Tallahassee Elementary School Offers Unique Mentor Program

Thanks to a unique program and partnership kids who meet the minimum requirements for promotion are getting an extra helping hand.

Suzanne Johnson says in the last 20 days she has seen her daughter blossom into a successful student.

Suzanne Johnson, an Oak Ridge Elementary school parent, said, “Jelissa improved in reading skills, was a little slow. Now she is on level. Math she was always good at and now she is much better."

Eight-year-old Jelissa is enrolled in Oak Ridge Elementary extended year program. The pupil population is made up of kids who meet only the minimum requirements needed for promotion. It blends both academics and enrichment activities.

Hodgetta Huckaby, principal of Oak Ridge Elementary, said, “We are working to make sure we strengthen the whole child."

Nearly 100 kids make up the program, which allows for smaller class sizes and benefit students as well as much as teachers.

Shari Gewanter, a teacher at Oak Ridge Elementary, said, “I'm excited about coming to work. With small groups I have seen in 20 days these students soar, what would normally take a whole school year."

Oak Ridge is in its first year of the three year program called "partnership to advance school success," also known as PASS.

School leaders hope the PASS program will promote positive learning for kids for years to come.

Mainline information systems of Tallahassee is the corporate sponsor of the PASS program. The program wraps up Thursday.