Tutors help inner-city students

India Hunter and India Hunter

Making a difference in the lives of elementary school children was the message from Chris Amato, a representative from Kids Unlimited.

Amato spoke to a group of faculty and staff in University Hall yesterday.

Kids Unlimited is an after-school program for elementary school students located in central Toledo.

Created in 2002, Kids Unlimited operates out of Englewood Peace Academy in Toledo and serves Lincoln Academy for Boys, Garfield Elementary and Navarre Elementary.

Kids Unlimited is committed to helping inner-city children and giving them encouragement. Amato, one of the creators ,shared statistics of inner-city schools and how his program has reversed some of those statistics.

“This issue of inner-city children and education in Toledo was a problem,” said Amato.

For example, in Toledo 50 percent of African American boys do not graduate from high school and 70 percent end up in jail, Amato said.

Discouraging facts like these sparked Amato’s interest in creating a plan to help inner-city children become successful.

Kids Unlimited runs during the academic school year and in the summer and helps children with their homework. Other tasks the program focus on are helping children develop social and moral skills they need to develop their dignity.

The program employs a staff that work as team leaders and mentors for the children. Amato said many of these team leaders are college students.

Another point stressed during the presentation was that anyone willing, determined and committed can serve as a team leader.

“We’re not doing anything heroic or special, we’re just helping the students,” Amato said.

This is one of the main reasons why the Office of Service-Learning brought Amato to speak on campus. Jane Rosser, director of service learning believes many University students could be a beneficial asset to this program.

“Students should consider becoming a team leader if they are compassionate and interested in giving back to their community,” Rosser said.

Rosser said students could gain valuable hands-on experience and make an impact on young students’ lives.

Becoming involved in the program would include devoting a couple of hours a week to an inner-city school in Toledo and serving as a mentor to inner-city children by helping them with their homework and serving as an encouraging role model in their life.

The Office of Service Learning was created last fall, and is dedicated to teaching University students, faculty and staff about areas outside of the University campus.

“We want to create a link between the University and communities surrounding Bowling Green,” said Lesa Shouse, coordinator of the program.

Students interested in becoming a team leader should contact Chris Amato by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling 419-810-0070.