LA CASA, an after school program created by Kelley Williams at a learning center on 86th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, believes that the recent rise of Catholic school closings will affect many minority families. Williams says by creating LACASA, she hopes to give minority families the same opportunities and allow them to access the same experiences as other children.
“Just because a program is free, it does not mean it has to be poor quality” – Ms. Kelly, LACASA Founder
Kelly said this on our class trip to the Hostos Community Center to learn about LACASA’s history and purpose. LACASA is a free after-school program for younger kids. Kelly believes that children’s future depends on the help of the older generations. We took the pictures of the children’s progress (Photos of them working). There were a couple of programs that they offer such as fencing and martial arts to protect themselves from bullying. They required knowing these arts of self-defense because of the type of community they were surrounded by both in their neighborhood and schools.
After she gave an explanation of the history and purpose, there was a point in time where we were allowed to ask questions. I decided to ask, “How was the program changed through about five years, how has the neighborhood changed in the past 10 years.” She said that the program hasn’t exactly changed much because the new program has only opened at September. Kelly said the neighborhood has changed due to the fact that it is mostly a rich neighborhood now. This is how the neighborhoods are changing. The rent prices rise and new people move in.