Northside Reading Workshop

Northside Christian Church sponsored Reading Workshop
Staff Writer

Northside Christian Church held a week long reading workshop for the express purpose of preparing students to return to the classroom. Aubri Ware, A.Vernita Edwards and Joshua Brown worked with the students to improve their reading and comprehension skills, from 3 - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday of that week.

"We had 16 children come and take advantage of our workshop," Margaret Shelton, one of the sponsors of the workshop. "We have got to get these parents involved with reading to their children. We had one child who will be entering second grade and he did not know his ABCs. By the end of the week, he was doing great and was eager to learn. We can't let these kids fall through the cracks."
Shelton said Northside offered the workshop as a way to bolster education in the community. West Point High School South Campus principal Jermaine Taylor the students a pep talk at the close of the week.

"All of our adult tutors were directly from this congregation," Shelton said. 'Isn't that wonderful to have members that are willing to give of themselves to help our children? We are so very blessed here at Northside."

Shelton said the children were not only expected to read, they were expected to comprehend what they were reading.

"The kids were asked about what they read, what it meant and how they could use the information," Shelton said. "The tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade students did so very well. We did not have one disciplinary problem. Everyone came in with an attitude to learn."

There are plans in the works to offer the workshop again next summer on a larger scale. The church hopes to reach many more children with a second workshop. All participants were given school supplies to start the new school year, by Northside Christian Church.

"Churches need to understand the needs of the community," Shelton said. "We want to help people grow spiritually, but they need to grow educationally, as well. There are churches here in West Point who offer wonderful after-school tutoring programs, but they are always full. We want to help our children too."

Northside Christian Church has a fully stocked Aaron Johnson Resource Center, that will be made available soon. Shelton said they are working out a plan to have the center open for certain hours through the week.
She said basic computer classes had been offered for those who are intimidated by the new technology.

"We have our Adult Information Series with the Aaron Johnson Resource Center," Shelton said. "We try to give adults information and resources they might not know are available. We are working on the next one for September. Sharon Dollarhide of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board spoke to a group of veterans and other interested persons about what benefits are offered to Mississippi Veterans. She was thrilled with how many people came and how many could use the information she brought."

Shelton said she wanted to encourage everyone to work towards helping one another.

"Education and information are so very important," Shelton said. "You can't help anybody if you don't know nothing. I hope I never stop learning and never stop doing things to make my community a great place to live. Maybe I'll stop when I'm in my 90s and am ready to go home to heaven. Until then I plan on doing something to make this spot on Earth a better one. So lets get to work."