GREENVILLE – “Being a part of Greenville’s Empowering After School Tutoring Program was an opportunity of a lifetime,” said one of 38 Edison State Greenville Campus students who participated in the Empowering Darke County Youth program last fall. The student added she believes she has helped at least one child increase his or her grade in school… and to be proud of the accomplishment.
Other Edison State students were equally proud. “Seeing them (the children) grow in their learning is amazing and makes you feel good that you are helping,” said one. And another… “I regularly heard the kids talking excitedly about getting their grades up, or even just passing a test.”
One student said she is rethinking her career choice as a result of her experience. She is not the only one to reconsider career options. A classmate, whose first love is sports, said, “Tutoring was an awesome experience. Helping children has opened my eyes to possibly being a coach in my future.”
The Empowering After School and Summer Tutoring programs were started to help elementary and middle school students struggling in the core basics of reading, comprehension and math. Who better to help them than college students who have been successful in those same academic pursuits?
Edison State Community College students, Greenville Campus, under the supervision of experienced tutors and teachers, have been involved in the Empowering programs since 2016. Empowering Darke County Youth has worked more than 17,000 hours with over 700 students from every school district in the county. Edison State students have supplied nearly a third of those hours. In 2019 alone, 92 students volunteered over 1,600 hours.
“They have an option,” said Edison State Fundamentals of Communication instructor Bob Robinson. “They can take the traditional communications exams and research paper or they can give up 25 hours of their ‘free’ time using the tools they learn in class, and work with kids who need help with their academics.
“Does it work?” Robinson continued. “The tutoring programs grow each year and 90 percent of parents and guardians say their students are being helped. We have dozens of positive comments and success stories… and I’ve never heard an Edison State student say taking an exam or doing a research paper was an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Dr. Doreen Larson, Edison State Community College president, said the high quality experience Edison State students get in teaching and learning through the Empowering After School program will prove valuable to them many times throughout their future.
“All of us, at one time or another,” she noted, “will be called upon to be teachers in our roles as co-workers, parents, mentors and friends. Many students who are struggling in school thrive under the individualized and innovative interventions offered by these young adults who come from the same neighborhoods and backgrounds.”
Edison State students say they benefitted as much as the students they helped. They called the program “inspiring” and personally “valuable,” with many commenting they learned the skill of “patience.” One student said, “I think these kids taught me as much as I taught them. Getting involved in the education of these remarkable kids truly was a privilege.”
Empowering Darke County Youth conducts After School Programs in Greenville and Ansonia. Big Brothers Big Sisters, with its volunteers, provides its mentoring support to Greenville students two days a month. Empowering Summer Tutoring programs are open to all students in Darke County.
The program continues to fine-tune its approach to help students struggling with their academics, but the need continues to exceed the program’s resources. This is the time of year when individuals, organizations and businesses consider their giving options; please consider supporting Empowering Darke County Youth, a 501c3 United Way Agency. Empowering can be reached through Facebook, its website empowerdarkecounty.com or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Its mailing address is Empowering Darke County Youth, P.O. Box 1113, Greenville, Ohio 45331.
The Empowering Mission: Empowering Darke County Youth provides After School and Summer Tutoring programs to assist students in the areas of language arts and math with the goal of Strong Students for a Strong Community.
PHOTO CAPTION: Edison State volunteers have worked in Empowering tutoring programs since 2016. Last year, 92 students worked over 1,600 hours to help students struggling with their academics.