HISTORY & DIRECTOR
Maralene Ferguson Bates
Sankofa Birds Acrylic on Panel
By: Adiellah Bates
Sankofa Education Services started as Alkebu-Lan Homeschool in 1990. The Founder and Director, Maralene Ferguson Bates (aka Ms. Maatsaellah) found a need to provide a nurturing learning environment for her young children. She wanted them to have the opportunity to be taught in an environment that was tailored to their learning styles, where each student was treated as an individual and parent participation was an integral part of their education. She began homeschooling her children along with the children of other families, friends and neighbors.
Since then, the collective of families grew into a community that was committed to an alternative education style. They lived, taught and emulated the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.”
The present-day vision of Sankofa Education Services continues to evolve with new collaborative and customized services addressing the unique needs of students and families. The growing network of approved tutors and educators expands the personalized academic support to adults, children and families throughout Metro Atlanta.
Over the years, Ms. Bates has varied her education experiences by teaching in a GA Lottery Funded Pre-School, teaching the A Beka curriculum in a Christian academy and tutoring under Title 1 Services for DeKalb County Schools. She currently teaches home school students, tutors privately for Metro Atlanta families and prepares students and adults for standardized testing.
Ms. Bates holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Her credentials include being a Georgia Certified Educator, ITBS and Stanford Test Facilitator, inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, international TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) Certification, Certificate for Teaching Spanish in the Classroom, and GoodBIZ@Goodwill Micro Enterprise Certification. She has also completed the Start:ME Clarkston Business Development Program for 2015.
The name SANKOFA comes from the Adinkra symbol meaning "go back and fetch it." The symbol features a bird reaching back toward its tail feathers. It is a reminder to learn from the past as a guide to the future. The SES logo is an original painting of four interconnected birds by the Founder's eldest daughter, Adiellah.