CHAT: Churchill Activities and Tutoring
In the Spring of 2010, I had the privilege of documenting the first graduation at the Churchill Academy; a small, private faith-based high school in the economically-stratified Churchill neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. This school of 18-to-20 very high-risk students watched as three seniors received their diplomas. The moment marked a visible success achieved with the support, love and hard work of a whole community of people. CHAT, or Churchill Activities and Tutoring, is the non-profit that founded the high school, and has been dedicated to the children of the community for years.
Founders, Percy and Angie Strickland, use their home as a hub of learning, love and chaos. They decided they would move to Churchill in 2000 to earnestly learn how to be true neighbors, exist among people who were different from themselves, and personify the scriptures they were studying. After children began to consistently show up on their doorstep, the couple recruited friends and co-workers to establish an after-school tutoring program. Since its inception, the effort has grown, and now volunteers from around the city serve as tutors on "The Hill" a few times a week. Along with plenty of empathy for the young students, services include reading help with children of all ages, and homework assistance.
It was an honor to document the stories of Sam, Monique and Essence, and to bear witness to how much they overcame leading up to their graduation from Churchill Academy.
All content produced by Eva Russo and ©Richmond Times-Dispatch