VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Community Partners To Address Learning Loss

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Community Partners To Address Learning Loss

As the school year quickly comes to a close, planning for a county-wide community-based summer learning initiative is ramping up with an army of tutors being mobilized.

“Multiple organizations, led by The First Church and United Way of Wayne County in partnership with Wayne County Public Schools, have been meeting regularly in preparation to launch ‘Unlimited Impact,’ a K-8 tutoring program,” states Sherry Archibald, UWWC Executive Director. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with The First Church and Wayne County Public Schools to address the critical issue of learning loss experienced by many students who struggled academically in the virtual and hybrid-remote instructional environments over the past year.”

Unlimited Impact will operate Tuesday, June 15 through Thursday, August 5 from 10 AM until 2 PM. Tutoring sites will be located in targeted community centers and churches within convenient walking or travel distance from where families live. With the exception of the first week, sites will be open Monday through Thursday with two available 2-hour blocks that families can choose from (10 AM – 12 PM & 12 PM – 2 PM). Essentially, participating students will receive a 90+ minute free and supercharged grade-level tutoring session that focuses on math and reading. Students will also receive lunch at no cost.

“Our discussions with Wayne County Public Schools began last December,” states Bill Rose, The First Church pastor. “Since then, we have worked together to increase partnerships and to create a community action initiative that is centered on the education and wellbeing of our county’s most precious assets, our children.”

Other Unlimited Impact partners that have been assembled, include, but are not limited to: Wayne County Public Library, Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Partnership for Children of Wayne County, Wayne Community College, Goldsboro Family YMCA, Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro, Rebuilding Broken Places CDC, Mount Olive Pentecostal Holiness Church, Pikeville Pentecostal Freewill Baptist Church, Goldsboro Parks & Recreation, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. A complete list of partnerships will be announced once sites are named later this month.

“Unlimited Impact is an impressive collaboration of non-profit, faith-based, education, and governmental organizations, unlike any I have ever seen before,” states Dr. Carol Artis, WCPS Executive Director for Teaching & Learning. “Essentially, we are all working together to provide a blanket of community support for students who may be unable to attend our school district’s eight-week Summer Scholar program but who will benefit from one-on-one and small group tutoring support.”

Through the joint program, The First Church will oversee the management of the community tutoring sites. The United Way of Wayne County will oversee volunteers and scheduling. Wayne County Public Schools will train the volunteers to work with children, as well as provide sites with a weekly syllabus and other tutoring support resources.

School district planning team members say they greatly appreciate The First Church and United Way of Wayne County for their leadership and partnership support, as well as all of the organizations and volunteers who are  – or will be – involved in making Unlimited Impact a successful model that other school districts and communities can follow.

“Wayne County has been a leader in creating impactful community partnerships to support students and families during the global COVID-19 pandemic,” states Ken Derksen, WCPS Communications & Public Relations Officer. “From Park & Learn WiFi sites last Spring to this year’s daily distribution of meals using yellow buses to areas where at-risk students live, Unlimited Impact is one more example of the unique, innovative and outside-of-the-box programming that local school district and community leaders have developed in tandem to address a critical issue many students nationwide are experiencing.”

As a call to action, Unlimited Impact is actively seeking volunteers who are willing to be trained and who have a desire to make a difference.  Interested volunteers can download a volunteer application at http://www.unitedwayne.org/ and/or contact the United Way at 919-735-3591 or [email protected] for more information.

All tutors and hospitality volunteers will be required to pass a background check. They will also have to attend a required code of conduct and child protection training being led by Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County before being permitted to work with students at tutoring sites. All academic and safety trainings will occur the first week in June.

More information regarding student registration and official site locations will be released on May 17th.