Hattiesburg, Miss. - Summer vacation for grade school kids is still in full swing but, according to statistics children may lose up to two months of math and reading skills over the summer.
However, one local woman has risen to the challenge of changing that possibility here in the Pine Belt. Elesha Buckley, 19 year Educator, said when she looks around her community she envisioned an community education program for students.
“School’s about to start in about two or three weeks and now they have to transition into a calm setting, sitting down basically all day, listening to the teacher, working very hard, so we wanna help them learn the rules of school again, raise your hand, use your inside voice, getting ready to learn again.”
Buckley teamed up with Nicholson Temple Church of God in Christ and Hattiesburg's Housing Authority to start a summer enrichment program in the urban community. "I believe that at some point doing the summer even though they are out having a good time, just for a couple of hours during the day, that they’re doing something instructional, reading, writing, even math skills to keep those skills maintained during the school year." When the program took off, she became the Nicholson Temple COGIC Education Coordinator.
She said a main purpose and foundation for the three year program is the teaching of salvation. “The first purpose is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and teach children about his love, salvation and how he wants us to live and love each other.”
Buckley said the program is in need of supplies to keep things running. "School supplies, pencils, papers, books, workbooks, we always need money funding so that we are able to purchase those items for the kids.”
If you would like to participate, donate or volunteer for the Summer Enrichment Program please contact Elesha Buckley at 601-818-5532 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org