Children sell success of Creative Advancement Center

Published on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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Olivia Bonilla received a robust applause after reading her essay on what the Creative Advancement Centers mean to me.

Olivia Bonilla received a robust applause after reading her essay on what the Creative Advancement Centers mean to me.

Olivia Bonilla, a second grade student at Crestview Elementary, was all the testimony the Creative Advancement Centers (CAC) needed Friday during its annual Awards banquet at City Hall.

Olivia, standing a wee bit taller than a year ago when she needed a chair to look over the lectern, was offered it again by Dan Dudley, Director of the Greer CAC. She politely declined and read a letter she composed to poignantly describe the benefits she receives from the after school program.

The community investors in the program also honored Greer Mayor Rick Danner and Greenville County Schools Superintendent Dr. Phinnize Fisher for their roles in supporting the CAC program and education.

“We’re creating dancers, writers and the love of learning,” Fisher said. “The Creative Advancement Center is a rewarding place to go. You give children many different opportunities until it all comes together and they learn ‘this is what I want to do and what I want to be.’”

Olivia was among a group of children reading, singing and dancing during the luncheon. The performances showcased the learning experiences gained by having someplace to go after school for children.  Some children wrote about feeling safe and enjoying the learning environment.

The Creative Advancement Centers provide free after school tutoring and activities for children grades 1-12. Children get one hour of tutoring with homework with certified teachers, followed by varied arts/crafts/physical activity and a meal.

The program has grown from 28 students the first year to 49 the second, 78, 97 and this year has 103 students attending with a waiting list.

Dudley said he has seen improvement from the students with the supervised studies and activities. Thirty-seven students made honor roll this year while others have improved their grade point averages.

Other students who read or danced Friday at City Hall:

Amoni Height
Cassandra Ramos-Baretto
Maria Bonilla
Destiny Pena
Krishani Jones, dance

 Olivia’s letter read to the guests:

What does Creative Advancement Centers mean to me:

Creative Advancement Centers means to me that it is a kind and awesome place. I don’t know what yall guys are thinking but you should come to this after school program. This is a great after school program because some people go to the program that you know from school.

If you’re wondering how we get to the program this is how we do it. If you go to Chandler Creek you get on a regular bus and the bus driver will drive you here. If you go to Crestview Elementary like I do, you will ride Mr. Dan’s bus or Ms. Jakie’s car.

If you have homework the teachers will help you do your homework. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays we have food from Peggy’s. Fridays and Thursdays we have something different. On Fridays we have pizza, and on Thursdays we have hamburgers or hotdogs. When we get to the after school program we play about a half an hour. We sometimes go on fieldtrips like: basketball games, football games, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. Now we are going to Charleston on April 2nd. I can’t wait!

If you are hearing this, this is a good daycare for your children to go to, trust me. I hope yall will love the daycare as much as I do. Thank you!

Olivia Bonilla
Second Grade
Crestview Elementary



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