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Boys & Girls Clubs offer Saturday tutoring program to area students
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Kyundria Jones, 9, and Mari Madera study multiplication tables Saturday morning in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County’s technology room. Madera is a youth development professional at the club. - photo by NAT GURLEY

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For additional information on tutoring for the Boys & Girls Club, contact Ken Huffman at 770-532-8102, Applications can be completed at the Gainesville location, 1 Positive Place, Gainesville.

Kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County now can get more one-on-one help from tutors.

“The important thing for the kids is if there’s specific areas that they need help on,” staff member Daniel Kroeger said. “At school, the teacher might not have time to individually work with them and find out what they’re missing or not understanding in a subject.”

The free tutoring program, called Saturday Morning Learning Lab, started in January and gained popularity after fewer than 10 kids attended the first week.

“More people are starting to sign up,” said staff member Dorreka Faulkner, citing word of mouth as ramping up interest on the program.

Tutors instruct two kids each during the three Saturday sessions, which run one hour each from 9 a.m. to noon.
Students between ages 6 and 18 are eligible for help to improve their reading, writing or mathematic skills. Space is limited based on the number of tutors available.

“It’s just the staff right now and we’re looking for more volunteers, like high school students, college students,” Faulkner said.

A pre-test and look at report cards helps determine where extra help would most serve the child.

“I had a girl today, her parents signed her up for math, so I had her take the math pre-test and she got them all right,” Faulkner said. “I went back and looked at the comments her teacher left and saw that she needed help with writing, so I started her with writing.”

Sessions are held at the clubs’ 1 Positive Place location behind Fair Street Elementary School in Gainesville.

The program hopes to bolster its impact with more volunteers. Kroeger said the time commitment is flexible, with the option to tutor every Saturday or one Saturday a month.

No prior tutoring experience is necessary, although all volunteers must fill out an application and submit to a background check.

For the program, the high ratio of tutors to kids is a key aspect.

“It’s been positive from what I’ve seen,” Kroeger said. “I think they enjoy the fact that the focus is really on them and what they need to know.”