Summer school is in session! I know what you’re thinking - “Summer school? Sounds like a drag.” The ear-to-ear smiles on these five, six, and seven year-old students’ faces would make you question all of your preconceived notions of summer school. Charmaine (known as Ms. Moses when she walks through the sunflower yellow door) gives these students plenty to smile about, ensuring a balance of education, playtime and the always underrated nap time.

Ms. Moses in front of the sunflower yellow door

Charmaine and her husband ran a school together for twenty-eight years. After he passed away a few years ago, Charmaine had to start over. Charmaine is community-centric and when she started a school last year, her community was in full support. Charmaine explains her drive to help children through a story of a family member learning to walk.

When her stepson was learning to walk, his family put a ball in his hand. Every time he held the ball, he was able to focus and take a few steps forward. When the family asked him to walk without the ball, he would take a step and fall as he’d lost his focus. Charmaine’s vision for the future of education is her ball. It keeps her focused and on the right path to achieving her goal.

Charmaine and her students

Now that she has successfully run her own school for a year, Charmaine is looking to expand. She found a building she wanted to rent a year ago, but did not have the funding to make it happen. With a Kiva Zip loan, Charmaine plans to rent space in the building (which is fortunately still available!) so that she can teach more students in her community in Brooklyn. According to the Mayor’s census, Charmaine’s neighborhood in East Flatbush (for a non-Brooklynite like myself, this is deep Brooklyn where public transportation means buses, not subways) is a high need area and an important one for her to continue supporting. Ultimately, she hopes to open more schools in high need areas throughout Brooklyn and continue to administer these schools. Having twenty-eight years of teaching experience makes Charmaine an even more valuable administrator.

Since her husband's passing, Charmaine has faced many challenges, but has found a way to overcome them and adjust to life on her own. Through her struggles, she has seen the importance of having a support system of friends. Always eager to help others, Charmaine plans to start a widows ministry to provide support to widows in her community.

Charmaine and two graduating students

Over the years, Charmaine has been able to teach students of all ages. Her individualized program has proven to be effective for children who are struggling with an open teaching setting. She is proud of this program as it addresses her students’ weaknesses and make them strengths.

Reminiscing about nap time? Support Charmaine, her students, and their nap time by making a Kiva Zip loan today!

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