Program prepares kids in math, tech and reading

Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:15 am

By Nathaniel Cline
Staff writer

A local middle school principal has seen enough struggling students in his school to the point of taking his operation outside of the classroom. After serving four years in the Westmoreland County Public School system, assistant principal Michael Ransome surprised the public with a letter addressing the matter of students struggling in the areas of math and reading.
“I see far too many students at the middle school who have fallen significantly behind grade level,” Ransome stated in the letter. “The fact seriously impedes their chances of performing well in their latter educational years.”
In a detailed letter to parents and those members connected to the school system, Ransome points out his initiative to create a non-profit tutorial center for second and third grade students in Westmoreland County.
The principal said the program is focused on assisting children prepare for the 21st century using technology and other interactive tools. There will be no fee for the student to participate, Ransome said.
Sandy Herdle and Eddie Bowen, principals of Washington District Elementary School (WDES) expressed their in favor on the service.
“Being able to provide tutoring to students is an invaluable resource,” Herdle and Bowen said collectively.  “WDES fully supports this initiative and is proud to be a part of it.  This has the potential to not only help our students academically, but also socially and emotionally as well as they gain confidence in their own abilities.”
Like the staff at Washington District Elementary, principals Sheri Almond, Stefanie Lambrecht and the staff at Cople Elementary School recently completed the annual Dr. Seuss Night, which promotes reading. This was another event outside of the school period, which promoted the importance of education.
“A tutorial center gives our students an opportunity to continue their learning outside of school in order to catch up on skills that are more difficult or get ahead and prepare for the future,” Lambrecht said. “It’s one more thing we can do to ensure our students become productive citizens in the community and world.”
Last October, Ransome said he organized a math program outside of the classroom to help students who were struggling to met the state requirements. In turn the students were rewarded gaining over 325 points as a group and showing vast improvement following the Standards of Learning Tests (SOLs) in May.
“To me it paid off and I’m pretty excited about it,” Ransome said.
With the help of donations from local organizations, churches and businesses, Ransome said he believes this will support the tutorial service (501(c)(3) non-profit organization). He expects to have the service located in Montross.
Ransome can be reached at ransomema@wmlcps.org or at 551-0325 or 804-214-8094.

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