RICHMOND - A program that started out in a couple's home 12-years ago is now reaching kids who live on just about every street -- helping them to be Positively Richmond.
Church Hill Activities and Tutoring -- known as CHAT to the kids who come here – serves children ages 2 1/2 to 18 by giving them education and opening doors that sets them up to succeed.
Angie Cooke is the director of Tiny Tykes, CHAT's program for pre-schoolers. She's helping to advance the dream of current CEO Percy Strickland and his wife Angie.
The Stricklands moved to Church Hill more than a decade ago. The crime rate was sky high and many kids didn't have anywhere to go after school.
So Percy and Angie opened their doors to anyone who needed help with their homework and CHAT was born.
It officially moved to Q Street in 2008, serving 450 kids ever since.
"We do art, do letters and learn," says student Kalia Hardison.
"Fostering that love of learning really helps them if you do it from the beginning they're going to carry that with them for the rest of their lives," Cooke says. "That's our hope."
Cooke says there's plenty of learning during daytime and after school sessions, but CHAT is about more than teaching. It's about experiencing. Classrooms are as diverse as the neighborhood where these children live.
"The children can really get the benefit of having adults that are in their lives, building those relationships with them and trying to help them set themselves up for success later on in their life."
CHAT recently won the region's amazing raise fundraiser. It's putting the nearly $76,000 it received back into the program to help even more at-risk youth.
That's why CHAT -- The Church Hill Activities and Tutoring Program is Positively Richmond.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
301 Arboretum Place, Richmond
Can't find something?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.