Casa de Amigos Leaves the "Lights on After School"

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND--Some kids need a little extra help after the school bell rings to make the grade in the classroom.

Edcuation Program Coordinator at Casa de Amigos, Tracie York says, they'll be there, "As soon as school's out at 3:20, until 6 o'clock pm.  This is open to everyone, first through 12th grade."
Everyone at Casa de Amigos is hopeful that this Thursday's open house for "Lights on After School" gets the word out.  Help is there if you need it.

"We're going to do it like a carnaval setting and each booth is going to highlight a different program that we have, within our homework help program. There's also an invitation to the other after school programs to come and participate.  It's more than just about Casa de Amigos.  It's about having somewhere safe for the kids to go after school."

After school programs aren't new to Casa de amigos. But thanks to a $310,000 grant and several AmeriCorps volunteers, they are growing.

The shelves in the library at Casa de Amigos are full of books.  Unfortunately, many students won't be able to enjoy them because they read below normal grade level.  That's something the homework help program hopes to address.

"Anyone that's having problems or is a struggling reader, anyone that's reading below grade level, that way, they can get the extra help they need, that's not available to them in the classroom, because this is one on one and it is tailored for that student," York explained.

20 trained literacy tutors are pouring over lesson plans, helping students gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the classroom.

York says this kind of tutoring is very important, "When you're in a classroom setting, sometimes they get embarrassed.  They don't want to read.  Once they get behind in reading, they stay behind."

York adds, there's no reason not to sign up, "It's free.  Everything is free.  Everyday, all the the time, it's all free.  Just come and get the help you need."

The open house for "Lights on Afterschool" will be this Thursday from 3:30 until 5:30.  All services provided in the homework help program are free of charge.