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Several children in jefferson county are getting a head start in academics this summer.

Jakerya Woody is reading with confidence and ease. She is among 25 Jefferson County students who are enrolled in a camp at the Union Bethel A.M.E. Church, a program designed to help them do well academically.

"I learn math, how to draw, how to read, how to do math and write stories."

These kids are not only learning the three "Rs." They're also getting that one on one attention they may not otherwise get in school.

"I mostly mess up in my multiplication. I kinda know them they're helping me."

Organizers say the county is faced with a large population of kids who are failing academically, and they're hoping this newly formed camp will make a difference.

"This program has helped these kids get the things they wouldn't get at home, and that's why I have taken my time to help. I've seen them come up from a level from level we first started."

"What we intend to do is get these kids at or above their grade level by the end of the year."

But for now this church is a temporary refuge for these kids while they get ready for a challenging school year ahead.

Barnhart is hoping to continue the program year round and right now they're encouraging folks in the community to volunteer and make a difference.

For more information please call 251-0386.