their children while finishing school. A brand new Childcare Center opened at the transitional school this month.  The center provides students and employees with reliable and secure childcare during school hours.

“Having a child care center inside the school helps out tremendously with attendance,” said Executive Director Drew Stem. “Students can bring their child right to school, and attend school.”

Aspira Academy’s doors open at 7:45. The daycare opens at 7:15. The school day ends at 3:45. The daycare is open until 4:30. So student moms are covered at both ends of the day.

“This is an awesome idea,” said Aspira Academy Program Manager John Phillips. “I know how difficult childcare can be as an adult. I couldn’t imagine being a high school student with a child. It’s just so convenient. You get your education and don’t have to worry where your child is.”

Student Yvette Sparrow, 18, is taking advantage of the center for her five-month-old son.

“I know that my child is safe and accessible to me and I’m able to give my attention to my education,” Yvette said.  “I work at night and get home at 3:00 in the morning and have to get ready to be in school by 8:00. We get ready, get on the bus and go to school. I drop him off and go straight to my classes, so that’s the process that’s working for me right here in my school.”

Yvette says before the center opened she would just stay home from school if she couldn’t find a babysitter. Other times her son’s father would help out. But now that’s no longer an issue. She drops by to see her son at noon each day and get an update on how he’s doing.

Yvette was in jeopardy of not finishing school this year because of her absences. Now she is scheduled to graduate in June.

“My teachers motivate me every day to make sure I get to school on time. They let me know they’ve got my back. I know that we’re a family and if I need them they will always be here for me and they always are.”

 

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