Cathy Jo Littleton-Wahl began a tutoring program at the former school where Illinois College juniors and senior majoring in elementary education will work with more than a dozen students.
Jacksonville District 117 decided not to refer students to the program, so Tilde Holmes referred students from the Prince of Peace Child Care Center, which she operates.
Littleton-Wahl says reading will be the main focus to begin the program.
“Illinois College students will work with the youngsters and determine what their reading weaknesses are," says Littleton-Wahl. "That's a really essential skill for a person learning to become a teacher is to work with that youngster, figure out where their weaknesses are, and then try to build those weaknesses up. [It's also important] to play on their strengths. Some kids are able to have strong phonic skills but not good sight word skills. They'll work really one-on-one."
She says it’s satisfying knowing at least part of the Jefferson building will be used as a classroom again.
“Our mission is to be a resource to the city," says Littleton-Wahl. "So, when we offer the tutoring center we are able to meet that mission of being a resource."
Littleton-Wahl says tutors will help children two days a week for the next eight weeks. The IC students get class credit for their work.