It was just an idea for a tutoring center, a simple idea really.
Get a trailer for the Greenleigh Trailer Park to use to help tutor Hispanic students with English and other school studies.
The original idea came when middle-school teacher Debi Middleton saw the Hispanic population at Elizabeth Davis Middle School increase to more than 20 percent. She was concerned about how to communicate with some of the students that could hardly speak English, and she was concerned about how to reach out to their parents to discuss concerns for the students.
“I felt like there was a need to communicate with the parents and help the students in the Greenleigh Trailer Park and I started looking for a grant to open a tutoring center at the location,” said Middleton, Social Studies Department Chair Elizabeth Davis. Middleton had no idea how to make the tutoring center a reality. “I had big dreams, but of course had no idea what it would take to accomplish such a task,” Middleton shared.
Luckily, word spread about the idea and with the help of Carrie Coyner, Bermuda school board representative, a committee was brought together to start the center.
The Greenleigh Community Partners center will open in mid-September just in time for this year’s school year.
And, the center will be so much more than Middleton’s vision. Others became involved in the center and it will offer a variety of services. The original idea of a tutoring center now includes the YMCA, police representativesfire representatives, and representatives from several local churches.
“The original idea of a tutoring center has been expanded to include the YMCA and other organizations that would like to improve this community,” said Middleton. “It has turned out to be this amazing combination of people that want to make our community a better place.” The center will include tutoring, beginning with two days a week for elementary children coordinated by Joan Temple, principal of Elizabeth Scott Elementary school and Middleton handling middle school tutoring.
The Greenleigh Community Partners will also include movie nights and spiritual activities sponsored by some local churches. Ironbridge Baptist is only one of the churches involved with outreach and community activities. The YMCA is offering soccer and other organized play.
This center will also be able to be used for parent teacher conferences (if needed), and will have computer and internet access so parents and students of that community will have access to internet and Edline.
The grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 15 with an open house on that Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the center in Greenleigh just past the office.
At the grand opening students can sign up for tutoring, as well as several team building activities (soccer, organized play, etc.) and tutoring will begin the following week.
Tutoring will start off small (two days a week) and expand from there. There will be an hour of tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday for middle, then elementary students. The tutoring will be based on a six-week schedule.
Truly, a great way “to really help this community,” Middleton shared.