Senior Citizens Help Struggling Students Get Ahead

For the past 10 years 84-year-old Odessa Wilcoxson has been using her golden years to help children in Gadsden County learn to read.

Odessa says, "I get a good feeling, they enjoy working with me and I love working with them. When I go home I think I helped somebody's kid today and I'm glad I could be here to help."

Wilcoxson is one of six foster grandparents who work up to four hours a day at Gretna Elementary, tutoring students who need extra help. So far, that one on one attention these students are receiving has helped them turn the pages of academic success.

Lyntisha Conyers, a Gretna first grade student, says, "I like to read with Miss Bailey because it's fun to read."

While the program seems fun, it's made an impact in the small rural community.

Alma Bailey says, "I had one Hispanic boy come up to me after graduating from here and he came up to me with his rewards. He said to me 'I would not have received these rewards if it had not been for you helping me read.' "

It’s proving a little commitment and dedication could open a whole new chapter for children in this rural community.


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