Believe and Achieve Christian Childcare and Preschool Graduation Day
By Kaylee Davis Sentinel Intern
On Sunday, Believe and Achieve Christian Childcare and Preschool held an elaborate graduation and awards ceremony for their small achievers. Ms. AnnMarie Gentry, founder of Believe and Achieve, aspired to "go all out" for the children like a proud grandmother, her own grandchildren in far off Missouri. Gentry accomplished her mission.
The ceremony opened with prayer, followed by an adorable dance performance by the children. They spun and shook their little hips to "FAME," ending with a glitter finale. Ms. Benita Knight then sang "The Greatest Love" in the spirit of the event.
Donning yellow and blue caps and gowns, the boisterous class of 2010 marched in proudly, greeting the audience with a song that included the line, "I respect myself and others at all times." Continuing honorees included students Carson, Kason, and Micah; the pre-school graduates were Mhina, Dashia, and Lauryn. Most of these gifted children began reading at ages as young as 3. They displayed their "smarts" throughout the ceremony. The children counted, spelled, recited the months of year, days of the week, seasons, and states. They each read a portion of a story He Runs. The graduates also sang a number of songs including "Kindergarten, Here We Come."
Ten-year-old Atreev Guynes served as keynote speaker, he confided before the speech, "I think I was chosen because I have a lot of confidence and skill in speaking." That, he did. Audience members were clearly impressed as he advised the graduates to honor their fathers and mothers and how to believe and achieve. Guynes proved a strong role model to the young students; the fifth grader loves to learn and has already visited a couple of college campuses. His mother, Verta Guynes, realizes his unique talents, modestly sharing, "I attribute it to my parents. A lot of times it's the generation before the parents who planted that seed."
The ceremony concluded with awards including perfect attendance, most improved in academics, teacher's helper, and best behavior. Parents and supporters also received recognition from Gentry, who gushed, "This is the best group of parents...full of generosity and love."
Gentry and staff pride themselves in treating the children as their own. Believe and achieve Christian Childcare and Preschool is a special environment, which was evident in their graduation and awards celebration. Gentry expressed, "They [the children] leave here equipped for life." Their programs help the children discover their own talents and gifts at a young age. Gentry explained, "We affirm that each child is special and unique. They recite an affirmation, 'I Am a Beautiful Child.'"
Believe and Achieve focuses on providing the student with conflict resolution skills, and Gentry stressed, "We make learning fun." Gentry is confident in the school's success in providing students with fundamental skills in academics and beyond. She hopes to expand her school to kindergarten in the near future. Believe and Achieve is located at 3456 West 73rd St., Los Angeles, 90043. The school and childcare can be reached at (323)753-1896.