Hattiesburg schools receiving 20 tutors to address learning loss

A local organization is gearing up to help students in a Pine Belt school district.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:57 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A local organization is gearing up to help students in a Pine Belt school district.

“First you learn to read, and then you read to learn,” said Michael Dixon, executive director of the Pine Belt Foundation.

Students at some Hattiesburg public schools will receive a little extra help thanks to a partnership with the Pine Belt Foundation and Reading Corps.

“We’re going to get up to 20 tutors into the five elementary schools in the Hattiesburg Public School District, and so, we’re right now putting out the call to try and find some of those tutors,” Dixon said.

The need for extra tutors partly stems from the COVID-19 pandemic and the learning loss that came with it.

“Student enrollment started to decline,” said Hope Mikell, HPS dir. of curriculum and instruction for PreK-5th grade. “Students became disengaged, and we also saw chronic absenteeism amongst our k-3rd grade students, which are our very critical areas in our schools.”

Tutors will receive training, so applicants are not required to have teaching experience.

“It’s really open to anyone who loves kids, wants to see them excel and is looking for this kind of work to do,” Dixon said.

Part-time and full-time tutoring positions are available.

Tutors receive a stipend every two weeks and up to $3,247 to pay for college tuition or student loans.

“What’s really a cool thing about this tutoring program is it’s wide open,” Dixon said. “Really, anyone can be a part of it. So, it may be someone who’s young, wanting to go to school, wanting to become a teacher one day. We’re also looking all the way up to grandparents and retirees, and they can receive that stipend for the educational ward, and if they’re not planning on going to school or pursuing a degree, they can actually pass that on to their kids or grandkids.”

For more information on becoming a tutor, click here.

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