African Based Charter School On Track for Fall Opening

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
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All indications are that Elom International School will open as scheduled next fall. You will remember Mshale first wrote about the planned opening last February. The charter school will have longer school days and “a full day kindergarten”, said its founder, Mrs. Comfort Ofori.
Last Friday, the school’s founder, Ghanaian-born Comfort Ofori, announced that a location has been secured at the Open Door Church in the affluent Maple Grove suburb.


Close to 100 people turned up for a tour of the new facilities last Friday.
While the school will be open to everyone, its focus will have a West African focus. The founder claims that when it opens, it will be the first public school in the nation with such a focus. Most watchers have great confidence in the venture given Mrs. Ofori’s high standards. Her and husband, Will Ofori, are founders of Channel Afrique, a monthly networking gathering of African professionals in Minnesota.


When ELOM opens in the fall, classes will start from kindergarten through third grade. It will expand through grade six by the fall of 2010. Ofori last week revealed however that the expansion may get accelerated based on the many requests received from parents. There are older children in the community that the public would like to have enrolled in the school.


Some of the questions that were raised during last week’s facility tour by those present revolved around transportation. Alvin Irby, facilitator of the school’s Elders’ Council, responded that free transportation will be provided but neighborhoods that will be served will depend on the geographic locations of the students that sign up to attend. That is expected to become clear in the next few weeks as students sign up. Judging by those who were at the tour, the cities of Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Crystal and Maple Grove where the school is located are potential cities that will have bus service.


Learn more about the school at

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the DishNetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president ofВ  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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