6/18/2014 6:00:00 AM Tutoring program to aid 150 kids
By STEVEN THOMAS Staff Reporter
About 150 students are expected to participate in this year's summer tutoring program at Westside Community Center in an effort to spark improvements in math, reading, reading comprehension and vocabulary.
The program will get underway July 7 and continue Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through July 31.
Executive Director Leroy Clemons said they expect to have 150 students in attendance this year, the maximum capacity for the center.
If this occurs it will be the fourth straight year of growth since the program started in 2011.
Clemons said they only expected 60 students to attend that first year but 90 showed up.
For the past two years, they only expected 90 students to attend and over 120 participated.
"I'm excited," Clemons said.
The program began in 2011 as a summer program for members of the Neshoba Youth Coalition which was started in October 2010.
The tutoring program is for students in kindergarten to sixth grade. Anyone interested in signing up their children can do so on July 2 at Westside Community Center. Applications will be accepted throughout the day.
Tutoring the students will be members of the youth coalition, college students and four certified teachers, Clemons said.
"There will be a 3-to-1 ratio between students and tutors," he said. "There will be about 50 tutors altogether."
Students attending the program will be tutored in math, reading, reading comprehension and vocabulary.
There will be a lot of returning students from last year, Clemons said.
"We're targeting those students that are at risk or struggling," he said.
With the expectation of reaching their maximum capacity, Clemons says their only challenge now is funding.
Funding for the program will be provided this year from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
"We've been told the funds will be there but as of right now they're not in hand," Clemons said, noting that the funds are expected in by July 7.
Despite this, Clemons is determined to keep the program on schedule.
We will be prepared to start in July, he said.
The Kellogg Foundation is a new source of funding for the program.
Clemons said his past work with the foundation led to the funding.
"We've done all the paperwork and now we're waiting on the funds," he said.
Summer tutoring is credited with the Philadelphia schools improving from a "D" to a "C" last year under the state Department of Education's accountability model.
The program is also taking donations which can be dropped off at Jerusalem Temple at 414 Ivy St.
They may also contact Mary Griffin at 601-656-5339 or Clemons at 601-504-3980.