CUMMING, Ga. – Forsyth County elementary school teachers and parents concerned about struggling students can turn to Next Generation Focus, a volunteer-based non-profit that offers one-on-one tutoring in reading, math and writing.
Now entering its third year, Next Generation Focus began in 2009 as literacy tutoring for K-5 students and added math and writing classes the past school year.
The non-profit employs a curriculum designed by Forsyth County educators to follow in-school classes, and places emphasis on individual instruction through one-on-one teaching.
“The biggest thing I see right off the bat from our kids is a major confidence boost,” said Susan Cummins, Marketing Director or Next Generation Focus. “Teacher class sizes are so big now that it’s tough for teachers to get to every student. What our students get here is individualized attention from us, to get the confidence they need.”
Last year Next Generation Focus tutored 70 students, over double the number from its first year of operation. Cummins said that she expects over 100 students this year as new volunteers sign on, increasing potential class sizes.
“NGF has been very positive for my daughter,” said Belinda Johnston, whose 2nd grade daughter Brianna began with the reading program last year. “Since she started we found she needed reading glasses, which is why she was a little bit behind, but NGF really helped her work on her sight words, which has had tremendous effects on her reading.”
Johnston said that over the course of the tutoring program her daughter’s sight words have increased from 45 to 110. She said that Brianna will continue classes for another year, and begin receiving tutoring for writing as well.
“They’re great to her, and she really just enjoys getting one-on-one support from them,” said Johnston.
Next Generation Focus tests students regularly to indicate placement and progress. Students graduate out of the program after they test accordingly to their grade level.
Classes depend entirely on volunteers, usually comprising of teachers, and teens from Lambert, West, Central and North Forsyth High Schools. Next Generation Focus offers community service hours and scholarships to teen volunteers.
Next Generation Focus held its first classes Aug. 13 and will continue weekly throughout the school year at 6755 Majors Road (Grace Chapel). Classes run every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. for kindergarten to second grade students, and from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for grades three to five. Parents can enroll their children and volunteers can sign up either in person or at www.nextgenerationfocus.org.