Vera Court Neighborhood Center launches Vera Vision 2020

Published: Apr. 24, 2017 at 6:12 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WTMV) -- For 22 years, the Vera Court Neighborhood Center has been serving its community, helping five thousand people and now it’s time to grow.

Monday, the center launched its Vera Vision 2020 campaign to double the center's size and help close the achievement gap of its students.

"We want to make sure we have books and it equipment we want to make sure we have tutors," said Executive Director Thomas Solyst.

Solyst said for the 2.2 million dollar campaign more than half has been raised already. The campaign covers the cost of the expansion and four years of programing until 2020.

"Our goal is that you come here at any time in the next couple years, all our kids will be reading at grade level and their math skills will be at grade level or greater," said Solyst.

"I moved here almost seven years today with my kids. I have five kids and we were form Cameroon, Africa,” said Hortence Nguipet.

When Nguipet moved into the neighborhood, she said her family had a tough time communicating.

"My first child she was 11 at the time, no English, speaking only French. Her first day at school, she cried because she got a test to write and she didn't know what to say and she cried,” Nguipet said.

However, since then she said the center has made a big difference in the lives of her kids.

"She's graduating this year from high school and she's been doing great," said Nguipet.

95 percent of the population the center serves is low-income. Some of the programs include free after school services, summer camps, services for families and 15 thousand meals a year.

Copyright 2017: WMTV