ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) — The push is on in Antioch to help low-income students get the tutoring they need, and the community is stepping up.
“I really like this place, and it makes me happy to have learned a lot of things and people have helped me with things that I didn’t have,” said Bruno Perez, before taking the stage during fundraising for RR Learning. Center on Saturday.
“The most interesting thing I’ve learned here is to do my homework and stay focused, and it’s a lot of fun being here,” the fifth-grader said, preparing to read a speech in front of the crowd.
He is one of dozens of students the tutoring program has helped over the past year.
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“I’m going into second year and I’m a little nervous because I’m going to have new friends and I have to learn new things,” said Elijah Makinano, who is getting the support he needs at the center. “I learned words and math and all that kind of stuff.”
The program was born out of the pandemic and started as a pilot project last summer.
“We did it for three months. It was a huge success. 99% of the kids finished it,” said Sandro Trujillo, director of the RR Learning Center.
The focus is on improving reading and math comprehension.
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“We have kids reading at the second grade level who are in fourth grade, so it’s been a real challenge, and we have kids in junior high reading at the elementary level,” Trujillo said, adding that they hope to offer the program year-round. “To run this program, we need about $50,000 a year. That’s what we need for the year.”
The center looks to the community to help raise these funds.
“We have people who have decided to come to businesses in the area who have decided to invest and we’re just trying to raise money,” Trujillo said.
Jordan Orosco, Antioch’s own rap math teacher, showed his support by making an appearance at Saturday night’s fundraiser. A video of him rapping recently went viral and now he’s lending his voice.
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“Children need one-on-one tutoring, as a teacher I know that,” Orosco said. “It can be very expensive and when they said it was free and for low-income students, I said absolutely.”
As for Bruno, he hopes his speech will help motivate more students.
“They will be inspired and do their job, and I hope people will get good grades and be happy where they are,” he said.
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