Making a Difference
A long time ago, a young mother grappled daily with the rambunctious antics of her little boy. At 15 months, Tommy climbed out of his crib, never again to be confined. His curiosity and energy knew no bounds. Kindergarten became a welcome new environment to focus his energy. But an unwieldy overload of 40 children, many just like Tommy, begged for additional adult supervision. No one noticed that Tommy stared a lot out the window. He moved unevenly through 1st to 2nd grade.
Today, some 2nd graders struggle to keep up in school after COVID’s rampage closed the doors to developing math, reading, and social skills. These students face daunting challenges that threaten their future healthy growth and adaptive social behavior. Drugs and dropouts are at the forefront of predictable economic and social disasters.
Northminster’s partnership with City Gospel Mission Whiz Kids began 16 years ago at Finneytown’s Whitaker Elementary School. This enduring, fruitful, carefully programmed tutoring program serves children in 2nd through 5th grades. 17 students, as recommended by their teachers, were matched with their volunteer tutors this past year for the extra one-hour weekly sessions to practice math and reading skills. The essence of this learning is developing one-on-one relationships that reflect God’s love, friendship, and support, plus the strong mantra: “LEARNING IS FUN!”
Each week, under the skilled leadership of Karen Kremzar (Northminster) and Jenny Towner (City Gospel Mission), volunteers fill every student’s tote bag with the personalized materials of the day. Tutors are provided a manual for the year that outlines a steady progression of skill sets as well as critical breaks for fun. Age-appropriate stories of Jesus come alive via video clips and discussions. One 4th Grader exclaimed, “FINNEYTOWN WHIZ KIDS IS THE BEST WHIZ KIDS EVER!”
That young mother, now in her 90’s, survived the death of her 17-year-old Tommy. He never learned to read. There was no such tutoring concept in those days, and children were irrevocably left behind. God has blessed her today with the certain knowledge that Northminster’s powerful outreach into the community continues with City Gospel Mission’s Whiz Kids life-saving program. Three of those students attended the week-long Vacation Bible School this summer, and one yearned, “I wish it could have lasted two weeks!” Fun with families is celebrated with a year-end dinner in May. Plans for an ice cream social and a Christmas party are in the works to extend Northminster’s healing touch.
The 2022-23 school year in Finneytown will be launched in their brand-new elementary school on Winton Road. More tutors are needed for this amazing, God-filled, God-designed rescue effort on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 PM (October 4, 2022-May 2, 2023). Be God’s disciple on the hill, and share your love of learning!
Call Karen Kremzar at (513) 235-4670. Or contact her at finneytownwhizkids@gmail.