Air date: May 28, 2015
Large class sizes and a lack of funding plague public schools across the country and Detroit is no exception. The result is children struggling to learn the basics. Aretha Davis, Linda Lee and Zion Chapel Church in Detroit came up with a solution. A tutoring program. Aretha: The church came along side of us and built us a computer lab and um they gave us the space and um we’ve basically taken over the church basement. Stepping Stones to Success was initially created to serve the children of the church. Word quickly spread and Aretha and Linda found themselves running a program for children all across Detroit. Linda: Children need to know that uh they are in a comfortable safe environment and they won’t be afraid if they are having difficulties. Thanks to grants and donations from area organizations and a devoted retired DPS bus driver, the tutoring program meets every Saturday morning during the school year. The tutors’ work with children from grades Pre K through 8th grade on mathematics, science and even creative writing. All free of charge. Aretha: Just seeing the dedication of the students every week. They don’t have to be there on a Saturday morning they don’t have to get up out of bed they could be doing a lot of other things but to see the dedication of the student it tells me that I need to be dedicated and come and try to help them meet their needs. The growth they see is rewarding Linda: We do a lot of peer activity with the students so in a small setting there they’re comfortable and happy and they are enthusiastic about learning and that is why I do it. Mitch: You wanted to be a part of that. Linda: Yes. Step by step – Aretha Davis, Linda Lee and all the volunteers at Stepping Stones to Success are creating a community of learning right here in the heart of Detroit.