posted January 18, 2012

Lecture on Elementary School in Watts

The Watts Learning Center, a public charter elementary school in inner-city Los Angeles, will be the focus of an address at Hope College on Monday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The Watts Learning Center provides high-quality, high-standards education to 350 kindergarten through fifth-grade students.  The presentation, “An Exciting Educational Partnership: Embracing the Challenge of Disbelief,” will be by Gene and Sandra Fisher, who hold leadership roles with the center, and is scheduled as the second annual Darell and Mary Schregardus Diversity Lecture of the college’s Phelps Scholars Program.

Gene Fisher is a founding member and president of the Watts Learning Center Board of Directors.  He is an environmental scientist who has held positions addressing environmental and health needs in the U.S. and Africa.

Sandra Fisher is executive director of the Watts Learning Center.  She has also served as a teacher and principal with the Los Angeles Public Schools.

The Fishers are also members of Park Hills Community Church, a congregation of the Reformed Church in America, the college’s parent denomination.

The Phelps Scholars Program is an academic program for first-year students interested in learning about issues of race and culture. They take one course together each semester, live in the same residence hall, participate in discussions and workshops, take part in service projects and engage in various social activities.

The program’s annual Darell and Mary Schregardus Diversity Lecture Series has been made possible by a fund endowed by Darell and Mary Schregardus of Holland.  Darell Schregardus is a 1963 Hope graduate who served the college as director of counseling and assistant dean for health and counseling from 1988 to 2003.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.