Government budget cuts are affecting most sectors of education, bringing the importance of tutoring services offered by churches to a new high. Public schools in the United States need better funding, sadly, and have for years. Teaching positions continue being cut, new curriculum goes on the back burner, and even janitorial services are inadequate. Fixing this budget deficit is not happening overnight, but thankfully, many churches are stepping up to help educate our youth.
Virtually all religious denominations are opening their doors, creating programs that fit the need in their community. Reading skills are the most important, of course, since once you become a good reader you can teach yourself anything. Other than tutoring at reading, however, other academic services offered by churches include:
• Basic Study Skills
• Social Studies
• English As A Second Language
• Test Preparation
Mentoring is a big part of tutoring through community churches, beginning many life-long, friendships. These programs are usually free to low-income families or on a need-based set of standards. Anyone with a true desire to learn is welcome.
Church tutoring programs are non-profit, volunteer run, and do not discriminate by age, race, religion or any other factor. Tutoring sessions take place after school, weekends, during school breaks and on other days as they become available. Sessions may take place in a church, private home or school, whichever is available and works best for all. Pre-screening of volunteer tutors for any previous criminal activity helps ensure safety.
Creating a safe, happy environment for tutoring is conducive to learning. Some children lack a proper learning environment at home, or are easily distracted in the classroom where there is one teacher per twenty students, or more. Churches who offer free tutoring services recognize the importance of helping these kids to help themselves. Children are not just our future; they are also our here-and-now.