House of the Carpenter Learning Center Makes a Difference

By WV UMC Admin

Everyone realizes that the 2020-21 academic year has been a challenge to students, faculty, staff, and especially to families.  Madison Elementary is a Title One School that has developed a working partnership with the House of the Carpenter (HOC).  During the periods of remote learning, many of the students were falling behind and several were at risk of failing the semester. 

Madison Elementary has one of the most dedicated staffs any school could have.  They reached out to the House of the Carpenter about expanding our Learning Lab from just being on Wednesday to throughout the week.  The staff wanted to especially include several of the at-risk students.  Quickly, plans were put into place.

Three times a week, the House of the Carpenter van drives the area picking up students who need transportation to the HOC.  Other students walk to the Center.  Once they arrive, they have breakfast, then the students log on to Google Meets, log on to their assignments, and take tests.  The HOC staff is working with the students, as well as the teachers from Madison Elementary, who rotate over to help tutor.  The school brings lunch.  Then some more class time before we adjourn to the gym of the Toni and Nancy Bedway Center for Youth to play some games so the students are actively engaged.  After that, the students are transported home.  On average, 10 students a day are served, with a different group each day so a total of 30+ students are served each week.

The results from this partnership:
1. A student who had not logged on for any Google Meets classroom instruction for over 2 months came to the Center, the next day, she logged on to her classroom instruction for the first time.

2. A mother indicated that her special needs child had to be dragged from bed to come the first time.  When he got home, he asked if he could return.  Because of the need, he will be at the Center every day.

3. Another student said she loved it so much, she wanted to stay every day.

Andrea Trio, principal of Madison School, notes that all of the students are catching up on work.  Many have raised their grades simply by getting work done and taking tests.  This partnership is changing the lives of at risk children on Wheeling Island.