In first grade, Jackson didn’t learn to read and add – he learned what it feels like to be hopelessly frustrated. His teacher gave extra help in class and sent home reading practice, all to no avail. Jackson’s parents spoke little English, which made it very difficult for them to help him.
As Jackson’s classmates smoothly progressed through the material that year and into second grade, he just fell farther behind. His second grade teacher finally referred him to our after-school program, noting at that point, his confidence suffered almost as much as his academics.
In his initial weeks in the program, Jackson was sometimes so frustrated, he’d completely shut down, burying his head in his hands for long stretches of time. Our staff patiently worked with him and paired him with a male tutor. The two made an instant connection, talking animatedly while working with math models. Jackson made tremendous progress with tutoring. By the end of second grade, he’d transformed into a confident young boy who could finally grasp math concepts that once paralyzed him.
One spring afternoon, Jackson came running off the bus as it pulled up to the center, waving a piece of paper above his head. “Look at what I got!” he beamed, thrusting out the paper. That school day, he’d received the Greatest Improvement in Math Award.
Now in third grade, Jackson still succeeds in math, even receiving some above-grade marks.
He continues to work hard at our center to make similar progress in reading. Empowered with the sense of accomplishment with math and the mentorship he’s received at the center, Jackson knows that he can do it.
Imagine how helpless Jackson would feel without the mentors and teachers at the after-school program. You can help a child like Jackson succeed.