TOP OF THE CLASS: Youngsters receive their awards at last year's ceremony
MORE THAN 100 children in Waltham Forest are to be honoured at an award ceremony next month.
Youngsters from the Kreative Culture Klub (KCK), which recognises the achievements of young black scholars in the east London borough, will be awarded for excelling in education and the 10th annual Young Gifted and Black awards.
Yvonne Bailey, who founded the organisation in 1998, said giving children a voice was one of the main reasons behind her decision to start KCK.
“I had gone to a conference, which was discussing why black children under achieved and I noticed there were no children on the panel, which seemed odd. So I wanted to ask the children directly, why they were not performing well in schools and I brought the idea back to my club.”
She continued: “At that time there were a lot of things in newspapers about black children under achieving. I got a group together and we got fantastic results from the kids. Some came along to speak about their situation, although they weren’t with the club and I was very impressed with them. So I wanted to award these children for their bravery. The kids were so excited to get the trophies and the parents were just as excited.”
Yvonne explains that although the ceremony started was only supposed to be a one-off, the demand following the initial show saw it transform into an annual event, awarding children in the Waltham Forest area who had achieved five or more A-C GCSE’s or level six SAT’s.
This year Yvonne has added an additional category for children who may not have achieved the highest grades, but have still excelled in other areas.
She said: “At the beginning we only had 30 people children and parents included, but now we have over 800 people participating in each event. We want the young people to be recognised and highlighted, to show the wider society that they are not all the same. Some kids are out there doing well, why are they not getting the recognition, I thought, ‘If you’re not prepared to do it, we will do it.’”
Over the past decade KCK has helped hundreds of students improve their grades at school and provided them with extra curricular activities that help them channel their energy positively once the school gates close.
Despite such successes, Yvonne says that the charity still struggles to secure funding.
“We do not get funding most of the time because councils don’t really fund award ceremonies, in fact we don’t get a lot of funding for most of the things that we do. We’ve had funding three or four times in the ten years that we have been going. In our first year, I went to Waltham Forest and they gave us the hall for free, that was a big plus,” she continued.
She added: “We didn’t get any funding this time, but irrespective of that, we are going to go ahead with the ceremony, because when young people to get on stage and tell the audience, what gave them the confidence to achieve so much, that might motivate others.”
The KCK helps youngsters build self-confidence and motivation through education by utilising motivational speakers, creative arts and black history lessons. It also provides street dance and ballet classes for children from the age of five-years-old.
Kreative Culture Klub’s tenth annual award ceremony will be held on March 9. For more information, visit: www.kckclub.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.