Kahlia’s Story: The path to success starts early
Kahlia struggled in school from an early age. By first grade, the Franklin student was behind in reading, writing and math.
That was when Kahlia’s mom reached out to Gentry’s Educational Foundation, one of United Way of Williamson County’s education partners. Gentry’s is an after-school tutoring program operating in local schools, including Kahlia’s elementary school. Through this program, elementary-age students can spend an hour to an hour-and-a-half working on homework or reviewing lessons with tutor-teachers – often the same person teaching the student during the school day.
Kahlia began working with the program’s tutor-teachers and soon realized she was having fun. So much so that she stayed with it for the next 4 years. Now a fourth-grader – and still participating in the program – she says her tutors have helped her have more courage to read.
It’s even her favorite part of school, now.
In fact, the little girl who struggled with reading and math is now “advanced” in both reading and math, according to recent standardized test scores, and her grades have skyrocketed.
And the impact extends beyond the classroom.
In first grade and into second grade, Kahlia endured repeated bullying by classmates. She remembered her teacher-tutor telling students to let a trusted adult know if they are ever being bullied, so she told her mom and her tutor-teacher what had been going on.
After that, the bullying stopped.
Most importantly, though, Kahlia says she’s learned to believe in herself, thanks to her tutor-teacher.
“If someone says, ‘Oh, this is so hard; I can’t do this or I can’t do that,’ she says, ‘Yes, you can. You have to believe in yourself. I believe in you,’” says Kalia.
By instilling the skills needed to succeed in school plus self-confidence from an early age, the foundation is set for achieving success in school, work and life. Through your generous support, we are building better lives and helping remove barriers to learning for our community’s children.
The path to success starts early.