The Institute for Creative Learners Groundbreaking Ceremony
Published June 17, 2014 at 8:19pm by FOX 34 News
The Institute for Creative Learners is transforming Lubbock's old abortion clinic into a place for children. The non-profit group broke ground on it's second Lubbock campus Tuesday, the former Planned Parenthood building at 67th St. and Indiana.
The institute helps after-school students with learning differences and helps them recognize their full potential.
"The fact that they learn differently, the major disability associated with that is that they're not in the majority. But these children are very smart. They're bright, they're imaginative, they have a higher propensity towards creative than the general public. All we have to do is help them tap into that potential, and help them with academic success while we do so," said Merinda Condra, CEO of Generation Covenant.
Second Annual Generations High Tea
Published February 8, 2014 at 8:41pm by FOX 34 News
It is a tea party, a fashion show and a concert all in one. Adoption Covenant hosted its second annual Generation High Tea to recognize families with adopted members.
"It's an opportunity to share the joy of family, to celebrate family, and also to raise money to support adoption so that we can give that gift to other children," CEO and Founder Merinda Condra said.
"It goes towards helping to make adoption more affordable for families here in Lubbock and throughout the United States," High Tea Chairperson Cindy Taylor said. "Anybody that will work with Adoption Covenant, hopefully it's going to end up helping the little kids that are looking for forever homes."
The tea party had music performances by the Cactus Kids featuring the students of Terri Caldwell music, and a fashion show by Brenda Becknall and Dillard's. These families brought multiple generations of adopted members, even a family with four generations.
"We had a great-grandma, a grandma, a mom and a baby. All of those people coming together, and we hope that they will come every year," Condra said.
Last year alone, Adoption Covenant placed 55 children in forever homes. Since it's inception in 2003, they have placed 300 children with loving families. Women and children dressed to impress, with hats and gloves in true tea party fashion.
"It was just a really good opportunity to come together and celebrate adoption," Taylor said.
"When it comes down to it, family is the building block for society. Family is what matters. Family is who you call when you're happy, when you're sad, when you need someone to help you, when you need somebody to tell you you're messing up, it's your family. We believe that every child deserves to have that family. No one should go through life never belonging to someone. We want to provide that for as many children as we can. We believe that's how you change the world," Condra said.
The Institute for Creative Learners - Helping Children With Learning Differences
Published November 19, 2013 at 8:43pm by FOX 34 News
It is a cutting edge way to maximize the potential of children with learning disabilities. A new program is combining art, technology and science right here in Lubbock. Imagine a place where children with learning disabilities, like dyslexia or ADHD, can really learn and have fun at the same time.
"And really, we call it a learning disability, it's a learning difference," Merinda Condra, CEO of Generation Covenant said. "The only thing that makes it a disability, is it's not the majority."
It is called "The Institute for Creative Learners." It is staffed by licensed dyslexia therapists who are able to tailor the teaching method to the child, rather than the child adjusting to the education.
"So rather than a classroom teacher with thirty students having to spend six months to figure out that this child is having difficulty with, say the long "e". We know immediately. And we can provide individual instructions to that one child on that one issue, and let them progress," Condra said.
"I feel different at school because when I go over some stuff, and it's all noisy, tapping pencils and everything. And when I come here it's just all quiet, and calm. And I concentrate more," Fifth grader Nathan Minns said. Minns said that since starting the after-school program, his grades have dramatically improved. "I'm prepared for my test. I'm like, 'Nate, you can do this.' And when I get my test back, it's like 100, 95. And I'm like, 'wow!' That really helps me," Minns said.
"Here, I get a little bit more help than at school," Fourth grader Emma Condra said. Emma struggles with big class sizes and generic lesson plans. "I don't really understand when they explain it. But here, I really understand and they bring it out to me. Then I get higher and better grades in school," Emma said.
Erin Lucio brought her five-year-old son Nicolas to the program. He has dyslexia. She is impressed by how much the teachers motivate him. "It's very hands-on," Lucio said. "Much more than school. He just gets it here. Because, you know, at his age there's nowhere to go. You don't know where to take him, what to do, who to call. You know there's a problem, but you don't know where to go. This is it!"
The kids do thirty minutes of homework, thirty minutes of art or science, then an hour of one-on-one instruction.
"We want them to have fun, and not even know that they're learning," Condra said. "That's what's happening!"
When Generation Covenant took over the old Planned Parenthood building, it also assumed 240-thousand dollars of debt. Another 150-thousand dollars in renovations will be necessary to bring the building up to specs. So, there is great need for financial support.
First Ever Generations Tea
Published February 7, 2013 at 10:27am by FOX 34 News
It's tea time! Adoption Covenant is hosting the first ever Generations Tea event. Included in the elegant affair is a vintage tea lunch, style show, a candy bar buffet, ballet entertainment and professional photography. The tea part is at the Lubbock Women's Club and monies raised from ticket sales will be used to help Adoption Covenant with community outreach and helping special needs children find forever families.
Adoption Covenant is a non-profit that started in 2003 by Lawyer Merinda Condra. For ten years the organization has been providing assistance to women with unplanned pregnancies and helping children find permanent and loving families.
The tea extravaganza is a way to support Adoption Covenant and also to celebrate family values.