Clarendon County students get homework help
by Laura Stone | January 13, 2019 11:00 am
Last Updated: January 11, 2019 at 9:18 am
Struggling students now have a growing option in Clarendon County. On the second anniversary of opening its doors, the Higher Learning Tutoring Center hosted its official ribbon cutting on January 2. City and county officials, along with Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce officials, were present to kick off the event.
“I think all of us as parents and grandparents know how important reading is and how that opens the world regardless of where you’re from,” said Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart. “We certainly congratulate you all and thank you for what you’re doing.”
Mayor Julia Nelson could not be present, as she had a scheduling conflict. However, Manning City Administrator Scott Tanner was present in her place.
“On behalf of the City of Manning, I just want to thank you for starting this program. It’s a very good program and a very good resource for the community, and we thank you for that,” said Tanner. While there, he also presented the business with the award for Runner Up for Best Float in December’s event.
While Marsha and Kevin Evans opened the business two years ago, they only joined the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce in the last quarter of 2018. Chamber of Commerce President Kimberly Johnson, along with several other Chamber of Commerce officials, were present.
“I am so glad to be here,” said Johnson, who has known Marsha Evans for many years. “On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, we welcome you.”
Evans spoke, thanking her board members who were present expressing passion for her business and gratitude for the community support she has received.
“I would like to first thank everyone for being here,” said Evans. “I couldn’t do it without my family and, of course, my kids. It is a passion of mine to make sure these kids have a head start on their futures.”
Evans holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Central Carolina. However, she never saw herself in a traditional classroom. After graduation, she ran a daycare for six years. When the flood came, the daycare’s building was too damaged to continue, and Evans closed her doors.
During the ensuing year, she spent time in various classrooms, watching teaching techniques and building relationships with local schools. Then, two years ago, she was ready to reopen not as a daycare but as a full tutoring resource center.
“I felt the passion and saw the need for this,” said Evans. She recognized the struggles with math, reading, science and more, and acknowledge parents often have too little time or don’t have the knowledge to help their children.
As the business grew from an initial nine students to its current 38-student roster, it also grew its services. Not only does it offer standard tutoring for four-year-old children to high school students, it also offers homework help and afterhours programs as well. Evans charges $45 per week for the services, with students attending from 2:15-6:15 p.m. each weekday. Her students are not limited to Manning but come from other areas of the county as well.
Recently, Evans and her board of directors created a non-profit umbrella, the “Make a Difference Program,” which covers the tutoring center as well as other child-oriented services. She has built relationships with two barbers, who will offer free haircuts at specific hours on a specific date once per month for the male students, and one beautician, who will offer simple washes and styles for the female students.
Evans is also hoping to host a “Communities Against Bullying” walk, and she has begun to line up sponsors who will work with her for the event.
However, Evans’ heart remains with her tutoring and homework-helping efforts.
“After I drop my kids off at school each morning, my day begins,” said Evans. She then spends the first hours of each day visiting the classrooms of her students to watch the teachers, so she can better help her students. She feels students learn better with a consistent teaching style, and she strives to keep her efforts with each student in line with what and how they are learning in the classrooms.
Her efforts seem to be working. Of her current 38 students, 12 have made the A/B honor rolls at their schools. Any children who make the honor rolls when report cards come out get to go out to eat together.
“If you get good grades, I’m definitely going to reward you,” said Evans, who hopes to see not only her rosters grow in the coming year but also her list of students who have achieved honor roll status.