Daniel could have become a statistic. Because he could not pass the standardized test required for graduation, he was on the verge of dropping out of school. He was a senior in high school, but could not get over that final hurdle.
For students like Daniel, tutoring was not an affordable option, and he had failed to meet the testing requirements for graduation on his own. Statistics show that 90% of all jobs nationwide demand a high school education.
One day, while sitting in a PTA meeting, Laurie Boldrick came to the realization that the parents present in that meeting did not have kids who needed extra support. What could be done to help those students whose parents were not involved and who were “falling through the cracks” so to speak?
Thus, 1 TO 1 Focused Learning was born. In the spring of 2014, the free tutoring program was launched to connect a group of volunteer tutors with students on a school campus.
She first approached her own church, First Presbyterian Church, which is across the street from Midland High School and has had an ongoing relationship with students and teachers at MHS. They jumped on board.
Mike Mills, program director of Educate Midland, points out that 1 TO 1 “puts our community in our school campuses. What begins as academic tutoring may well lead to a mentorship program.”
1 TO 1 Focused Learning is a volunteer-led initiative which currently serves students at Midland High School, Lee High School, Abell Junior High School, San Jacinto Middle School, and Greenwood Middle School. Each of these campuses is sponsored by a neighboring church.
Reed Townsend, a volunteer tutor from Stonegate Fellowship, put it best saying that “some kids come simply because they need a place where someone is interested in them. This may be the push they need to be successful in school.”
Because of an idea hatched in a meeting, Daniel did not become a drop out statistic. He came to 1 TO 1 and received free tutoring. Not only did his tutor work with him at the designated time, she met him other times to prepare him for the test. “When test results came in, we all anxiously awaited the news. Daniel returned to the tutoring center to share the news with his tutor before telling anyone else. That was amazing. Of all the people he could have shared the news with, he came back to tell his tutor, ‘I passed, I passed’,” Boldrick reported. “It was evident to me at that moment the new program could absolutely change this community.”
As 1 TO 1 continues to expand, the program is asking businesses and churches to consider adopting a campus.
“Imagine if every school was adopted by a church or corporate partnership,” Mike Mills pointed out. “Every student in need could be seen, and be heard. This is about the community being involved in education. It’s what collective impact is all about.”
Laurie is passionate about 1 TO 1. “It goes back to loving your neighbor. Most schools have a church nearby, and there are kids at every school who need love and support that is given freely.” Laurie’s vision is to see each local campus partnered with faith-based and/or corporate sponsors.
Daniel is only one of the many success stories that have come from 1 TO 1 Focused Learning. If your church or group would like to partner with a school through 1 TO 1 Focused Learning, please contact Laurie Boldrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.