CCSC summer tutorial program has serious shortage of volunteers

The CCSC Inc. summer tutorial program in Columbus has a serious shortage of volunteers and may have to shut down early if help doesn't arrive soon.

Created by what was then the Combined Communities of Southeast Columbus, the free program helps children in grades 1-8 with their reading and math skills.

The program, which began two weeks ago, is supposed to continue until June 26, but Principal Tresa Hart-Williams said Monday they "may not make it."

This is the 31st summer for the program, which meets from 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday-Thursday at Lonnie Jackson Academy on Buena Vista Road.

Hart-Williams said the program currently has 14 volunteers and a couple of those may need to leave before the end of the program.

"To really be successful at what we want to do, we need 36 volunteers," she said. "We have more than 100 students and some, especially, the special needs children, need one-on-one help."

The Combined Communities of Southeast Columbus was a nonprofit service organization begun by retired Army Sgt. Lonnie Jackson, who died in 2006.

"Lonnie Jackson was such a great promoter of the program. He was constantly recruiting people. We need someone like that," Hart-Williams said.

She said flyers and e-mails were sent out seeking help, but the response was not good.

Other organizations and churches did not respond.

"This is my 29th year with the program and we have never had this much trouble getting tutors," Hart-Williams said. "Never, ever."

Most of her volunteers are students from Columbus High and Troy University. She would like to have some teachers or former teachers, but one does not have to have that kind of educational background.

"Anybody can read to a child or help them read a story," she said. "You might be helping a child add two plus four. We need people to do clerical work and to monitor the halls."

If interested, call Hart-Williams at 706-315-8847. You may contact CCSC at CCSC270@AOL.com.