Two words: It works.
That’s how Bob Robinson, Executive Director of Empowering Darke County Youth, describes the after-school tutoring program. “You can actually see the success. We had a young girl go from failing math to getting a C to now wanting a B,” Bob says. “It’s a wonderful program, and it’s great to see the community supporting it.”
What is Empowering Darke County Youth?
Those two magical words are exactly why Mercer Savings Bank is proud to select Empowering Darke County Youth as the January recipient of its Giving Mission donation.
Empowering Darke County Youth provides free after-school and summer tutoring programs to assist students in the areas of reading comprehension and math. It’s mission: empowering strong students for a strong community.
How the Tutoring Program Began
Bob spearheaded Empowering Darke County Youth from its beginning in March of 2016. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, the group now serves 120+ youth in grades 1-8 in Greenville City and Ansonia Local schools and plans to expand into a third school district this year.
Experienced tutors, many who are retired teachers and former substitutes, along with 30-40 area high school and college-age students can be found tutoring the students. Bob says the group is always in need of more volunteers. The work ranges from 1-on-1 tutoring to small group settings where they work together on homework or provided curriculum.
A former substitute teacher himself, Bob says he knew he needed to do something when he saw children struggling in the classroom and witnessed a young boy write, “I am stupid,” on a whiteboard. “He broke my heart,” Bob says.
He witnessed another child in sixth-grade struggling and soon realized the child couldn’t read. “You can’t learn if you can’t read,” Bob says.
The Foundation to Success
In order for these children to overcome challenges, many of them needed help in the fundamentals of reading comprehension and mathematics. And that remains the focus of the tutoring program today.
Along with needing volunteers, Bob says Empowering Darke County Youth is always looking for support in purchasing educational supplies, such as whiteboards, snacks to feed the children after school and monetary donations to help fund the program. Learn more on how you can help on the group’s Ways To Give page or Volunteer page.
The contribution from Mercer Savings Bank will go into the general fund to help purchase supplies and keep the program going strong in 2020.
“Mercer Savings Bank is a great example of the community stepping forward for our kids. We are so very grateful,” Bob says. “This community really cares, and these kids are our future.”
To learn more about Empowering Darke County Youth, follow them on Facebook.