Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, educators and caretakers alike noticed that children were struggling, falling behind, and needed help. From this need, Merom Methodist Church developed “The Way Forward” a tutoring program that provided one-on-one sessions. The Merom Church utilized their funding from the United Way Youth Success Engagement Grant to hire 5 tutors to give this opportunity to the kids in the community. The program served kindergarten through high school students on Mondays and Wednesdays after school averaging about 15 children a week.
Local school leader Derek Grant stated, “So many of our students go home each day without being able to count on family to help reinforce learning concepts that they learned in school, or even to be able to help finish simple homework assignments. Many kids from our school get off the bus and head home to an empty house. “The Way Forward” gives students in our small town a place to go to receive homework help and tutoring when they might not have access to any help outside of the school day.”
Merom tutors also shared the story of Kaci and Elika. Both girls started coming to tutoring in January to work on their spelling. After spending time sounding out words and taking many practice tests, they both became a whiz at spelling and math. The girls also loved to play Monopoly or Scrabble as a reward for their hard work. Their parents were grateful and plan to bring them back for the fall semester. Overall, they believe it has been a great success. United Way and Merom Church are glad they were able to provide this service and hope to see it continue to flourish in the future.