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Chester Community Charter School

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 The Precision of Discipline: A Look   Inside Harambee M.Y.A

‘HARAMBEE’ refers to a Kenyan tradition of community self-help that includes teamwork and valuing one’s community. Harambee literally means "PULL IT TOGETHER" in Swahili and is the official motto of the nation of Kenya. 

M.Y.A. means, “Manage Your Attitude. 

At CCCS, Harambee M.Y.A. Child means, “Pull it together and manage your attitude, child.”  

Harambee M.Y.A uses a supportive and encouraging environment to teach positive attitude development, anger management skills, and discipline.  It is a cognitive and behavioral interactive development program designed to educate at-risk youth and provide them with the knowledge and skills that will assist them in identifying their negative behaviors.  The program helps students change those behaviors to become productive members of society.  


Harambee M.Y.A. was created to empower, educate, and enlighten young scholars on a path to wholeness which will continue beyond the school setting and permeate every aspect of their lives.  

“The Harambee M.Y.A. program uses weekly themes to teach students social-emotional skills,” says Ms. Axiotis, 3rd Grade Teacher. “It has created a safe and welcoming environment where my students are comfortable sharing difficult life experiences. Every student is heard, acknowledged and treated with respect.”  

Scholars who successfully complete the program, advance to the M.Y.A. Elite Drill Team, which has become an honor and goal for many at CCCS.  The Drill Team aids in the development of the scholar’s sense of fulfillment and belonging while further expanding their social skills. Through the drill team, students serve as school-community ambassadors performing in campus events, parades and step shows. Positive intervention programs such as Harambee M.Y.A. are necessary in our school community and play a critical role at CCCS by encouraging students to reach their full potential. 

“The Harambee M.Y.A. Program, facilitated by Dr. William “Rocky” Brown III, is a valuable asset to the third-grade scholars and staff of Curiosity Hall,” according to Principal Timika Mills, who has been involved with the program for the past five years.  “This year, participating scholars learned coping strategies which enabled them to manage their stressors in a constructive way. Additionally, scholars that were well behaved or in need of an extracurricular activity were selected to participate in the Drill Team. Each week, the students learned performance drills, practicing with discipline and precision. It was impressive to watch the group of students and to witness their eagerness to demonstrate the skills they learned.”  

“It has a real impact on behavior and behavior has a real impact on learning,”

- Dr. David Clark, CEO

Dr. Brown, a public servant, preacher, counselor and author, is a Chester native who felt a calling to provide guidance to the youth. He witnessed negative attitudes, uncontrollable anger and poor decision making among Chester’s youngest citizens and traced the roots to factors such as the poverty and the often-violent climate surrounding their upbringing. 

Dr. David Clark, CCCS’s CEO, has watched the success of the program and is proud to see it continue at the school.  “It has a real impact on behavior and behavior has a real impact on learning,” he says.  “Furthermore, students who can cope and control their behavior are just going to live happier lives.” 

Dr. Brown believes that educators, parents and other community members must be proactive examples of what it means to be a positive member of society. Dr. Brown’s commitment to CCCS continues to strengthen the bond between school and community.