Saturday School Welcomes New Executive Director

New Executive Director Khadija Barkley to begin on July 1

The Saturday School/George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy will welcome Khadija Barkley as the new Executive Director on July 1, 2015. Ms. Barkley is currently an administrator with Montgomery County Public Schools, where she has served the past six years as Principal of the Roberto W. Clemente Middle School in Germantown.

With experience in educational leadership and program development, as well as fundraising, Ms. Barkley is well poised to lead Saturday School in expanding its programs to more students and increasing the community's awareness about its continued success.

Khadija Barkley


The Catalogue of Philanthropy

Catalogue of Philanthropy

Saturday School included in the Catalogue of Philanthropy of Greater Washington

Saturday School is honored to be included, again, as a vetted charity of the Greater Washington area.

From the Catalogue of Philanthropy:

"At the George B. Thomas Learning Academy, education takes a "back to basics" approach. Most of the 3,000 Montgomery County 1st through 12th graders who attend belong to minority, low-income, or English-as-a-Second-Language families - and they trail their more affluent peers in achievement. The Academy works to reverse this trend."

"The method? Intensive, targeted tutoring in math, reading, and test-taking skills for two and one-half hours at "Saturday School," from October through May, with certified teachers and trained volunteers. To make sure the kids are getting the support they need, the Academy requires parent engagement in workshops on homework help, college preparation, and internet safety. Each year, the Academy meets with school system representatives to ensure that tutoring complements schoolwork; and every semester, tutors analyze report cards and adjust the next semester's studies. And it pays off: 80% of students complete the program having reached their goal of grade-level proficiency. The Academy estimates that 16,000 more county students could benefit from Saturday School. Donors, let's make room for them!"


Executive Director Michael Thomas Retiring

Michael Thomas

Michael A. Thomas will retire as Executive Director of Saturday School/GBTLA at the end of June

Michael has led the programs of the George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy for 10 years, the capstone of a 35-year career in education.

Appointed as Executive Director in 2005, Michael has overseen all of GBTLA programs and services, including its signature program, Saturday School, which expanded during his tenure to now serve over 3,200 Montgomery County students annually.

Prior to joining Saturday School, Michael was principal of Westbrook Elementary School and served as an administrator on both the middle and high school levels while a part of Montgomery County Public Schools. Upon his appointment as Executive Director of GBTLA in 2005, former Superintendent Jerry D. Weast stated, “His successful experiences as an instructional leader will be critical in moving MCPS forward in implementing our strategic plan, specifically in the area of strengthening productive partnerships for education."

Michael earned a Masters of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision from Howard University and holds a B.S. in Fine Arts Education from Virginia State University. He is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Montgomery.


Saturday School 21st Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Saturday School In the News

Saturday School Program Aids in Student Development

by Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Published February 24, 2015

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education stands alone as the only source of critical news, information and insightful commentary on the full range of issues concerning diversity in American higher education.

Excerpt ... see full article here: Diverse article on Saturday School

" ... Upward of 3,000 students—or roughly 2 percent of the nearly 154,000 students in the increasingly diverse Montgomery County Public Schools system—attend the Saturday School that is run by the nonprofit George B. Thomas, Sr., Learning Academy.

Program supporters say the Saturday School, which relies on paid teachers and college students as volunteer tutors, could benefit the world of higher education in numerous ways if it were to be replicated—something that is beginning to happen.

The program, which runs from October through April of the school year, operates on about $1.4 million a year, which translates to about $467 per student.

The program serves students in grades 1 through 12. Most of the participants at the high school level are “moderate to high-achieving” minority students. More than half are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and, for many, English is a second language.

Leonard Haynes, a board member of the academy that runs the Saturday School, said a primary benefit of the Saturday School is that it helps K-12 students set their sights on higher learning.

“Students participating in the Saturday School are exposed to college students who can encourage their aspiration to do their best and put going to higher education high on their agenda,” said Haynes, who is also a senior administrator in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

Haynes said the Saturday School also provides an important “clinical experience” for college students who are aspiring to become teachers.

The program, which began in 1986 with just 21 students and 19 volunteers, is associated with higher student GPAs and might be helping to boost college entrance exam scores, said Michael A. Thomas, executive director of the George B. Thomas, Sr., Learning Academy, Inc.

The academy was founded by George B. Thomas, Sr., former Voorhees College president, and his fellow members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc..."



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