The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 8, 2012

Afternoon tutoring program offered weekly at University Place Christian Church

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Seven Adams Elementary School second-graders were at University Place Christian Church Wednesday for a weekly afternoon tutoring program.

The program is in its third year, Annie Galbreath said. Galbreath, a retired elementary teacher, was teacher of the year at Taft a few years ago. She is one of several volunteers who work with the children each Wednesday.

The children sat on the floor of the fellowship hall and learned new words, listened to a book about Hispanic Christmas celebrations and heard “The Legend of the Poinsettia.”

Good behavior was rewarded with pompons to put in their buckets.

“When we get our little buckets filled up, we’re going to have a party,” Galbreath reminded the children.

At the tutoring sessions, the children read books, are read to, do simple math, learn new words and enjoy an after-school snack. They sometimes get live entertainment.

George Davis brought his guitar and sat down to play “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Slowly, the children started singing the much-loved Christmas song. Then Davis started singing with them.

“Aaaaahhh,” one girl said after the song was over.

Davis played “Winter Wonderland,” “Feliz Navidad” and “Frosty the Snowman” as well.

Over snacks of homemade cinnamon tortilla chips and oranges, the children held a lively discussion of what they like to eat.

“I like apples and grapes,” one child said.

“I really love bananas,” another answered.

The tutoring program grew from an idea first voiced by Thelma Chambers-Young, pastor of University Place.

“Our pastor, Thelma, was interested in doing something, and I, as a retired teacher, had wanted to help,” Galbreath said.

Galbreath said Gail Wynne, a member of Enid’s First Presbyterian Church who coordinates a tutoring program for McKinley Elementary School students, was a lot of help in designing the program. The Presbyterian Church’s program works with students in third through fifth grade. University Place’s program works with second-graders.

“Second grade is missed by the schools,” Galbreath said.

Additional volunteers for the Wednesday afternoon tutoring session are welcome. To volunteer, or for more information, call the church at (580) 234-5221.