Buckhead volunteers make the difference.
In Spanish, la amistad means “the friendship,” but at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead, it also spells “success” for Spanish speaking students who come for tutoring five days a week. “We’re proud to report that 100 percent of our LaAmistad students meet or exceed CRCT test scores,” says Betsy Boone, program director.
The after-school program began when Bill Maness, recreation director at the Gym at Peachtree, saw Hispanic students struggle to complete their homework in a language they didn’t understand. He and volunteers tutored them on a casual basis until 2006 when LaAmistad became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Today, 250 Latino students in grades one through 12 are tutored by community volunteers at seven different locations.
“The program is free, but we expect a commitment from both the kids and their parents,” Boone says. “Students promise to attend four weekdays, and if their grades fall below a C average, must attend a compulsory study hall on Sundays. Parents also agree to support their children and attend parent-teacher conferences. Volunteer tutors make it all work.”
Mike Joiner of Brookhaven became a volunteer four years ago. “Once I started working with the kids and their families, I increased participation from one day a week to four. I get more out of it than I give, and it’s especially rewarding when former students receive scholarships to the very best private schools in Atlanta.”
For more information, visit laamistadinc.org.
BY: Mickey Goodman
Award-winning Ghostwriter, Journalist, Content Creator.