Elementary school tutoring program comes to bittersweet close

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Tutoring third graders for an hour every two weeks is enough time to build lasting relationships, the lead for a group of employee volunteers from the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support said.

“The bond that we develop with these young scholars, who we only see for one hour every other week since October, is special,” said Ryan McLeod, Project Government and Industry Volunteers for Education coordinator. McLeod is a branch chief with the Industrial Hardware supply chain.  “For me, the students have become like family.” 

Tutors and students marked the end of this year’s Project G.I.V.E. iteration on the last day of school June 12. Approximately 25 DLA Troop Support employees served as volunteer tutors in reading and math to students at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School during the 2017-2018 school year.

“The closing session is always bittersweet,” McLeod said. “But we see their progress and we are proud of their growth and the fact that they are going to the 4th grade.”

Principal Rosylnn Sample-Green attests to the students’ improvements in test scores and reading levels, as she’s seen students participate in Project G.I.V.E. over 14 years.

“These are kids that may need a little extra [support] no matter where they are on the academic spectrum,” Sample-Green said. “What [volunteers] do here reaches directly back into the classroom.”

One of the students, Kaylah, 9, also said her math skills improved with the support of her tutor.

“I think [Project G.I.V.E.] was fun, how the tutors helped [us] and [we] learned more,” Kaylah said.

Procurement management analyst Stephanie Bass has been volunteering with Project G.I.V.E. since 2011.

“I love working with the students and every year there’s someone different,” Bass said. “Seeing them progress, how they start and how much further they get by the end of the school year.”

During the closing session, students and tutors ate breakfast and exchanged gifts.