October 4, 2005
Community members are giving up their time to teach a group of elementary school students in a diverse community.
"It's helping me on my reading. I used to get lower grades; now I'm getting good grades," said student Larry Londeree.
Larry is one of the 5th graders tutored by the Grad Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. These students attend Greer Elementary School which is fully accredited and made AYP.
"Teachers tell us that they believe that there are several children who will pass the writing SOLs that normally would not have passed it if we had not been working with them," said Jackie Perry Greer Ivy AKAdemy tutor.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is a historically African American sorority, however, the students they teach are as diverse as the school they attend.
"Greer has one of the most diverse populations of students anywhere in Central Virginia," said Pamela Moran Assistant Superintendent in Albemarle County.
To many students at Greer, English is a second language, which makes the new reading tutoring program that much more important.
The First Book Program gives students just that--their first book to start their own library.
"We try to instill in them the desire to read, hoping that they will catch a fire with the idea of reading and want to read on their own," said Perry.
The seven tutors also help in math, social studies, or whatever a student needs.
"My homework so I won't get an F or a zero," said 5th grader De Mallory.
The students are hand-picked by their teachers and meet with the women every Tuesday for an hour. There are 15 students in the program at Greer.