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Posted: September 7, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Nonprofit offers CRCT webcam tutoring

In an effort to make tutoring as convenient as possible, a local nonprofit group is offering CRCT and other tutoring by webcam.

Sojourner Truth Observational Study was formed by Lillian Bittaye in 1993 and she brought the tutoring nonprofit with her to Newton County in 2005.

"We're offering a new component this year, tutoring by webcam in the comfort of your home with a certified teacher," Bittaye said.

The group will focus on Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests but will also offer tutoring to young children and even adults.

Bittaye said the school system often waits until the second half of the school year before focusing on CRCTs, while the webcam tutoring will focus on the test from the beginning of the school year.

Tutoring costs $15 per hour, including a $25 registration fee, and payments can be made through PayPal at letthechildrenlive.net. For more information go to the website or contact Bittaye by email at letthechildrenlive@yahoo.com or by phone at (770) 572-8995.

Families can buy their own webcam or they may be able to get one through the nonprofit. Local computer business PC AfterDark has already donated eight webcams to the project.

Bittaye currently has 10 volunteers, including certified teachers as well as a few trusted volunteers who are currently working toward a teaching degree in college. All staff must pass local background checks done by the Covington Police Department.

Bittaye herself is a substitute teacher in DeKalb County. Last year she ran programming at the Nelson Heights Community Center. Her group also previously ran an afterschool program at the Covington Housing Authority.
The program was made possible because of a grant from State Farm, which allowed the nonprofit to purchase CRCT-study books.

"I remember reading an article which said that 78,000 children statewide were unable to pass the CRCT (several years ago). Back then it wasn't a big issue, but at the time I took it personally."

Sojourner Truth study has also received donations from local companies such as Checkers, Current Event Productions, Dairy Queen, Snapping Shoals, Stevie B's and Walmart according to its website.

Anti-bullying program
In addition to the webcam program, Sojourner Truth study is partnering with the Unity Learning Network to introduce an anti-bullying program to the school system.

The groups have created CDs and a rap song in order to capture children's attention and use media. The groups will also do skits. The program hasn't yet been introduced.

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