WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Budgets, grants and funding are not issues for the after-school tutoring group that gathers at St. Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The group consists of public school children of all ages and UNCW students that serve as tutors.
Tracy Empsall, a senior at UNCW, volunteers her time from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday. Empsall helps students learn to read, write and do mathematics.
"There are plenty of centers through YMCAs and everything that are set up in these big beautiful buildings, but there's no way for students to get there. We came to them," said Empsall.
She said that all resources including computers, books and a basketball hoop have been donated by various members of the community.
"We're in the middle of their community. We're in the middle of their neighborhood, and it's easier for them to get here and they come," Empsall elaborated.
The UNCW student said that crime and gang activity have increased the need for after-school safe havens like the tutoring spot.
"That's what this really started off as- a safe friendly environment for them to come after school rather than for them to be out in the neighborhood doing who knows what," Empsall said.
Sanaya Stuckes, a fifth grade student at Gregory Elementary School, has been visiting the tutoring clinic for extra homework help during the week.
"Basically you get your work done instead of just thinking you're going to play around," said Stuckes.
Empsall said that up to 16 kids utilize the program. Parents are happy to have the service available.
"Because they're college students and because they're well-trained, they can help them," explained parent Brendella Alford, whose daughter attends the tutoring clinic.
"My main objective is to get them excited because when you get them excited about learning, everything else is going to follow," Empsall explained.
The group hopes that funding eventually finds its way to the tutoring program.
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