The McDowell County, West Virginia, Career & Technology Center partners with Big Creek People in Action, on a tutoring program for students who need additional help in specific academic areas.
The program’s tutors, who are funded with grant money from Americans Helping Americans® made possible by our generous supporters from around the country, “work diligently with students to ensure that each graduate is not only equipped with academic and career tech skills, but also with skills related to entrepreneurship and employment,” says BCPIA co-executive director Dyanne Spriggs who oversees the program.
BCPIA has been involved in the program – “the only vocational training available in the county” – for the past nine years. Tutors work four days a week in the school with students from ninth to twelfth grades as they pursue certification in various career paths including automotive technology, computer systems, electrical tech, restaurant management, machine tool technology, early childhood education, nursing, public safety and more.
Dyanne noted that the main objective of career and technical education (CTE) is to fully prepare students for an entry-level career, military service or enrollment into two- or four-year higher education programs.
But for some, a lack of strong academic skills can be an obstacle to their success.
“CTE programs require demonstration of competency in both project-based and academic curriculum,” Dyanne explained. “Students with inadequate basic academic skills are hindered from achieving optimal success in a chosen program.”
And that’s where Big Creek People in Action and Americans Helping Americans® come in.
Their reading coaches “engage the students in meaningful, relevant, in-school academic tutoring related to real-world situations,” she said, adding that their tutors help students pass tests that are requiring for them to be certified in their vocational field including National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI), as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training.
Rosy Moore is among the tutors at the vocational school who is helping students achieve their goals who recently reported on the re-opening of the school.
“The first few days are always chaotic, but I have already had the opportunity to meet ten students with whom I will be working with on credit recovery,” she told us. “We had a meeting to discuss our action plan for the year to work toward completing their classes and earning the credits they fell behind on.”
Rosy has also been working with a student from the automotive shop “who could not read nor pass his safety test. In order to enter the shop area to work on vehicles, he must pass this test. He has trouble reading and comprehending, so I pulled him from class to read the entire test to him and explain to him what the questions were asking. “
And despite the challenges posed by the pandemic for the past many months, Rosy remains determined to continue helping all her students succeed.
“COVID-19 has taken its toll, but I will do everything I can to assist the students in whatever they need to get caught up.”
Dyanne knows that there will always be some students at the high school level who still cannot read and write well because they did not learn the fundamentals in elementary school.
“But with the support from Americans Helping Americans®, we will be able to continue to offer tutoring services at the vocational school so that more young people will receive the best opportunity they can to succeed.”