The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Volunteers to offer HOPE to children

By André Green/se news editor

Every child could use a little help and hope sometimes, and TCCD students and faculty have the opportunity to offer both.

Helping Our Pupils Excel is seeking committed volunteers to tutor area children.

The program was created by Nila Geisal in 1996 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. The intent was to help students at nearby Thornton Elementary with their academic studies. But the program soon took off in another direction.

The H.O.P.E. concept quickly spread and became a non-profit, community-wide organization in the Arlington area and is now comprised of seven locations in southeast and central Arlington.

The tutoring is free and mainly benefits, but is not limited to, students from low-income families. The service is offered exclusively to children in grades four through eight and access to the tutoring center throughout the school year is unlimited.

According to the program’s Web site, H.O.P.E. aims “to provide a safe and caring environment” so students can “learn and grow.”

Potential volunteers must complete an application and a background check. An $8 donation is required to offset the cost of the check.

Annette Williams, executive director, said before people decide to volunteer, they must ask themselves a few questions.

“ Volunteers must be able to relate to 10-14-year-old kids,” she said.

“ They must also be able to volunteer one hour a week during tutoring sessions for an entire semester and commit to a three or four month period.”

Sessions are held Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Following acceptance, volunteers will complete an hour training course to familiarize them with the program and the rules of the center. Training topics include safety, site resources, policies and procedures and ways to help students with homework.

Even though it sounds like a lot of work, Williams said the volunteers find the time well spent.

“ The volunteers find the work very rewarding,” she said.

In measuring the effectiveness of the program, Williams said the results in students’ grades speak for themselves.

“ There has been an 89 percent improvement rating in grades,” she said.

Williams said there is no deadline for volunteers to sign up for H.O.P.E. regardless of the time in the school year.

For more information, contact Williams at 817-860-7757 or visit the Web site at

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