My very first Sunday at First Pres, I met a woman named Pat Hostetter who loved the Whiz Kids Program so much she invited me to help immediately! Two Thursdays later I was part of the First Pres Whiz Kids Program tutoring Esmeralda, a 1st grader from Field Elementary School. That was October 2009, and here I am in 2016 leading the site as the Coordinator. Our tutors are the ones who pick up the kids, work one-on-one with them. I try to have everything ready and available for them.
While I have been with Whiz Kids for many years, some of our tutors have been investing in the elementary and middle school students longer than I have. This last year we served 20 elementary students and 8 middle school students, Esmeralda among them.
Why do we do this? Why do we come back year after year? For me, it is because of the students who start asking in August when Whiz Kids will start this year. It is because of the tutors who help the same student four or five years in a row and say, “don’t even think about assigning me to another student next year.” It is because of the substitute tutors who pitch in whenever we need help. It is because of the Club Time Person who really cares about our kids and also stays after to help me clean up. It is because of our Field School Liaison Teacher who keeps kids after school and brings them so they won’t have to miss a night. It is because of the Support Staff at the Whiz Kids Office who send encouraging emails and cover when needed. It is because of the families – parents who entrust us with their children and the younger siblings who can’t wait to join the program. And it is because of the support from this church – the Mission Committee, Book Club Book Sale, Country Store Ladies, and individuals who donate.
The Whiz Kids program is really a family. We care about each other. We care about all the students – not just the ones we’re tutoring. We care about the families. Dedication, laughter, and love keep all of us going.
Site Coordinator for Whiz Kids