When eighth-grader Naima Coleman isn’t in her classes at the Mary McLeod Bethune School, she is participating in school activities or helping her teachers.
“I came to Bethune when I was in sixth grade, so I’ve been a student here for three years now,” Naima said. “Since being a student here my experience has been pretty good. In addition to the teachers and programs, one of the things I like about the school is the fact that a lot of the students, staff, and teachers look like me.
“I noticed right away when I came here that my culture is represented in every classroom and throughout the school,” she added. “That means a lot to me and it’s really nice because it wasn’t like that at all at my previous school.”
In her spare time, Naima loves to write stories. She also participates in a couple activities. She’s the assistant coach of Philadelphia Youth Basketball (PYB) and she is the foundation leader in student council.
“I love writing,” Naima said. “I don’t write poetry, but I do write a lot of fictional stories. In addition to writing, I also participate in two different activities. Some of the things that I do as the assistant coach at PYB include preparing papers and printing out different things. I’m at every practice and I try to help Mr. Will out anyway I can.
“In student council, as a foundation leader I’m planning trips for the end of the year for the school yearbook,” she added. “It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work. As a committee, we’re also trying to change the school as a whole. We want to continue to make it a better community for students so that they will learn and want to come here.”
While Naima has narrowed down her choices of high school she would like to attend, she said she will be ready for her next journey because of the experiences she had at Bethune.
“I want to go to either Central or Academy of Palumbo for high school,” Naima said. “This school is helping me prepare for high school through my teachers. We have great teachers here who really care about us.
“They also can be hard on us at times, but that’s a good thing because it will be hard in high school,” she added. “They make sure we’re fully prepared both in and outside of the classroom. Having them, in combination with my parents has helped give me a better understanding of what my next experience will be like in high school.”