COVINGTON, Ga. - The City of Covington and its Covington Cares program have teamed with Middle Ridge Elementary School to provide tutoring assistance to students who need additional help in sight word recognition. Twenty-six employees participated in a three-week trial and tutored approximately 80 students.
Newton Education Foundation chairman Loucy Hay, a former educator in Newton County, saw the need for hands-on volunteers in the school system and assisted the City of Covington and Covington Cares with school selection and program details.
“When I was an elementary school teacher, community members came into the classroom and provided extra help for our students in a one-on-one environment,” Hay said. “The time dedicated to the students was invaluable to their growth and the interaction these students are getting through the volunteers from the City of Covington is something money can’t buy.”
The Newton Education Foundation, Newton County School System and Covington Cares program are working to perfect the current volunteer model so it can be used by other corporations, civic organizations and church groups at different schools.
“The partnership between and among of the City of Covington, the Newton Education Foundation, and Middle Ridge Elementary School is certainly a model for the development of additional partnerships with other entities, whether governmental or local business and/or industry,” said Newton County School System Superintendent Dr. Samantha Fuhrey. “I am grateful for the direct support of our students through the commitment and dedication of the employees of the City of Covington and look forward to continuing our work together while expanding the partnership to include other organizations.”
Each City of Covington employee volunteers at the school one day a week for 45 minutes and helps approximately six children during their time. Middle Ridge Elementary School was chosen because of its close proximity to City Hall and their student’s need for additional help. With the initial three-week trial complete, City officials have agreed to continue the program with Middle Ridge Elementary school.
“We have been looking for ways to get Covington Cares involved in our school system for quite some time and it is exciting to see this finally come to fruition,” Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said. “One of our goals is to eradicate poverty and education is arguably the strongest way to do that. This program with Middle Ridge Elementary is a small brush stroke on a large canvas, but with assistance from other organizations, we can start painting with a very large brush.”