The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2012

April 14, 2012

Tutoring joy

Program between school, church provides snacks, homework help

ENID — A partnership between Enid’s First Presbyterian Church and McKinley Elementary School is the foundation of a tutoring program that quietly has benefitted students for more than 13 years.

Each Wednesday after school, church members pick up students — there are 23 in this year’s group — and take them to the church building for a snack, some fun and plenty of homework help.

According to Gail Wynne, longtime volunteer and coordinator of the tutoring program, many of the 30 volunteer tutors have been at it from the first days.

In addition to the adult tutors, seven volunteers prepare and serve a snack for the students, two high school students help with physical education and recreation and two other high school students — one a former McKinley student tutored in the program — help out wherever they are needed.

“I just like to help out,” Jason Graham said. “I came for the school year — it’s my first year tutoring. I was tutored here for three years before this.”

Jason recruited his friend, Austin Vogt, to volunteer as well. Both the high school freshmen brought their guitars along on a recent Wednesday to provide music for the younger students.

The program is geared to take as many as 26 students each year. Which students participate is a decision made by the school and their parents.

Jan Robinson, principal at McKinley, said the tutoring program was the best thing she inherited when she became principal 11 years ago.

Most of the students selected for the program are third- to fifth-graders, Robinson said.

There are other factors, such as emotional or social aspects and school needs, that might inspire the school to offer the program to individual students.

“It’s lots of things,” Robinson said. “A piece could be academic struggles, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve had children who are super academic stars in school.”

Robinson takes more interest than simply designating which children are offered the tutoring program.

She takes pains to ensure the students and the school grow from the experience in more ways than academics.

“Last year, I challenged them to work with us on multiplication skills,” Robinson said.

They made so much progress, the school’s test scores went up.

One tutor, Jerry Shipley, forged such a warm bond with a McKinley student from a couple years ago, the pair still spend time together and have lunch a couple times a month at Waller Middle School.

“He’s a wrestler, and he likes to talk about his wrestling,” Shipley said. “He does well because he’s a well-built boy.”

But the real estate broker and residential builder said he gets more out of the program than he puts in.

“Being around youth, watching them progress and grow,” Shipley said, “it’s a joy to be around them.”

You couldn’t persuade Robinson it’s the tutors who benefit most, though.

“I’m so passionate about it, I feel like I don’t have adequate words for what it does for those kids,” Robinson said. “It takes my breath away to see them, children and adults, shoulder to shoulder, smiling and reading.”

Text Only
Progress 2012
  • onlineheader.jpg 2012 ON THE HORIZON

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual progress edition. This year's 2012 On the Horizon focuses on developments now and in the future. The stories in text format are available by scrolling down this page.

    Links to pdf format: Economic Development I Health and Wellness I Education I Northwest Oklahoma I Family I Faith I Agriculture and Energy I Community Service


    February 18, 2012 1 Photo

  • cover.jpg Community Service

    Enid News & Eagle's 2012 On the Horizon edition concludes with the role of community service.

    Click HERE for text version of the stories.

    Click HERE for pdf version of the edition.

    April 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chisholm vs Okeene_6_BV.jpg Chisholm seeks consistency

    August 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • Karen Vanover_Bass Hospital Volunteer_2_BV.jpg A positive interaction

    Karen Vanover and A.Z. Callicoat are past volunteers of the year at their respective hospitals, Vanover at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center and Callicoat at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Sandbox Learning Center_Ella Mae Loggins_BV.jpg Foster Grandparents: The solver of all problems

    “It’s something to get up for in the morning." — Foster Grandparent Ella Loggins

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Hedges_Carmen Ball_3_BV.jpg Hear this

    Hedges is committed to improving communications skills for those in need in northwest Oklahoma.
    Executive Director Carmen Ball said Hedges is the only full-service speech and hearing center in northwest Oklahoma.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • Stephanie Ezzell_BV.jpg Doing their part for the community

    Stephanie Ezzell is active in the community in a number of capacities, including the popular Farmers Market, on the southeast corner of Grand and Garriott.

    April 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Keepin' Enid Green_1_BV.jpg Sorting out the service

    The curbside recycling business began after Chris Feeney of Oklahoma Employment Securities’ Material Recovery, a recycling venture, repeatedly was asked why the option wasn’t available.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • ESL_Emmanuel Baptist Church_4_BV.jpg Learning the language

    Volunteers at Emmanuel Baptist Church stepped up to fill that gap with free ESL instruction last January, and now they have hopes of expanding the program to better serve the community.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • First Presbyterian Church Mentoring_1_BV.jpg Tutoring joy

    Each Wednesday after school, church members pick up students — there are 23 in this year’s group — and take them to the church building for a snack, some fun and plenty of homework help.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos