July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Church pitches in to provide study help

ELYRIA — A local church is coming together with the community to help provide educational help for Elyria students who need it the most.

Second Baptist Church in Elyria has teamed with the National Adopt-a-School Initiative to help local students achieve passing test scores and an overall grasp of school subjects of all kinds.

The church will adopt Elyria High School and Roosevelt Elementary and to foster struggling students — assisting them with homework, study skills and test-taking strategies.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 15 marked the opening of the new program, based in the church’s new computer lab that was assembled using computers donated by Lorain County Community College and Lorain County Joint Vocational School.

Phyllis Stevens, the program’s administrative director, said that while the focus is on Elyria High and Roosevelt schools, the program welcomes any local student.

“We have special software loaded on our computers that is specifically designed to assist students in passing the Ohio Graduation Test,” she said. “Many parents do not know that passing the OGT is required to receive a high school diploma now, even if the student successfully passed all of his or her classes.”

And it’s not just computers that will be available. There’ll be tutors, too, so children can get some hands-on help.

“Most of the tutors are retired teachers,” said David Holscott, chairman for Second Baptist. “The computer programs are geared towards the older children, while all age groups can take advantage of the expertise of our tutors.”

The learning center is open 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. All services are free.

The church plans to expand the program to assist local adults. Right now, children up to age 18 are welcome to take advantage of the no-cost services.

“We ask parents to encourage their children to take part in this free program,” Stevens said.

Tony Evans, the man behind the initiative and founder of Project Turn-Around, the nonprofit organization that spawned the program, has a Texas resident with a mission: to rebuild communities from the inside out.

Evan’s philosophy is that church, not government, is the best social delivery system due to the fact that it’s closer to the needs of the people, offers the largest potential volunteer force and has existing facilities for social programs as well as offering a moral and spiritual point of reference that encourage people to make the right decisions in life.

Contact Lee Ann Mullen at 329-7155 or metro@chroniclet.com.