Mary Sholty, a USTA and NETT leaguer in Southlake, works for a nonprofit in Hurst called Mission Central. She is the director of the Village Library Tutoring Program for at-risk children ages 5-14. They tutor 34 kids at the moment and hope to expand to 60 this fall.
“We are looking for volunteers to help us,” Sholty says. “What a great place to look within the tennis community. I have seen such kind and caring people in my many years as a player in the Fort Worth area."
“The kids we serve have had many successes so far,” she adds. “Even though we see extreme cases of poverty, homelessness, death of a parent and single-parent homes, to name a few, we have the majority of our kids making A's and B's consistently, 97 percent passing all areas of the TAKS testing and bilingual students getting a 100 percent on the reading portion of the test the past three years. This is due to the kind and caring individuals who are working with these kids each week.”
Here's a description, in Sholty's words, of what the program does, as well as contact information. When you read about the program, I hope you want to help:
The Village Library
In a small storefront in Hurst, Texas, lies Mission Central, a place where hope is given to many families struggling to make ends meet. Among the many programs offered at Mission Central is the Village Library, providing tutoring to economically disadvantaged youth. The Village Library started in 2003 as a drop-in program and has evolved into an academic program for 34 kids from kindergarten to ninth grade.
Among the 34 students is a second-grade boy named Luis. Luis shows up for help every Tuesday and Thursday. You know him by his smile and he always brings some kind of action-adventure figure with him. He quickly goes to his cubby, gets his work and is ready to spend the next hour working on his spelling words, reading and completing math. If he has time at the end of the hour, he relishes in showing off his action figure and playing a game.
Luis is one of our success stories at the Village Library. Luis’ dad came to the Village Library and begged us to take him into the program. With tears in his eyes, he told us that Luis would have to repeat the first grade, he couldn’t read and was struggling in school. His parents are loving and nurturing but at a loss as to how to help him. They know that his education is the key to his success in life. With the help of a volunteer each week, Luis is now an excellent reader and thriving in all areas of school. He went from being shy and nervous to a fun and confident little boy. He is a true joy to be around.
In August, 2012, we will be able to offer tutoring for 26 more children. We need volunteers to help with our kids for one or two hours per week. We have some teachers or teachers who are retired, but the majority of our volunteers are just kind, patient and caring individuals who just want to make a difference in a child’s life.
While in our planning meetings discussing the need for volunteer recruitment, it dawned on me that tennis folks in our area are some of the greatest people around. Like our little guy Luis, we’ve been down in a set or match and struggled to get through our nerves and maybe an ache or pain to strive to battle back and win the match. We know that if we practice regularly and cheer for our teammates or encourage our partner, we will have a better chance at success. Just like Luis, we have the ability to succeed if we are prepared and encouraged.
We need help to keep this meaningful and rewarding program growing. We are looking for people to help with kids academically. Kids get help with homework and then we have a reading program and always work on math. The hour they are there flies by. Each child is given work to do for the hour. The tutors do not have to come up with things to do; it is supplied to them. All they have to do is be there to help with the work and listen to them read.
If you would like know more information about Mission Central’s Village Library, please contact Mary Sholty, the Director of Student Enrichment, at 817-929-5869.
Together we can make the difference in the life of a child!