The Judy Coslett Learning Center: Giving children a leg up in school – News from Chester Eastside, Inc.

CoslettOver a 25-year period, the late Judy Coslett had a very special love affair with the children of Chester. At the After School and Summer Enrichment Camp Programs of Chester Eastside, Inc., where she was a volunteer, she was always coming up with surprises like a holiday party or a trip to the zoo. And when the gym needed a new floor or a stairway needed repairs, Judy saw to it that it happened.

Now a state-of-the-art computer facility and library bearing her name – the Judy Coslett Learning Center – will help to carry on the work she devoted her life to. At 2:00 P.M., Sunday, February 7, people will come together at Chester Eastside, 301 East 9th Street, Chester, to honor Judy and the many persons who put in many hours helping to build the center. The public is cordially invited.

Computer generated learning

Computers – a necessity in today’s educational environment – provide new ways of letting children learn at their own pace; if, and it’s a big if, the child is fortunate enough to have access to a computer outside of the classroom. It’s all part of something called “computer generated learning.”

Let us say a classroom teacher gives students an assignment in a computer program such as “Study Island” or “First in Math.” In theory, the student will take the work home and continue it on a computer there.

But many Chester families lack that necessary learning tool. There’s an added advantage in using the computers at Chester Eastside: Staff and volunteers are there to help students develop their study skills.

“Whether a child is in need of extra help to stay on course, or can move ahead beyond what is coming out of the classroom, we can individualize the process,” said Kathryn Redd, Director of the Chester Eastside After School Program. For children with energy that can sometimes outpace attention span, accessibility is key. And having a library on premises, along with the computers, makes for easy access to a wide range of
resources.

A lifelong commitment to making a difference

Growing up in Appalachia in the depths of the Great Depression, Judy Coslett knew economic adversity firsthand. Instilled in her from the beginning was an appreciation of the importance of education in freeing people to reach beyond their roots. Of her grandmother’s 13 children, 12 went to college. One family member, who lost his eyesight in a hunting accident. nevertheless became an attorney. And that tradition of commitment to education continues in subsequent generations. Among the volunteers who are the backbone of the After School Program at Chester Eastside is Judy’s granddaughter.

How did Judy, a resident of Media and formerly of Swarthmore, become involved in Chester Eastside 
Ministries in the first place? As so often happens, it was Rev. Bernice Warren who set the wheels in motion.  From that point forward, says Judy’s son, Dr . Branch Coslett, “she was hooked.” The rest, as they say, is history – one that will continue to unfold for years to come.

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By timmreardon