Tutoring in Peoplestown

April 03, 2022

By Cissie White

Striving to explore the "real" world, beyond the first world bubble and—in Simon's words—to be in close proximity, All Saints' has given me and other volunteers the opportunity to tutor young children at the Barack and Michelle Obama Academy in Peoplestown. Having taught and been in administration at independent schools for 19 years, there has been increasing cognizance regarding the gross inequities in American education.

Tutoring at the International Children's School, a charter school in Dekalb County, for ten years with refugees (begun with All Saints' parishioner Barbara Thompson), heightened that awareness.

The learning continues at BaMO, a Title I school, with a newly renovated building, an abundance of materials, and friendly, focused, professional faculty and administrators. I am in awe of Ms. Ash, first grade teacher extraordinaire; her expertise in meeting a wide range of academic abilities as well as social and emotional needs.

First impressions of two adorable first grade girls proclaiming pink and purple as their favorite colors. One very perky with puffy pink headband and sporting a tutu over her regular clothes. The other girl, more reticent and shy, has five siblings in her family. Shockingly already behind, she was unable to identify illustrations of a barn, an ocean, yarn, and a turkey which pre-K children could readily identify. Both girls have already been absent for two tutoring days (a knowing friend wondered if they might be kept at home to look after younger siblings). Evidently this is an absentee pattern with both girls.

Working with young students facing life's unfairness is food for the soul. It takes a village to raise all of God's children. Let's all assure one day no child will be left behind.

Learn more about The Peoplestown Partnership

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