Countless students need extra time outside of class to grasp what they are learning in school. Sadly, for many families in the Columbia community, this is an expense they cannot afford.
Dr. Dawson-Threat took notice of the fact that there were certain segments of the Columbia population not achieving in school, and in 2000, she founded Grade A Plus, Inc. to combat this need in the community.
“They were looking at it as if there was some deficiency in the children, when the deficiency was and is in the community,” said Dr. Dawson-Threat. “All of the children in Columbia do not have the same access and opportunity to learning experiences or support academically.”
Parents who are looking for a place where their children can have that same access and opportunity can enroll their children in Grade A Plus, Inc., an academic support and enrichment program. The program is free, and volunteers even pick the children up from their homes and bring them to Second Missouri Baptist Church of Columbia, where the program is located.
The program helps families by giving their children more time and attention with someone that is focused on their studies, said Dr. Dawson-Threat.
According to Elijah Montgomery-Smith, a community volunteer at Grade A Plus, Inc., volunteers tutor, provide snacks and participate in activities like robotics and dancing with the children. A positive learning experience is fostered through engaging activities and meals provided for the whole family, not just the child or children being tutored.
Montgomery-Smith said the program provides both education and support for those who otherwise would not have it. With volunteers from both the University of Missouri and the community, Grade A Plus, Inc. brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to benefit the children of Columbia.
“We try to build a sense of community. That is really important to us,” said Montgomery-Smith.
Join the fight. Help Heart of Missouri United Way aid Grade A Plus, Inc. and our other partner agencies by clicking here.