In 2012, Threston C. Roots started a scholarship for Chester students. There have been annual banquets where the scholarships have been awarded to several Chester students heading to college.
Earlier this year, I was approached by a member of the scholarship committee to consider coming up with another event to compliment the annual banquet. We came up with a day of tutoring for middle school boys and girls.
The purpose of the one day tutoring session was to share some basic knowledge with the students that often gets overlooked in school curriculums but is important for them to know like how to give short oral presentations; how to take notes in a notebook; how to work in small groups to arrive at solutions; and tips on how to take tests.
Too often, students are lectured to and don’t have much opportunity to learn on their own. The day was full of short exercises designed for them to express themselves and receive immediate feedback, advice, and encouragement from the facilitator and each other.
As expected, the group started out very cautious, quiet and reserved. By the time the day ended, they were energetic, involved, and sharing their latent brilliance.
Special thanks to Dave Clark of the Chester Community Charter School for identifying the students and getting their parent’s permission to attend. Also, to Kenny Hunt for being the perfect host as proprietor of the Abstract Reality Art Gallery and Photography Studio where we conducted the event. To Rodney Bradley who I happened to run into at Office Depot and told me to put most of the stuff back on the shelf as he donated pens, notebooks, note cards, and markers for us to use. To all the community leaders who stopped in to meet the children and share with them – St. Rep. Brian Kirkland, Judges Dawn Vann and Wilden Horace Davis, School Board member Fred Green, Natricia Granger from Drug Free Communities, poet Ryan Smith, and Lou DeMarco from Lou’s T Shirts. And, to all who donated money and supplies to help us pull it off.
I think dad would be proud of what we accomplished for the young scholars.