Math Tutoring Program Led by Limestone Students Adding Up for Elementary Kids
A total of 53 Limestone-Central Elementary students are staying after school every Tuesday and Thursday to participate in tutoring sessions with college students.Photo by Scott Powell of the Gaffney Ledger .
By Alicia Smith '11

Limestone-Central Elementary kids are learning and having a great time as well in the new tutoring program led by Limestone College students. Whether using flash cards or playing games, Limestone-Central Elementary Principal Chad Hudson says the college students focus on making learning fun and helping the children sharpen their math skills.

Preliminary results show that the program, which began last February, has greatly improved the academic performance of the elementary students. Because the program, known as LC2, has been so successful, it will begin its second year in the spring of 2012.

Along with Hudson, parents have been so impressed with the program, known as LC2, that many have, as Hudson explained, "requested that their children attend the LC2 program instead of the SES (Supplemental Educational Services) afterschool programs provided by the district." Many students have also shown a more positive outlook on learning as their overall attitudes and self-perceptions have improved while their academic performances have increased. Hudson thanks the Limestone students for the wonderful experience they have given his students. "Our staff and participating students found the Limestone College mentors to be well mannered, respectful, excellent role models, punctual, responsible, resourceful, and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our students. The Limestone students are a pleasure to work with."

The partnership between the two schools began with more than 20 Limestone College student-athletes and education majors volunteering their spare time to participate in a new tutoring program at the elementary school. During the bi-weekly, 90 minute sessions, several of Limestone's Elementary Education students, along with members of the men's and women's soccer and field hockey teams, travelled to the nearby school to work with a group of 53 students.

Limestone Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Dr. Paula Schubert, has been instrumental in the development of the tutoring program since the very beginning. Her diligent work to ensure that the program is a success has grown to benefit not only the young minds of the Limestone-Central students, but also those of the tutors as well. "One of the goals of the Teacher Education Program at Limestone College is to provide prospective teachers with the knowledge and ability to use instructional strategies with students to facilitate learning," she says. "The tutoring program gives students the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with children in the community. I hope the students take away a sense of enthusiasm about community involvement and a desire to continue giving back to their local communities." Dr. Schubert hopes to continue building relationships between the student body of Limestone College with the local school districts.

The opportunity to interact with kids could not have come at a better time for Limestone Junior Holli Schwartz. Holli, a Studio Art major and a midfielder for the women's soccer team, originally agreed to become a tutor to earn some money during her off season. What she has attained from helping young children, however, has been worth more than any financial gain she could have imagined. "This experience has changed me because it has forced me to become more open-minded and patient when dealing with people. It has allowed me to have a better understanding of other people."