Local group offering free tutoring to young students

Published 9:47 am Monday, September 19, 2016

Young students who have fallen behind in school are being offered a new outlet for learning.

The Versatile Civic and Social Club is now offering free reading and mathematics tutorial workshops for students in pre-K through third grade.

“We’re not promising to work miracles, but we’re just going to work with them and see what they can do to help them,” club president Helen Caldwell said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

She said the workshop is not meant to be homework assistance — meaning the club doesn’t help the student with their homework, but instead tutors them on basic math and reading skills to get them working on grade level and to improve their testing scores on the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment.

The workshops are every Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Mount Calvary M.B. Church, 1350 East Ave.

“What we are targeting is to upgrade the students who are falling behind, who are not adequately prepared for the testing that they take in the spring,” Caldwell said. “We’re trying to give them the skills they need …We want to try to bring them up to par.”

The club chose to provide this service to help ensure students get promoted to the next grade level. The club members themselves, some of whom are retired educators, will be providing instruction to the students through small group activities.

The program is for pre-K through third grade but they are flexible.

“If a fourth grader comes, we’re not going to turn he or she away,” she said.

Students are provided a snack at the beginning of each meeting and are not required to apply or register to attend the workshops.

“All we’re asking the parents to do is to bring the child there at 4 p.m. and pick him or her up at 5:30 p.m. That’s all you have to do. We’re providing the materials, we’re proving the service of working with them and we’re providing the snack,” Caldwell said.

The club itself is funding the service with the help of donations from area churches and organizations. This is the first time the club has offered the workshop to students, and they plan to continue meeting at least through the end of the fall semester. If there is still a need, Caldwell said the club would consider continuing the workshops in the spring semester.

“Our intent is to provide it as long as we have parents who are willing to bring their children,” Caldwell said.

At their first meeting Tuesday, Caldwell said there were nine students and Wednesday there were five. London King, 6, a first grade student said she attended both Tuesday and Wednesday and learned a few things at the workshop.

“Our tutor timed us to see how many words in a sentence we could say,” King said. First-grader Guincy Watson, 6, said he enjoyed his time at the workshop and that he liked to learn, and first grader Landen Burks, 6, agreed.

“We read and did sentences and we wrote,” Burks said.

Second grader Evrick Dotson, 8, said he learned math facts and sight words.

“I feel good,” Dotson said about attending the workshop.

For additional information, call 601-638-1151, 601-636-4261 or 601-629-7294.