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Hardin grant gives hope to tutoring program

By Staff
WITH A LITTLE HELP n Kids and instructors in the room that was overhauled with the help of a grant from the Hardin Foundation. Photo by Carl Crocker/The Meridian Star.
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Feb. 15, 2001
A $13,000 grant from the Phil Hardin Foundation is helping Jubilee Mennonite Church's Community of Hope Tutoring Program to better serve the community's children.
The grant allowed program leaders to renovate an old storage room at the church completed a few months ago. It also helped them to purchase some new equipment.
Elaine Maust, co-pastor at Jubilee, said the program was established about nine years ago.
put those ideas together and came up with a tutoring program that trains and hires high school students, pays them minimum wage and a college scholarship for their work."
If the students work for an entire school year, they get a $500 scholarship. If they stay in the program the maximum three years they're eligible, they can get up to $1,500.
The children spend half of their two-hour session with the high school tutor and the other half with Theresa Ladnier Chisolm, the program's small group leader.
A special feature of the program came from a suggestion by someone at the Riley Foundation who helps fund the program to "open up the world" to the children rather than just teach them math and reading.
Harriet Simmons is an Episcopal priest for St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Enterprise. She is also the director of the tutoring program. She first learned of the program when she was affiliated with St. Paul's Episcopal Church, whose parish has worked closely with Jubilee's to support the program.
Chisolm's "around the world" is one such small group activity the children can now do in the newly-created space. Simmons said the children started in Lauderdale County. From Mexico, they will go to Japan.
Tom Wacaster, Phil Hardin Foundation's vice president for educational programs, said the grant toward renovation and added, separate space was made because it was "so important for the future effectiveness of the program, which is basically running at maximum capacity."
The program leaders can accommodate 44 children and serves children up to the fifth grade. There are openings, and the fee is $10 per quarter. All the tutoring positions are filled, but applications are accepted in the fall. For more information, call 693-3952. Jubilee Mennonite Church is located at 812 28th Ave.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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