The Creative Learning Academy (CLA) is a collaboration between the New York City Department of Education and Weeks Educational and Social Advocacy Project, Inc. (WESAP). A nonprofit formed in 2010 to promote education as a fundamental human right, WESAP was founded by Dr. Aurelia L. Curtis to operate programs in her birth country of Liberia, and her New York City home of over 40 years. A retired NYC Public School education, Dr. Aurelia L. Curtis, now leads the Creative Learning Academy, as its Executive director.

Overseen by experienced educators, CLA is based on the philosophy that students who feel safe, valued and understood will be engaged to explore further learning. Teachers differentiate instruction based on children’s needs, building time for collaborative planning.


A New York City Educator for over 30 years, Dr. Curtis, is a well-known educator and neighborhood advocate, who served as a principal during most of her 31-year career with local city schools. She is joined by other outstanding former principals as co-directors, along with highly qualified teachers and staff.

executive director

Dr. Aurelia Curtis

EDUCATION director,
staten island

Barbara Monaco

With 18 years of experience, Lara holds an MS in Childhood Education, BA in Educational Administration and a post-graduate diploma in Business Administration. Her interests include the empowerment of youth and women; educational solutions-policy; and the institutionalization of Pan-Africanism. She has worked closely with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Center for Global Education of UNESCO, and the Institute For Multicultural Communications Cooperation and Development, Inc. Prior to this position, she worked in childhood education in the Bronx, NY.

ASST. EDUCATION director, staten island

Beauty (Lara) Jinadu

Our teachers work in partnership with staff, parents and the community to nurture the whole child, and build student strengths, backgrounds and interests.