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Regional Foundations Partner with After School Providers to Offer Free Tutoring

Posted on February 10, 2022

Johnstown, PA (Feb. 2, 2022) – The achievement gap between high- and low-income students existed prior to COVID-19. In the wake of the pandemic and months of lost learning, the prevailing thought was that gap would only worsen.

In an effort to provide struggling learners from the Greater Johnstown School District with added support to close that skill gap, The Learning Lamp partnered with two regional foundations to create a “Tutoring Corps” of adults willing to help children practice skills and complete homework.

Launched with seed money from a $20,000 grant from PNC Charitable Trusts and fortified with a $10,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation, The Learning Lamp teamed up with Flood City Youth Fitness Academy (FCYFA) to provide children enrolled in both programs with extra help and reinforcement of core concepts in math and reading. Tutors range from recent high school grads and retirees from an array of industry sectors to education majors from Pitt Johnstown—all with the desire to help children recoup lost learning during the pandemic.

“The Learning Lamp’s founding program nearly 20 years ago was accessible and affordable tutoring to families of all incomes, so we recognize the value of one-to-one supports for struggling learners and are always looking for ways to provide more children with the help they need,” explained Dr. Leah Spangler, President & CEO of The Learning Lamp.

Like The Learning Lamp’s free After School Outreach Program operating in Johnstown’s Coopersdale and Oakhurst neighborhoods, Flood City’s Safe Haven After-School Program in downtown Johnstown is a destination for children to get help with homework and much more.

“Our organization strives to improve the quality of life for youth in Johnstown,” said Oscar Cashaw, executive director of FCYFA. “We offer programs designed to engage youth—feeding, fitness, music, and recreational programs, and we are seeing great success with students tutoring after school five days a week.”

With guidance from the Greater Johnstown School District individualized to each student’s needs, tutors meet with children multiple days per week for at least 30 minutes, if not more. For one 2nd grader, consistent tutoring brought up failing grades in Math, English Language Arts, and Nonfiction one full letter grade from the start of the school year through the first marking period.

“I caught up with the student that day after his meal and encouraged him to keep up the good work and gave him a fist bump,” said Francine Cashaw, tutor coordinator at Flood City. “He then ran to get his book bag and said, “I have homework to do!” and ran to the tutoring learning center.”

To date, 10 paid tutors, two volunteers and two Pitt Johnstown students have delivered a combined 781 hours of one-to-one tutoring to 156 children in grades K-12 at Flood City.

“At AT&T, we’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. That’s why we’re working with organizations like The Learning Lamp and Flood City to narrow the homework gap and to help students succeed inside and outside of the classroom,” said Jim Penna, regional director for AT&T External Affairs in Western Pennsylvania.

In addition to “Tutoring Corps” grants from PNC Charitable Trusts and the AT&T Foundation, Cambria County Drug & Alcohol Program added its support to Flood City’s after school tutoring initiative, and Pitt Johnstown committed to recruiting more students to provide added manpower.

If you are interested in volunteering your time or would like to join the tutoring teams at Flood City or The Learning Lamp, call Amanda at 814-262-0732 ext. 246 or email aperetin@thelearninglamp.org. All volunteers, tutors and program staff must have current clearances.

The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2020, The Learning Lamp served 28,938 youth/adults from 51 public school districts and 36 other schools and organizations in 13 Pennsylvania counties.

Our programs include: child care and preschool, after school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, school staffing, alternative education programs for at-risk students, online learning, credit recovery, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.




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Were hiring a FULL-TIME Recruiter to lead the day-to-day onsite hiring functions for The Learning Lamp and Ignite Education Solutions, including managing our Applicant Tracking System, interviewing, hiring, and more! Apply online today!