Volunteers helping Melcher Elementary School turnaround low test scores

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 19:09:51-05

One of the lowest performing public schools in Missouri is in the middle of a comeback. 

Melcher Elementary School scored in the bottom 10 percent of Missouri public schools on state testing.  But the principal, Dr. Patricia Hayes, is getting help from neighbors and community organizations to reverse their low-ranking into one of the top schools in the state.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Learning Center in Kansas City is one of the community partners helping. The learning center provides several AmeriCorps volunteers to go to the school every weekday to provide one-on-one instruction for students in math and reading.

"We work with some students who are extremely bright and on the verge of the highest level of proficiency; we work with some who need to just plug a few gaps. We work with some who may have transferred from another school and need to adapt and have to learn a new way of doing things," said Dr. Deana Ervin, founder of the W.E.B Du Bois Learning Center.

Fourth grader Jamar Finley, one of the students receiving tutoring, said going to school used to make him nervous because he was worried that he would always get the wrong answers.

"Now I feel happy to come to school because I know I will not get a bad grade if I try enough," said Finley.

Principal Hayes said grandparents and members of the neighborhood faith community are also coming to the school to help students. 

"Grandparents come and read to the students and work with students to read," said Hayes. "My teachers are also staying here 2 hours, 2 to 3 days a week and parents are allowing their students to stay and get that extra help," Hayes explained. 

Principal Hayes is also asking parents to read to their children every night and work with them on their homework.



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